Have you wanted to raise chicks as a family? We have raised chicks twice now. The first time was April 2020 when everyone was stuck at home. This turned out to be my favorite time to have them. Our family learned a lot from raising chicks at home.
Easter chicks are extremely cute (making it hard to pass up the opportunity to raise them). The second go around wasn’t as fun. For one, our general responsibilities were simplified the first time. We were home and could monitor the cleaning and warmth and feed required. The second time we raised chicks, life had returned to normal. I’ll have to say collectively (my husband and I) did not enjoy the second time nearly as much. Life was busier and it was another chore as the novelty had worn off for the kids that we didn’t expect.
Overall, the experience of raising Spring chicks can be educational for children, as they learn responsibilities of caring for a pet. The chicks grow fast and sprout feathers quicker than I anticipated. You must consider an aftercare plan if you don’t plan to keep chicks for their lifespan. We knew a local farm that permitted us to drop off our chicks, even if we didn’t purchase them from the farm. We used Great Country Farms in Loudoun County. If you’re lucky to reserve a spot in time, you can raise chicks from there too and buy the starter kit as well as sign up for a chick raising class.
We had missed reserving our chicks from Great Country, so we went to one of the Tractor Supply stores and made our purchase to raise Spring chicks. You can read their Chick Raising Guidelines here. Once you have the lights, the water, food feeder and small coop, you’re all set to raise them. After the first two weeks, the little peeps can run around outside for exercise. My kids loved taking them out back in our fenced in yard and showing them to friends. You need to be careful and monitor, of course.
Rent the Chicken is also offers fertilized eggs for chick hatching. Rocklands Farm Winery has a duckling rental which sounds really great too. Let us know of others that you have used in and around the Washington, DC area!
So, to raise chicks or admire from afar? It’s up to you and your families capacity to care for them properly. If you’re up for the small investment $40-50, have the patience and an after-care plan, then I highly recommend the experience for your family!