Farming 101: Chickens

Today I decided to take the time the time to write about things I’ve learned on the farm. As I began, I started to realize that this was going to be a really long post, so I decided to break it down a bit. Please enjoy this first post about chickens.

First off, let me just say this again: I have been to a farm before, but it was in the Midwest. There was no livestock, so this has turned out to be a very different experience than I was expecting. Of course, this by no means represents all farms. It’s just my experience here at this farm.

I’ll start with the broiler (meat) chickens. They buy baby chicks, and they get mailed here. I’ve heard of this before, where you can order chicks and have them shipped to you. Baby chicks are very cute, and it’s amazing how fast they grow. Currently we have 1 week old chicks as well as 3 week old chicks. The 3 week old ones are at least twice the size, and they take up so much more room! Both are fun to pick up and pet though, so I might have been petting a lot of baby chicks recently…we’re supposed to get more on Friday, so I’m excited for that. We’re also moving the bigger chicks outside, so that’ll be fun catching them as well.

We also have laying hens. Let me just admit it: I was afraid of getting pecked by a chicken. I expected it to hurt, and it concerned me when I had to feed them and they all swarmed. I’ve still been wearing gloves recently, but it doesn’t hurt to get pecked by a chicken. They’re just curious. One thing that has pleasantly surprised me about chickens: they’re actually really soft. I like to pet the chickens because their feathers are really soft and smooth. It sounds strange, but it’s true. I’m not sure what I expected a chicken to feel like, but it definitely wasn’t this. Chickens are also strange in the fact that if there is a cracked egg, they’ll eat it. It’s a little scary how if you throw them a broken egg they’ll all swarm and fight for it. It’s gone within seconds. But they don’t mess with the whole, unbroken eggs. I was afraid they would at first, but they don’t. Another strange trait is that they peck at each other’s butts and eat their feathers. Some of our chickens have no feathers on their butts now because other chickens have eaten them. It’s kind of sad, and it’s easy to tell who’s higher up on the totem pole.

To sum it all up about chickens, there have been things I never would have expected. Some good, some bad, but I’m still learning every day! I’ve only been here a week and have learned so much about taking care of many animals, not just chickens. I hope I can continue to learn and have fun!


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