BY KEVIN MCCONLOGUE
Some children try to show signs of being independent at a very young age. Olivia Thomas, of Falls, is one of those children.
The 11-year old, fifth grader at Tunkhannock Area Intermediate Center spends a lot of time raising her free range d’uccle chickens and selling their eggs locally. Thomas has been learning how to raise chickens since she was two years old. She said that raising the chickens has taught her a lot of responsibility.
“It’s a really big job taking care of all of them,” Thomas said of her brood of 30. “You have to make sure to get out and feed them, make sure that all of the coops are clean and tend to the eggs when they are ready.”
Thomas’s parents, Eric and Karen, helped her start this adventure of selling eggs to the public. It started out as just a couple of family and friends, but the eggs have become a hot seller.
When word started getting out, Karen went to social media and Olivia began receiving a lot of messages. “I think she has learned a lot during this experience, including how to be financially responsible,” Karen added.
Olivia is selling the eggs for $4 a dozen. All of the money that she makes from sales is being put into a college fund that she started. Even at 11, she said it is never too early to start thinking about college bills.
“I have heard a lot about how expensive college is, and the amount of loans that people have to pay back,” Olivia said. “I thought that starting to raise money for college could help me out a lot for when I’m older and not have as much debt.”
Usually the d’uccle chickens produce around one dozen eggs a day. Olivia said the unique thing about d’uccles is that they produce light brown eggs, compared to white eggs which most other types of chickens produce.
Selling eggs isn’t the only thing that Olivia has done with the chickens, she has been to multiple auctions around the state selling some of her hens. She just had some chicks hatch a couple of weeks ago and is expecting more to hatch in June.
She also likes to take her two silkie chickens to local nursing homes. Silkie chickens are named for their fluffy feathers which are said to feel like silk and satin. Once all restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted, Olivia looks forward to visiting the residents again.
“They really like it when I bring my chickens to the nursing home,” Olivia said. “The people who live there always smile and like to give them hugs. They don’t get to see pets much, so it’s really cool for them.”
The Thomas family will deliver eggs to anyone who would like to buy some. Delivery is available Monday through Friday to anyone within 90 minutes of their home in Falls.
Olivia’s parents are extremely excited that she has taken on this project and are expecting big things from her in the future.
“You usually don’t see an 11-year old doing these types of things,” Karen said. “She’s a very smart girl. She does a lot of this by herself, besides driving to deliveries of course. She’s going to go very far in the world.”