MARION — When the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed Matt Cassell’s office this spring, his wife Amanda found something to keep the family busy at their Marion home.
“She was raised with her grandmother having chickens in Kemper County,” said Cassell, a doctor at Meridian Oncology Associates. “She had been begging for us to get chickens, so when COVID slowed things down a little bit, I finally agreed.”
“Since I was three, I remember going every morning and letting the chickens out,” Amanda Cassell said. “It was fun – it was such childhood memory for me, so it’s special seeing the kids enjoying it.”
After ordering a plan in April, the family – including Hayden Grace, 8, Luke, 6, and 2-year-old Lilla – went to work assembling the 8-by-26 chicken coop.
By July, the small building was ready for its avian tenants.
Now, 18 birds of various breeds call it room home.
The front part of the coop is a storage room, while the rear 14 feet is known as the run, Matt Cassell said.
Small doors on the sides of the building provide access to the chickens’ nests. In a few months, the chickens will start laying eggs.
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The project has provided the family with some much-needed bonding time, Matt Cassell said.
“The kids love it,” he said. “They have fun with it.”
“What I love about the chickens is their chirping sound is so relaxing,” said Hayden Grace Cassell.
“They’re so fun to play with,” said Luke Cassell.
Next up for the Cassell family farm: baby goats.
“They want two baby goats,” Matt Cassell said. “I told them, ‘let’s get to the chickens before we put a goat pen back there.’ One thing at a time.’”