Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Subscribing to Miriam's blog

You can now subscribe to Miriam's posts on raising chickens. Just click the link below:

Getting Chicks

In late winter, eight months after we first got chickens from the Anisfelds, we decided we were going to get chicks ourselves. There were a bunch of other families who also wanted chicks, so we decided t have a "chicken meeting" at the Anisfelds. There were about ten of us altogether and we discussed chickens. First we talked about the rules surrounding chickens, like how far away your coop had to be from the border of your property. Then we moved on to the life of a chicken and continued to how to take care of chickens, like how much foods you'll need to give them, how many times a day you need to check for eggs, and stuff like that. Finally, at the very end, we talked in detail about how to take care of the chicks once we get them. We also debated if we should order chicks and then split them (you have to order at least 25 chicks at a time), or pick them up at Agway (a farm store) one family at a time. Then for the last 10 minutes we talked about when we should get the chickens. Near the end of the meeting, I got it into my head that maybe we could et chicks that same day, because it was Sunday. I mentioned it to my dad and got really excited despite the fact that he told me not to. For the rest of the meeting I bugged him nonstop for an answer whether we could get chicks that day or not.

After the meeting my dad decided to call Agway to see if they had chicks. Since they were closed and we did have the stuff we needed to take care of the chicks, my dada was fine with waiting and not getting them that day. I on the other hand wasn't fine with waiting to get chicks. For the next few weeks I kept on bugging my dad about the chicks. Everytime my dad told me he had ordered, the Anisfelds had ordered, he had called, the Anisfelds had called, Agway's reason why they never had chicks to sell us was that a lot more people wanted chicks (and chickens) this year. Then finally after at least three months the Anisfelds managed to get then chicks. The next day we went over to the Anisfelds and got five chicks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Chicken Story

The first time we got chickens was in the summer. Dani, Margalit and I were at camp and the Anisfeld's were going to Israel for a month. They had four chickens and we said we would take them. So my dad built a chicken coop and we got their chickens. In the letters I got from home my parents wrote to me about the chickens, and when I came home from camp we still had them. I was interested in the chickens. I tried to hold them a couple of times but when the just ran away, I let them be. When the Anisfelds came back from Israel we returned the chickens. That was our first very good, delightful and successful time having chickens.

Almost a year later in early spring we got two young chickens from our neighbor's cousin. A week or two later the racoons ate them. We tried to get chicks from Agway, a farm store but whenever we call or ordered them, they didn't have any.

Finally the Anisfelds managed to get ten chicks and they split them with us. We had them for 5 weeks before we had problems. Then one day when I came home from school my dad told me the Anisfelds chickens had gotten eaten. I was sad, but very happy that we still had ours. The very next morning, my dad told me about the racoons feast. I decided I didn't want chickens anymore because all they did was get eaten. The only problem was that we had already agreed to take two of the Jackson's chickens, because they had too many. So once again, we re-inforced the coop (for the second time) and accepted the Jackson's two little chickens. They were cute but I did not want to get too connected, because who knew what could happen to them. On Sunday, two or three days later, I came downstairs and ask my mom how the chickens were. She said she sees one, so she assumes they are fine. I told her they probably are fine, but it isn't enough for me. So I went outside to only once again get upset over chickens. My mom hadn't lied. There was one little chicken,but she was standing there all by herself while the other one lay on her side beheaded. A week later we returned the remaining chicken to the Jackson's. That's when we decided that if we wanted chickens, we needed to build a whole other coop.

The next time we got chickens was earlier than we expected. We thought we would just get chicks in the spring, but we got chickens in the fall because our neighbor had chickens for the summer but could not keep them for the rest of the year. So in late summer we built a huge aviary because our old coop was not safe , and inside it put the old coop.Then right away we got one of our neighbor's chickens. (One of the reasons we only got one chicken to start with was because they were not sure that our coop was safe, so they only wanted to give us one at first.) A week later after we had proved that our coop was safe we got another chicken. Then a week or two later, we switched our old coop with a different coop designed like a dog house because it would keep the chickens warm in the winter. We had build this coop ourselves. Unfortunately, a couple of days later, the new chicken that we had just gotten died of a disease. The very next morning, my dad and I drove out to New Hampshire and bought four four month-old chickens. That is where we are now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chickens, Chickens, Who's got the chickens?

This post is as much for me to remember where to get chickens.

Miriam and I finally reached Tom Doherty (978 392-1254) at 104 Providence Road, Westford, MA. He has a long gravel driveway and when we pulled up we noticed a two story garage and some obvious bird houses. Little did we know the garage was full of birds too. He seems to be the person to go to if you want chicks or chickens. He breeds them, and he raises them to sell. We got two black sexlinks and two Rhode Island Reds.