|Lucy, Ethel, and Rickie|
I talked to a few friends who have backyard chickens and got inspired. Then I visited my local tack and feed store to get information. They're affordable and get along good with kids (especially if you raise them from babies around kids). The biggest expense was going to be the coop. To buy them new, they start around $150. Ouch. You can find plans online to make them yourself, and a lot of people have converted old dog houses into coops. Luckily, I have friends who used to raise chickens but don't anymore that were happy to give us their old coop. A little sand paper, a coat of paint, and it was ready to go!
We got the baby birds yesterday. We also had to get a water container, feed (already had a feed tray with the coop), bedding, and a heat lamp (only needed if you have chicks). My kids understand it is their job to keep the birds stocked with food and water (of course, this will require a little oversight on my part). We'll do the periodic coop cleaning together.
|Bringing home the birds|
Unfortunately, the heat lamp wouldn't fit inside the door of the coop (should've measured beforehand...didn't even think about it), so the little gals got to sleep in a laundry basket indoors.
|They were tuckered out after the big move|
So far, so good. The kids are in 7th heaven. The dog is confused, curious, but ultimately fine with them (this was a big concern for me for obvious reasons...the gal at the tack and feed shop says obviously dogs getting along with chicks/chickens varies greatly on the dog. Ours is a very non-alpha Australian shepherd mix, so she's got it in her genes to get along well with other animals and has a very gentle temperment...know your dog before you get chickens). I'll keep you posted as they grow!