In the past year I have found myself between jobs, between different universities, and basically just trying to see where I fit best. After numerous call center jobs, I found myself looking at the wide world of retail. While I think we all know how much fun a job in retail can be, it was actually the right choice for me!
It was Tractor Supply that took me in when I was hungry in more ways than one. Since that day I have never looked back. I could not believe that for once I could say, I actually love my job. From years of working call centers, it was scary returning to the public. I had not personally worked with the public since my first job at fifteen. Being an adult now and struggling with anxiety, it was nerve racking to say the least. Nevertheless, I stuck with it and I have loved it ever since. It has introduced to me numerous new subjects, knowledge, and people. The crazy, interesting people that I get to converse with every day is one of my favorite parts about the job. However, the real best part about my job is working with animals.
If it wasn’t obvious, Tractor Supply is sort of like any other local farming and agriculture store. We sell anything from screwdrivers, field fencing to beekeeping supplies. The most exciting thing we sell? Chicks!
Thus, the story of my new found hobby begins. I started working at Tractor Supply closer to spring time when we were going to receive our chickens to sell to the public. I was the most excited since I had never had an experience such as this before, therefore, I was put in charge of taking care of them. A dream come true, I know. However, this is where the problem started… I wanted one.
Isn’t that how it always starts? We see someone else with a puppy and we want one? Not thinking of the possible ramifications of our actions, the work that goes into it, and the learning required to do so? Well, I didn’t end up getting any chickens…
I jumped the gun and got three baby ducks.
Yes, that is them and yes, they are adorable. I told you, it was impossible to say no! Would you have passed this opportunity? Ugh, I digress…
It was in the moment of bringing these little guys home that I completely fell in love with hobby farming. I tell you, it was the start of an addiction. An addiction that I highly suggest. Since I brought them home, not once I have regretted it. Their feed is cheap, they require a clean home, love, attention, food and water just like any other house hold pet. Nothing more than I was already giving my already-owned dogs. Through the hesitation of my friends, family, and co-workers I have raised them and acquired a few other species!
Since my first spur of the moment buy, my ducks are now roughly 7 months old. Here is a recent photo:
As of today I have three coops, 3 ducks, and 8 chickens. I left the chickens for last (I am certain there will be a chicken blog later on). Unfortunately, hobby farming is an addiction that after one has a few birds, one wants to keep acquiring birds. There is something about taking care of an animal like this and the feeling of satisfaction that you can see they are happy and well loved. While my chickens are moderately new, only about 4 months old, my ducks are old enough to start pro-creating – if you will. This has been the best part so far.
I got my first egg. Finding my first egg from a creature that I have raised since one day old has been one of the most exciting things of my short life. While I cannot explain the full reason behind this, there is just a complete feeling of accomplishment that I helped created something else. I know I did not create the egg, but my animals must be healthy and happy to be able to produce eggs. So, I felt very good at seeing a healthy egg out of one of my beloved ducks! I also finally had a valid reason that I had my ducks in the first place.
At first, everyone had questioned me when I brought my ducks home. I would receive questions such as, “what are you going to do with them?” and “Kristen, why did you get ducks…?” Honestly, I just wanted to love those cute babies, but I knew egg production was another valuable reason. My luck… I ended up with two boys and one female. (I did not have confirmation I had a female until I received my first egg!) So, at this point I had been telling everyone,
“They are merely my pets at this point! I absolutely adore them too much to let them go!”
As of today, we are on egg number… I want to say 10. As a vegetarian, I have to say that they are delicious and I feel extremely good about eating them for health reasons alone.
My eggs aren’t all going to be eaten, however.
See, my first addiction of simply taking care of birds has now grown to raising birds. Since I have two males and a female, I have since bought an incubator from work and I have begun my science project.
As you can see, I am only attempting one egg this time around. This is due to the fact that it is about to be December and I just needed to understand the workings of an incubator. Besides keeping the temperature well under check, the humidity level must be at the correct percentage as well. So it has been truly interesting to learn the science behind this. I will be sure to let anyone know who is interested how this turns out! I am very excited!
Overall, I am completely addicted to my hobby farming that I did not so much find as it found me. So, there is my little, recent story about my new found love in life. I have found an entire new reason to be high on life. I certainly would not change a thing about it!