So, I’ve always thought my parenting skills were pretty on point. I mean, of course, I’ve made mistakes along the way, and some days I’ve felt like a total failure. For the most part, though, I like to think I’m pretty level headed with my kiddos. I’ve seen lots of parents in my teaching career, and let me just tell you, some of those parents can make you feel like super mom.
Unfortunately, over the last few days, I have begun to question my parenting capabilities. No, nothing has happened to my children. No one is in trouble. Neither of my school aged children are failing their respective grades.
So, now I’m sure you’re wondering what makes me feel so inadequate. I said yes to something I shouldn’t have. I made a decision that has changed everything in my home. I let my daughter do something I never thought I would. I let Olivia get baby chickens.
Yes, you read correctly. Baby chickens. Ten baby chickens to be exact.
Now, let me just take you back a little bit. Olivia started 4H this year, which teaches all about agriculture and lots of other things. She absolutely LOVES it. She loves animals and would gladly acquire a farm. For those of you who don’t know me, I am NOT a farm girl. My best friend in high school even called me a city slicker all the time.
So, Liv comes home earlier this year talking all about these chickens and raising them. I think how hard could this be? Oh how naive!
Now, you had to order the chickens in February and they didn’t come in until April. Well, in March, they had a meeting about these chickens. However, I had parent teacher conferences and couldn’t go. The ladies at the 4H office graciously sent me the information for Olivia and I to check out. Obviously I had every intention of reading it all, but I just never got around to it. Big mistake.
Then Wednesday, we picked up our chickens. They start talking about all kinds of crazy stuff and I am lost. (Note to self: Always read the information sent.) Apparently these little things are like newborns. Yeah, they’re handing over ten newborns to me. 🤦♀️ We basically have to incubate these things like newborns.
All I could think when these ladies were talking was, “What have I gotten myself into?” I knew Thomas wasn’t going to be too happy about the extras I took 😬 but he’s used to my far fetched ideas and crazy ways.
Our afternoon was getting away from us and it was almost time for church, so we picked the other two kiddos up and headed home to eat quickly. Thomas and I decided that I would drop the kids off at church and go to Tractor Supply while he rigged up the kennel for all of the chickens.
Now, I’ve probably been in Tractor Supply maybe a total of five times in my life. I had no idea what I was doing. I even felt intimidated driving up in my minivan at the farm store. Thankfully it’s apparently “chicken season”. Chicken stuff is EVERYWHERE! Apparently you can even buy a life sized metal chicken to decorate your yard or for your chickens to hang out with. I dunno..
There I am standing in the middle of the chicken section looking around lost as a goose. There’s chicken feed, chicken treats, chicken toys, chicken coops, and baby chickens. There’s also a lady buying some baby chickens. This lady was a chicken expert, y’all. She was all pullet this and red tailed feathered big brown bear chicken that. I was a little amazed at how much she knew and that she was buying these chickens of her own free will.
So after chicken lady left, the sales lady asked if I needed help. I mean I’m pretty sure she could see the look of fear and confusion on my face. This was the super chicken expert. She grabbed everything I needed and even talked me into a 50 pound bag of feed. As I waited for my bag of feed at the checkout another chicken expert (obviously you must know all about chickens to work here) filled me in on all the things to do with these chickens.
Much more knowledgeable, I headed home. Thomas had the kennel ready and after getting the girls from church, Olivia helped set up their food and water. We were a little concerned about one, but they were fed and watered so we went to bed.
Thursday morning we woke up to to a sad discovery. One of the babies passed overnight. Now, I’m not sure if this is one that Ann Elizabeth picked up and dropped or one that Witten squeezed too hard. It could have also gotten into the Jolly Rancher Witten thought they needed.
We soon learned that there’s nothing quite like trying to get a dead chicken off of some cardboard. Thank the Lord for Thomas! After the chicken was disposed of we tried to get ready while still fretting over chickens. I kept asking myself a million questions:
Are they warm enough?
Are they too warm?
Is their food okay?
Is their set up okay?
Is it too drafty?
Definitely like newborns!
As we rushed out of the house, I noticed another one that was looking sickly. I spent the day worrying all about those chickens. I decided I should run home before getting kids, and I’m so glad I did! I walked into a scene I never thought I would.
Six chickens had escaped and the sickly one was dead. Now, getting the dead one wasn’t nearly as hard as catching the other six. I immediately called Thomas as he’s coaching baseball like he was going to save the day. Ha! He talked me into calming down some and then I worked to catch chickens. I caught four, tore my dress, and finally went onto get kids.
After getting back home, Olivia helped catch the other two. She put down clean newspapers, and I made sure they couldn’t escape again.
Thankfully this morning we woke up to all eight of our chickens happy and healthy. Now, Liv is at her dad’s house this weekend, so that leaves me in charge of chickens. I’m just hoping she comes back home to all eight still alive. Say a prayer for me. I’m going to need it!
Stay tuned for more from the chicken sagas.