It was any other Wednesday. I went to my therapist, was on my way to a day date with the husband, and we made a stop at the tractor supply. That’s when I saw them. They called to me. I imagined chasing them around the yard and helping cultivate my garden. My husband saw it in my eyes. He knew, we were about to be a chicken family. We picked my daughter up from school and back we went, four chickens were now part of the Andrus nest.
Now before you all get, “THINK THIS THROUGH!” Know this, I had been thinking about it. I knew the benefits of having a garden, livestock, and more. Ultimately creating a little homestead is my ultimate goal. As a mom, I knew that chickens would be beyond rewarding for my girls, here’s why.
Food (I know, you don’t want to see the cute pictures and then me go here.)
I will just start here, because you don’t want me to say it. I want my girls to know where their food comes from. I want them to be appreciative, not just that we have the means to get to the grocery, but the animals that provide for us deserve honor and respect. They deserve a good life. Whether the chickens are for eggs or meat, they are not machines, they are heartbeats and living souls. It’s important to me that the girls have that kind of mindfulness towards their food. This is actually the same reason I am passionate about my garden.
There is nothing like an animal to teach a child responsibility. It starts all fun with watching them grow their feathers and holding them. The sweet tweets are about more than my toddler can handle. Beyond that my toddler “read” the chicken book we got. They will help put together the chicken run and house. They have helped me clean their home and the poop off their bums (yes this is actually a real thing). They help me round them up as they run wild in the garden. They help love on them and care for them. Hens that are not cared for and loved will not lay eggs. Kids learn the give more than you get mentality with animals. Responsibility towards another life is one of the most important lessons we can teach our children. I can’t think of a better way to foster it.
The fine print
Before you run out and get some chicks, here are somethings to consider:
- They will turn into chickens. Full on chickens that are loud and smell really bad, but they are easy to care for and they are so funny. Seriously, so funny.
- You need to understand the ordinances for your area. Check your municipal code or call the zoning office.
- They will need a little home. This will be the primary expense of chickens, but if you are handy, you can build one. You can also find lots on the facebook marketplace or craigslist.
- You will fall in love with your chickens.