This is the story of the chicks we raised this past spring (April 2009)
By Miriam Glasgow
Finally we got chicks! Yesterday the Anisfelds got ten chicks,and today we went over to get five. We brought them home in a card board box walking ever so carefully, so the chicks wouldn't get scared. When we got home (we only live two blocks away from the Anisfelds) we quickly let up the light we had borrowed from my grandparents, switched the chicks to a bigger box and put in their feeder and water. We held them often, but tried not to hold them too much. I would bring them to the windows so they could look outside. They were so cute and as they got older, day by day, we watched them grow wings, feathers and learn to fly a little.
One warm day when the chicks looked a bit bored in the box, my mom suggested that maybe I could take them outside to the front lawn, so they could peck around, have more room and eat grass. At first I was scared they would run away, so I only brought them out when someone was with me, but after a couple of times I learned that the chicks liked being together and staying close to their home, so then I even went out with them when I was alone.
Then when the chicks were 3 weeks old, we went to our cousins in Philadelphia for Passover. We considered bringing them with us, but after about 5 seconds we decided not to. We would just give someone a key to our house and would have them take care of the chicks. We quickly thought of Phyllis a girl down the street who is good with animals. We asked her to come Friday, Saturday and Sunday,to give them food, new water, and switch the newspaper on the bottom of their box. She agreed right away, saying that she'd happily come asking where they'd be. We said the chicks would be in the basement and left to Philadelphia, confident that the chicks were in good hands.
Despite Phyllis's care, when we came back from Philadelphia, the chicks were very happy to see us. We moved the chicks back upstairs and day by day we turned off their light for longer amounts of time so they would grow feathers faster. Every day after school I would bring the chicks outside to the backyard until dinner time. I would sit out there and door my homework or read a book while they pecked around, occasionally running up to me to climb on my legs.
Then one Saturday afternoon I was outside with the chicks when my mom said I should come in to make challah for Shabbat. I felt bad putting the chicks back in the box and bring them inside, since I couldn't leave them out alone, but I also really wanted to make the challah. I didn't know what to do, but them my mom suggested that I put them in the coop outside, just until it gets dark. So I put them in the coop and went in to make challah. That Sunday the chicks were looking big and cramped in the little box. So we added on to the box and doubled it's size. We also switched their feeder with a bigger hanging one because their heads were getting stuck in the old one. At the time when we made te addition to the box, I thought it was good that we did it, but then a couple of days later we moved outside. It was finally warm enough and they had grown enough feathers to be outside. They were so happy to be outside after being in a box for the first five weeks of their life. They chirped all day and I was so happy for them. Then when I came home from school a few days later, my dad told me raccoons had eaten the Anisfeld's chicks. I was sad, but thankful that we still had ours. The very next morning my dad told me about the raccoon's feast. They had eater our chicks too. I was very sad, and was not sure if I ever wanted to raise chickens again.