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Rudolph's son Everett holds one of his baby chicks. (Brenda Rudolph/Special to Agweek)

Raising a farmer: Many layers to Everett's first big investment

When I was 10 years old, I was saving for a 10 speed bike. A pink and black Huffy bike with pink curved handle bars.

I can still remember the excitement I felt when I finally had enough to buy my bike. Why I thought that would be a good purchase on a gravel road I still do not understand. I can't tell you how many times I almost wiped out on the loose gravel on the road because of the skinny tires.

I loved my bike. It was my very first big purchase on my own. I still remember how excited I was when it was time to go and get my brand new bike.

Everett will be turning 10 this May. For about three years, Everett has been asking for chickens. This past fall, Everett began saving for his "chicken money." Every time we visit our neighbor who has chickens, he needs to check in on them. Everett has had his heart set on Bantams from the beginning of wanting chickens.

Bantams lay tiny eggs, so I told him he can't get all Bantams because I don't want to have to use about 12 eggs for one egg sandwich. Everett didn't care about the size of the eggs, he just likes the way they look.

One Sunday afternoon as I made lunch, Nate, Everett and Vivian sat on the other side of the kitchen counter talking chickens. They compared the list available to what the chicks would look like full grown. They compared how many eggs they would lay to egg size and what color the eggs would be. In the end, it was decided to get about 15 chicks. Nathan and I thought that would be a good starting point for Everett. Everett had a list and he was ready. I was happy because there were big egg layers included on the list.

On our way to pick up the chicks Everett kept saying how nervous and excited he was. He tracked the route on my phone making sure I wouldn't miss any turns. I am not really sure what happened or even how it happened but we have a total of 32 chicks in my dining room. He has a mixture of Leghorns, Asians, Bantams, Easter Eggers, Susex, Polish, Barred Rock and Cochins. Everett is in heaven.

Every morning before school, Everett checks on them, feeds them, waters them and reminds me to check in on them throughout the day.

Everett will sit next to the box watching them. Telling me each and every one of their personalities. He will place one on his forearms treating it like a hawk. Every afternoon, he watches them and tells me how they are changing and growing. Vivian will sit next to the box singing songs and reading stories to them.

At night, Everett makes one last look at them while Vivian tells them "Nighty night baby chicks." I am patiently waiting for the weather to warm up a little bit more so I can evict the birds from my house. I hope that will happen by the end of the week.

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