This morning we had the extreme pleasure of going to pick up our chickens! We stopped en route to pick up some wood shavings and peat moss for bedding. We were told by another homesteader friend about including peat in the bedding. There are a few benefits. The chickens do the work of mixing it in with the wood shavings, it reduces the smell due to its high absorption rate and when it comes time to clean out the coop, the former bedding can go right onto the garden beds as rich compost once it sits for a year. We then headed to my friend’s place on the far side of the city to meet the new additions to our brood!
The children were very excited to meet the chickens, and spend some time with my friend’s son, who happened to be cuddling a chicken when we arrived. He showed us around their urban farm. My children especially liked meeting their rabbits, since they’ve always wanted their own! It was nice to see their birds free ranging in the yard, something we hope to be able to carry on. Failing that, there’s the garden enclosure that didn’t get planted this year that is now full of delicious things for chickens to eat. We don’t have a fenced yard, and there is a dog who lives next door. We’ll have to see how that goes. We’ll find out this afternoon after the children finish their rest times. Right now they are in the coop, getting used to their new surroundings a bit. I left some food in there for them, so they’ll hopefully associate it with ‘home.’
My friend has been thinking for months about which of her beloved birds she was going to give us. I can’t imagine how difficult that choice was for her, as she and her sons are very close to them all. We feel so blessed to add some of her loved and well cared for chickens to our homestead. It has been a long time coming since we’ve wanted chickens all along, but due to a rat problem had to redo our coop before trying again. It feels so right now that the day to have chickens again has arrived.
I am excited for my children to have the rhythm of animal care introduced. I am also looking forward to fostering a closer bond between my children and the food their eat. The more levels of food production and preparation I can involve them in the greater chance they will learn the true value of what they eat.
Introducing the new additions to our family:
From left to right: Goldie who is a mixed breed who was hatched in a classroom and is already a good layer. Then the three Swedish Flowers, Brownie who was named by my oldest son, Daisy who was named by my middle son, and Lucky the rooster who was named by my friend in honour of his narrow escape from her soup pot! We decided to take a rooster mere hours before my friend’s chicken harvest in hopes of having some chicks of our own in the Spring.
Welcome to your new home!