Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chickens and my pet philosophy

My hubby Ben and I have been married for almost 14 amazing years. When we were engaged I told him, "Honey, you know if you marry me that you will never have any pets." He said, okay, and we have lived happily ever after. . .then about 5 years ago we moved to the country and got a little bit of land, and my hubby got chicken fever. He wanted some chickens. I did not.
.We went back and forth, but then after talking to some friends and getting more info about them, in April we got these from Orscheln Farm and Home (or Horse-lands as my little Mr. J calls it).

Each kid got a Rhode Island Red baby chick and got to name theirs. They named them Henrietta, Jewel, Buttercup and Who-Ha (that was Mr. J's). They grew very quickly. Ben made an awesome chicken coop from a pattern we got from some good friends, and then he and Miss E-- my 7 year old painted it. Pretty impressive, huh? It is moveable. Don't you love the flowers? Only happy chickens live here.
Now, we started with 4 baby chicks, and they were suppose to all be hens. As they were growing we noticed that one was getting bigger than the others and seemed a little meaner. In July when we had our family reunion at our home, Ben's brother went out to see our chickens with Ben, and he said, "you have a rooster," "No, they are all hens" Ben said, and his brother repeated "Um, I think that is a rooster." About a week later it started crowing. Yeah, we had a rooster. Miss O--my 9 year old--said "let's take it back to the store and get our money back." We couldn't. I didn't save the receipt, but we didn't want to keep Mr. Rooster. He was mean and loud, and crowed all day long. Luckily some friends from church needed a rooster, and we were glad to oblige. (Actually we kind of begged them to take it, and they felt sorry for us and were nice enough to take our burden from us--good friends!) About a week after Mr. Rooster left, our hens started laying eggs! How cool is that? See, I don't think of chickens as pets, so this whole thing doesn't go against my pet philosophy. I see chickens as food storage or an emergency preparedness essential--not pets. They don't need to be walked, washed, petted, groomed, etc. We get 3 pretty brown eggs each day. The kids feed the chickens and check for eggs before school and after. It has been a good thing. It was pretty cold earlier this week, and Miss E had the job of checking for eggs. She went out prepared. Don't you love her outfit? (yes, those are her pajama pants, good thing we live in the country! What would the neighbors think???? Thankfully we are blessed with the best neighbors in the world, what a sweet thing, and after 5 years they are used to Miss E's antics and sense of fashion.)


  1. Cool, Jen! I love that you have chickens! My friend, who lives in downtown Provo has chickens, and soon I am going to do a little story on it. Well, I'll post it next April when I do Egg Week! Maybe you will have some wisdom you'd like to shed for egg week then, too!

  2. They let you have chickens in downtown Provo? They don't even let you have chickens in our little town of 6,000! We can only have them because we live in the country. Crazy :)

  3. I cannot believe you have chickens! I cannot believe Ben wanted chickens! Wow. I...don't even know whether to compliment you on that or try to convince you otherwise :) At least you got rid of the rooster - that would drive me bananas! (esp in the morning)

    Welcome to the blog world Jen!! I'll be back soon.

  4. How fun is that? Hannah's little friend gave her an egg one day (they have chickens) and told Hannah that if she kept it warm for three weeks she'd get a baby chick. To her dismay, nothing happened. Next time he gives her an egg, I may just switch it with a fertilized egg..... ;)

  5. This is a fabulous story! I too am a NO pet person. But if I lived on a lot of land and my husband built a cool coop I would probably let the boys get chickens too :)