The real beginning of heading into retirement started in late April of 2016.I was so enthralled with the chickens our son & wife got that I wanted to get some too. We went back to the farm that they had gotten theirs. They had 7 chicks left. They were Rhode Island Reds. Now, I had been in communication with my husband. He wasn’t too thrilled but gave me the ok. He told me that they were to be my responsibility.
When I got home, he helped me get them in a bigger box in one of the bedrooms. I took on the task of making sure they had water & food. Randy helped me change the shavings when they needed to be changed. Have you figured out yet that he was enjoying them? We bought a used dog pen and turned that into a place of safety for the night. I had bought a coop and it was set up in this pen. Meanwhile, Randy had bought a lot (LOT) asparagus. We were trying to process it as fast as we could. I blended and froze some and Randy was trying to get most of it canned.
It was hard to wait for the hens to start laying. I was so excited when we got our first egg. We had ended up with 3 hens and 4 roosters. I knew that we couldn’t have that many roosters. We worked on getting rid of them and found places for them to go. Neither one of us were able to kill a chicken yet. It definitely makes it harder when you name them.
One of the hardest thing that winter was losing our Rooster, Boaz. It was really sad. I saw him on the ground as I was making sure they had food and water. I immediately went inside and asked Randy to check on him. All three hens were surrounding him and looking at him. They were grieving. They kept going back to that spot for a few days. We adjusted to just having the 3 hens. We were still getting a lot of eggs.
I picked up a couple of Australorps on my way home from one of my visits to our son’s house. Male and female. I was going to take them to our son’s house. In the meantime, we were getting fertilized eggs. One hen was broody and we let her sit on the nest.
Emmy hatched out and raised the chicks, They were a mix of Australorp/Rhode Island Reds. Our oldest granddaughter, Eva had come home with me for a few days. We went out to check on the chickens. They had just hatched out within a few days. Eva helped with catching chicks. They would run under the coop and she was small enough to get them out for me. I was trying to put different color bands on each one. She was such a big help!!
In all of this, we started thinking more about how our finances would change with retirement. We still haven’t set a budget yet. Things have been changing pretty fast for us. Randy is keeping an eye on the bank account and we are both consulting with each other on purchases.