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Chick Magnet

2016 August 15
by Becky

EthanBirdHead

For the month of August we’ll be hearing new noises around our house.

Little chirps and cheeps of our four tiny visitors, temporarily named Peeper, Beeper, Rex, and Bowie. The first two are Cinnimon Queens, Bowie is a Honey Orpington, and Rex…I can’t remember. Maybe an Easter Egger? A Barred Rock? Whatever the case, she’ll have white stripes soon.

ChickNames

We’re hosting these little ladies, feeding and petting and watching them grow, through The Easy Chicken, a business run by a local St. Louis family, that specializes in making city-folks’ dreams of backyard chickens a reality…in the easiest way possible. After watching my kids freak out over the chicks hatched by our school’s first grade class, I jumped at this opportunity.

Ethan-ChickWhisperer

We’ve seen Seth and Maria at the Tower Grove Farmers Market every weekend for years, always talking to them about how much we’d love to have chickens, but never taking the leap. Walking out each morning to find fresh eggs, letting the kids experience a bit of “farm life”…sounds pretty magical. But also a ton of responsibility…more things to feed and keep alive. So when they mentioned the “Watch Them Grow” program, we were sold. They provide all the gear and four adorable chicks, we provide the care and plenty of snuggles.

Ethan is obsessed.

ChickGazing

The “roost” is a retrofitted rubbermaid tub, Ethan was over the moon about the nifty recycled eating and drinking vessels. There’s also a heat lamp stand to keep the little peeps nice and warm. We’ve started raising it as they get older, it’s happening fast! Feathers are sprouting and wings are flapping and they are beginning to resemble actual chickens.

ChickHouse

Finn, aka Squeezy, is, under no circumstances, allowed to be alone with the chickens. I think he was jealous of the attention we gave the chicks on their arrival, my hypothesis based on his attempts to swat the birds out of our hands when anywhere near. After a day of keeping them on the back porch and fighting off his grabby hands, we hid them in the basement where Ethan can visit them in peace. Since then, I’ve slowly worked with Finn on gentle chick handling and he’s really getting the hang of it.

FinnChickMan2

FinnChickSmile

FinnRexChick

“Mama, here baby chi-hen!” He’s suddenly a fan and I couldn’t make this post until I had at least one adorable pic. So why not include three?

At a little over a week old, we had to have some friends over to experience the cuteness and the chicks were really good sports. They are visibly bigger every day and the tiny fuzziness stage is super short, so we couldn’t wait to long share this experience.

AceBirdHead

AudieAceBirds

Big kids are really good with them, pretty gentle and so excited. It’s a really special thing, exposing kids to baby animals. I remember the kittens and horse born on the farm when I was in high school, it was the best. I never left those babies alone for a second. There’s such a short window of time when animals are truly babies, all soft and helpless and mostly unafraid of little hands holding them.

Maelle&EthanChicks

EthanChickShoulder

Am I attached? Kind of. Giving up Rex and Bowie is gonna be tough, they are so sweet and I’m having mama feelings about them. Ethan is REALLY attached to Rex and she seems to adore him…I mean, as much as a two week old chick can. My desire to keep these two is strong, but check back with me after another two weeks of cleaning up their poop.

I could be singing a different tune.

It’s bee an wonderful experience so far and I can’t wait to see what we have on our hands in another two weeks!

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