Writer and Photographer - Life is there for experiencing, which I live each and every day to do!
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Becoming a Farmer
Nine years ago, my husband and I 'bought the farm', to say the least. Actually, it was a few acres that was nothing more than a bit of land and a whole lot of dreams. Dreams that we loved talking about, but remained stagnant for months.
A year after moving in I shook things up.
The local pet store had a bullion board that had a personal add from a local farmer that had 'Free-Run, barn-yard mix, chicks for sale - $5 each'. Oh ya!!!
Being the kind of person I am, fondly remembering my childhood on the farm I had to call! That call?... it changed my 'small plot of land' into a real farm! Within the hour I had spent a couple hundred dollars and purchased everything I needed: A waterer, feed and a feeder and on my way home I stopped at the address I was given for the chicks and picked up seven clucking beauties! I was now a farmer.
My husband's reaction!
So, before we get into how my husband reacted to my 'surprise'... let me fill you in about him, just so you understand his reaction a little easier.
He was a 'town boy'. Have you ever heard of that saying: white picket fence family? You know, where the mom stays home and bakes cookies. Where dad goes off to work every day and the kids make their beds and go to school. Compared to my hippy, gypsy free-spirited, style childhood, he came from what you would call a stable (or a boring) childhood where there were really no surprises or disruptions to the flow of his days.
Then he married me. Poor man, what did he get himself into!!!
Those sweet 'lil chicks were just the cutest things I had seen in such a long time! They were a mix of what I would call a 'rainbow flock'. They were all different, dark and light colors, not a single one looked like it's flock-mate and I loved it!
I remember pulling into the drive way as quietly as I could. Huge smile on my face, I gathered the stiff cardboard box with my new babies tucked inside of it into my arms and strutted my stuff into the house.
My husband had his back to me, washing his hands at the sink when I walked in. Pheff! Looking at him standing there I simply said: "Should I run?"... that's when his body went stiff. It was all said in jest and joking, our house was fun like that, but with me, he knew that 'you just never knew' what I was up to.
Now I think he had her some chirps when I had walked in. When he turned around I had already opened up the box and had one of my fuzzy butt little chicks in my hand, outstretched to him with the biggest smile on my face... and all he said to me quite quietly, was: run.
Thankfully the kids saved me, I knew I gave birth to them for a reason! Their excitement over the little creatures that I had brought in won daddy over and I got to keep my new colorful flock.
If this happened to you...
So now I was a farmer.
The chickens were just the right start that I needed to really being a farmer. A farmer? Me? Just because I had some hens in the yard? YES!
They were fed, cleaned up after and tended to. In exchange these beautiful (and hormonal beauties) gave me eggs which we consumed. Day after day, week after week, year after year, I would tend to my flock. Sometimes we found new chicks in the coop, being protected by a broody Mama. Other times we lost a hen to a predator, other times we enjoyed a roast chicken dinner... it's all part of 'living on the farm', right?
The chick's were just the start to our journey as hobby farmers. After we got the hang of them, we expanded our gardens and added rabbits to our life. But the chicks, they will always be my first love.
Supplies for hens are so minimal!
Peeking at me, when I am peeking at her
Pro's of Raising Chickens
- Year round bug control
- The tastiest eggs you could ever eat
- A disposal for left overs (they eat everything)
- Friends that follow you around the yard, like little goof balls
- Free fertilizer (everywhere that they can get to! - Ugh)
Con's of Owning Chickens
- They think they are your master
- Poop (I nicely worded it fertilizer in the 'Pro's")
- A few pecks here and there...
And did I mention Poop? Poop everywhere! On the grass, on the walk way, on the car... even on me!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Lou Cannon
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 30, 2020:
I enjoyed reading your article. I have a lovely time on our hobby farm when I visit my old home, but when I am not there, they just send me pictures. Your chickens are so beautiful. I can imagine falling in love with them the moment you saw them.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 30, 2020:
I loved this article. I have three hens at the moment but at one stage my wife and I lived on a hobby farm and had up to twenty hens and roosters. I wrote a series of hubs called The Cackleberry Farmer. Your pros and cons were spot on too. Good job.