Everywhere a chick, chick
Mother, daughter discuss Friends of Nature’s batch of baby chicks

By Josh Perttunen - Enterprise Staff

April 10, 2014

 Pamela Ransom and her daughter Nicole Hausmann are just two of the employees at the Friends of Nature feed store who care for the batches of chicks that arrived three and four weeks ago, respectively.   
Photos by Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

TOWN OF OCONOMOWOC - Those who were feeling peckish while waiting for spring to arrive could visit the Friends of Nature feed store in the Town of Oconomowoc to see a surefire sign of the season three to four weeks before the weather reflected its arrival.

Dozens of baby chicks enliven the store. Though all employees care for the young animals, Pamela Ransom and her daughter Nicole Hausmann  were available to share information and talk about their bond with them. 


ENTERPRISE: What is customers’ first reaction when they realize that there are chicks are in the store?

HAUSMANN: Every time someone comes in, it’s ‘Oh, look at how cute they are!’” 


ENTERPRISE: Why should someone consider getting baby chicks? What can they expect from the adult chickens?

RANSOM: They bond with you if you handle them early into their lives. Not only will you have a companion, but the adult chickens give you eggs every day. One egg a day, every day, at about the same time. They also eat bugs and ticks.

 Nicole Hausmann said customers always comment on how cute the chicks are. Here, young customer Rhyan Stone, 2, of theTown of Oconomowoc enjoys her time with one.    
Photos by Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

ENTERPRISE: How can you tell that they’ve bonded with you?

HAUSMANN: Some of them will run in front of you and squat down, showing that they want to be picked up and handled.


ENTERPRISE: Have you selected names for each one?

HAUSMANN: We have named for just a few. We try not get too attached, but we definitely have our favorite ones. We did take some home last year.

Photos by Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

ENTERPRISE: What varieties do you have?

HAUSMANN: We have silver laced wyandotte, gold stars, buff Orpington and Americanas.

The Americana lays really pretty “Easter eggs” that can be cream-colored, blue or green. All of the varieties are really easy to take care of.


ENTERPRISE: What do you need to take care of the chicks?

RANSOM: You need a coop of some kind; it can be a designated area in a garden shed. The structure needs to be draft-free and safe from predators. The most common mistake is leaving the chickens out overnight, when predators can get them.

You also need a heat lamp and something to keep their water from freezing in the winter.

I recommend getting at least four, since they are an animal that forms a flock.


ENTERPRISE: What else?

HAUSMANN: They need fresh food. They will eat table scraps, but you shouldn’t feed them onions or citrus. 

Email: Jperttunen@conleynet.com