Choosing livestock · Farming with kids · New to farming · Why we farm

Buckle up, we are gettin’ chickens!

For weeks now I have promised LC I would write for our blog! Computer issues and the busyness of life have kept me from following through. Not procrastination, I assure you.
Anyway, back to chickens. First of all, I feel it is important to tell you, I grew up on a farm. A cow-calf operation in the beautiful hills of North Georgia. After moving to Missouri as a young teen, I showed registered Shorthorn Cattle and Quarter Horses. I also raised rabbits as a child for 4-H. That is a story for another day… a really funny story for another day…. back to chickens.

I have in the past five years, obtained sheep for my two children to show, and have learned so much about them! I have, however, never raised a chicken. I’ve hardly even been around chickens. Quite frankly, I have avoided chickens and I think mostly in part that is due to my sister’s fear of them.

Growing up we were very involved in 4-H. Since we were in an area with poultry production, it only made sense that my parents would encourage us participate in poultry judging. My oldest sister Donna was smart, pretty, and had a beautiful voice. She was unfortunately, the most spastic person I have ever been around. I mean like, when you throw a ball at her, she tries to duck and catch at the same time. Spastic like flailing and running after you when put one toe in her room and say, “I’m in your room!”.  Anyway, back to chickens…. I must have been around four or five when “the incident” occured. We were at a poultry judging event. The poor chicken was trying to escape the gawking eyes. And poor Donna was trying to escape the feathery, clucking, and franticly flopping, Mrs Chicken! I vaguely remember a vehicle incident when Donna turned 16 and started driving and hit a chicken. This could have prompted some sort of a phobia as well. Nonetheless, from that day on, my parents never entertained the idea of raising backyard chickens. And I never asked.
Fast forward 30 years. My sweet son, Dawson who is 11, wanted to help out his local 4-H club and participate in the poultry chain. This is a fundraising project that allows the 4-H’er to get 25 chicks, right after they hatch. The child must raise them, load up their 5 best, and haul them down to the Carroll County Fair! At the fair, they are shown, and auctioned off at the conclusion. All proceeds go to the local club. The good news is that the 20 chickens that are left back at the farm are the child’s to keep! Fresh eggs! Yum! Dawson and I thought it was a win-win situation. Then we caught wind of the most exciting news ever. If your chickens are selected as the grand champion poultry chain winner,  you get a ribbon and rosette. That’s not all! This year, the winner will be awarded a buckle. Seriously. Dawson LOVES a good belt buckle. But a buckle with a chicken on it??? What a dream. And this, folks, is what spurred this family into motion.

chicken buckle
Stay tuned for part 2 of our chicken adventure. It’s going to be quite the adventure!  ~ Jill

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