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Friday, May 21, 2010

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch… literally {Foodie Friday??}

Third grade at our school is kind of a big deal.  The kids look forward to third grade  for years.  Not because of the wonderful learning experiences that they will encounter or any other such nonsense.  It’s because of chickens.

Or to be more specific baby chicks. 

In third grade, a former teacher brings chicken eggs to each class during their unit toward the end of the year about birds.  They are kept in an incubator and the class turns them and watches them hatch.  The idea is that after they have hatched, the children are able to take one home for the last two weeks of school to take care of it if they want to.

Sarah really wanted to.  And I really wanted to.  Heck, I was ready to build a coop and keep that chick and let it bring us eggs.  Mike just was not on board with it that much. 

But when it came down to it, not enough of the chicks hatched for every child who wanted one to get to take one home.  In fact, I think they ended up just 1 chick short.  And guess who was the last to turn in her form that she wanted one and was therefore at the end of the “line.” 

Oh, yeah.  It was a sad week around our house as the realization sunk in that she would not get to take home a chick.  And it was even harder that she and I had been having conversations about how she has felt excluded by the girls in her class this year.  She never verbalized it this way, but it felt to me like just one more way she was going to be excluded.

But it was easy to fix.  A local feed store had some chicks and one of her best friends didn’t end up with one either.  So we took both of them to each pick one out.

Here, I’ll let Sarah tell you about it.

Pardon the blurriness.  Not sure what happened there. 

Meet Peeps…

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… and Streak….

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We joked that we should have named them “Nugget” and “Strip” after I saw this blog the other day.  100_8164 We’d heard that they don’t really like to be alone, so we decided to keep them together and have them stay part of the time at our house and part at our friend’s house.  They had changed a lot when we got them back to our house.

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Today is the last day of school and since we can’t commit to keeping them right now, we will take them back up to the school and they will have good homes to go to.  We had a lot of fun with them and Sarah will miss having them in her room.

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So long Peeps and Streak.  We’ll miss you.

I’m curious.  Do you or have you ever had chickens?  Please tell me about your experience.  I’m still trying to work on Mike so that maybe we can have a couple of chickens one of these days. 

8 Comments:

Kate said...

We had chickens when I was a kid...we used to run out in the morning for fresh eggs (actually to this day I cannot stand the smell of eggs cooking, but I like to eat them...lol). Of course being on a farm, I also experienced the downside to raising them from chicks :( err...but they were yummy too...lol. They were actually fun, we would chase them and they would chase us; but, the real chase was on when the mamma hens saw us playing chase...lol.

Patricia said...

I have 6 large laying hens. We get 3 to 5 eggs a day. The eggs are amazing. My hens free-range most of the day in our backyard. Our biggest problem is getting the chicken house door closed before the possums come prowling. Our hens live in great harmony with our 2 outdoor cats and our very feisty Jack Russell terrier. After three years, I'm still enthusiastic about my hens. They are entertaining and mostly self-sufficient PLUS I get more from them than I have to give: eggs and compost!

jayedee said...

i love love LOVE my chickens! they are endlessly entertaining, give me breakfast each day AND are alot cheaper than therapy!

Screwed Up Texan said...

We had chickens when I was a kid...I loved taking care of them and feeding them. The eggs are a bonus!

I'm so jealous school is over for you...We've still got until June 10th.

Kay said...

My grandparents had chickens most of my life. I always thought the eggs tasted better. It was fun to go check on them and bring in the eggs. But I missed out on the harsher realities of farm life. :)

Melinda said...

Oh yes - we have 24 little ladies and a couple of cocky roosters running around the farmyard right now. And I have 8 dozen organic free range brown eggs in the fridge as a result. I love my chickens!

Nicole said...

Yes, we have 5 hens. It all started when my youngest was in Kindergarten and they incubated 10 eggs. They hatched the day before Easter break started and my husband surprised me by offering to bring 3 chicks home.

The 3 chicks grew quickly and as it turned out, only 1 was a girl. Let's say the 2 boys are in a happier place now. However, as you said, chickens don't do well alone, so we got 2 more chicks from the local feed store. Then I found a striped breed I had to have (ha ha) and now there are 5 girls in our suburban backyard.

My husband even build a movable ark for them and they are all happy foraging around, 2 years later!

Six In The Northwest said...

If you have the opportunity and your neighborhood allows poultry...no roosters I imagine though...go for it. Kids learn so much from taking care of animals and the rewards your family will get just from watching the hens interact together cannot be measured in words.