Raising Peeps...

Little hands holding a Rhode Island Red
Have you ever held a baby chick and felt how soft and delicate it is?  Chicks are one of my most favorite things in this world.  I love the soft fuzz, the peeps, the sweet little chicken toes, all of it!!!  No matter how much I love them, my kids love them more.  We surprised the kids with 12 new baby girls yesterday.  I had to share the pictures with you all.

Will is elated!!!  He is my chicken whisperer, he loves his girls!
The kids were elated.  We brought home four different breeds, three of each.  Ameraucanas, Black Sex Links, Golden Sex Links, and Rhode Island Reds.  

Golden Sex Links
A couple quick tips on new chicks.  If you are thinking of bringing some home, make sure that you have thought it through.  I have rescued far too many chickens because of poor planning on someone's part.  It was getting so frequent that someone would try to drop their chickens off, that we finally had to say no more.  Chickens need food, shelter, water, and time just like any other pet.  They are wonderful in your yard and great entertainment, but if you are fussy about the yard, make sure you have a plan to fence them into a run or fence them out of your favorite spots.  Make sure that other pets will not be a threat to your chickens.  Dogs, unless well trained, are not normally a chicken's best friend...hint, hint!

Black Sex Link
When you bring home your chicks, you will need some equipment: a large bucket that can be washed out, a heat light, wood shavings or newspaper, chick start and a feeder, and a waterer.  Your local farm store will be able to help you find all of the necessary do-dads that you need.  You will also need a little knowledge about how warm to keep your girls and how to position the light.  Chicken "bums" need to be checked every day to make sure they don't get plugged.  All too often, their little backsides crust over with poop and they can die from a "backup".  Watch your babies carefully and check them often to make sure that they haven't tipped over their water or food.

Chicks are extremely delicate and it takes very little to kill them.  We had one fall asleep over the waterer, as she slept, her head fell down, and she drowned in the water.  We have had a few that were very small simply not thrive and die.  It is pretty devastating to lose a chick, especially for kids, so the first week or two are spent with great diligence hovering over your peeps!  One other tip, when buying chicks, make sure that you are buying pullets (hens) and not a straight run (hens and roosters), your neighbors will like the idea of chickens a bit better if the chickens don't wake them up every morning at 4:30.  Also, make sure you are zoned for chickens before you buy, it's a terrible thing to have the city take away your pets, or your neighbors angry because you violated covenants.

Ameraucana - my favorites!
Last, and most important, have fun and enjoy the chicks while they are little.  They grow really fast, and you will miss the fluff stage if you aren't careful!


  1. Thank you for this post! I was browsing the net for a blog that had chickens and was based here in Utah. I wanted to know how people raised them locally. Thank you for your advice. I plan on starting my first flock this May. Wish me luck!

    1. Good luck! It's so much fun, I am sure you will enjoy it. I am going to follow this group of chicks on the blog with an update every couple of weeks, so check back again. Thanks for reading!!!


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