06 September 2008
What can you learn from chickens?
Our chickens are now 3 months old. They should be ready to start laying eggs in a month or so. I thought this would be a good time to update what we have learned from our chickens.
We started out with 26 day old baby chicks. We learned why chicks are shipped the day after they hatched - they can survive for three days on their reserves. This is so that they can stay in the nest while mom sits on the other eggs.
We met several other home school families while we sold 21 of the chicks. We learned a little about profit and loss and practiced some math while we worked out how much we should charge for each chick including shipping, food, and supplies.
We learned about caring for sick animals when our favorite chick injured herself. She is all better now, apparently she just knocked herself silly. We learned a lot about bird anatomy and compared our birds to others. We learned about flight watching our chicks learn to fly and then clipping their wings. We learned about social structures while watching our chicks develop their own pecking order. We are learning about gender differences and percentages while we wait to see if all of our hens will lay or if some will crow (chicken sexing is only 90% accurate).
We have even learned some about construction by building a coop. Power tools are fun, and wire is pokey. We have only had to cut the grass in the back yard once this summer because the chicks eat a lot of grass and weeds and bugs too - there is a lesson on the food chain coming in about a month or so. We are learning about responsibility because they have to be let out every day to eat and locked up every night for protection.
Overall, I think the chicks have been a great experience for all of us. We haven't even gotten to the eggs yet.