The First 5 Months Of Raising Icelandic Chickens

| 4/8/2015 9:43:00 AM

Like many others, I sat down that evening to open up my MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine during my one moment of solitude of the day. There were no chores left to be done. There was not a five-year-old tugging on my shirt tail or saying "mommy, mommy, mommy" every five minutes. 

I opened the magazine pages, flipping through it slowly, savoring each quiet second I could muster. And just as I began to relax, there it was. The photo of a beautiful flock of chickens walking through the snow. What a gorgeous photo, I must know what they are.

The by line said "Harvey Ussery", and I was pulled in even more. You see, he was local....very local. And this meant that if for some unknown reason I wanted to get rid of all of my current flock and start a brand new flock with these incredible birds, it would be as easy as pie. Harvey only lives about 35 minutes away from me. You're not a true chicken lover in VA unless you've heard the name "Harvey Ussery". And so, the journey began....

I sat back in my chair and let out a loud sigh. My husband knew that sigh as I looked at him. "What is it now, what on earth are we buying now?!" 

In just a couple of short months, we became the brand new owners of a tiny Icelandic chicken flock in the form of hatching eggs. I was out of my ever loving mind. I was preparing to hatch these chicks as Winter approached. I would need to ensure that I had a heat back up for the incubator if the electric failed. I would need to provide a heat lamp for these chicks until they were fully feathered, in the dead of winter. And even after being fully feathered, I couldn't just randomly take them off of the heat lamp, throw them outside and say "good luck". Good thing I was well prepared.

icelandic chick

K.C. Compton
4/9/2015 8:58:32 AM

Thanks for this wonderful blog. The editors here at Mother were reading parts of it aloud to each other. :=} Good for you for becoming a steward of this remarkable breed, too!

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