When the Nichols kids want to earn spending money, they turn to what they know best.

When the Nichols kids want to earn spending money, they turn to what they know best.

Ashlyn kept chickens and sold the eggs. Hunter, with some help from his sister, Reagan, raises rabbits to sell to friends and at the flea market.

The siblings take advantage of the opportunities available to them living on a large farm in London, Ohio, which is located 30 miles west of Columbus. Their parents, Amy and Kirk Nichols, farm about 1,400 acres. They grow corn and soybeans.

The children all own a variety of farm and domestic animals, love to ride four-wheelers and participate in the Madison County 4-H program. They show pigs, lambs and a horse.

The line between fun and chores often blurs for the youngsters, Amy Nichols said, but they understand that the animals and farm work are a priority.

"It's a task, but they don't make it seem like it is," she said. "It's a reward when it's done and that's how your animal is going to stay healthy. They know if they want to do something, chores have to be done first."

In the summer, the kids will spend up to six hours a day on chores. They may help in the fields or work with the animals. On hot days, they make sure the animals stay cool and have plenty of water.

The children make significant contributions to the farm operations, Kirk Nichols said.

"The tasks that the kids do are very important to the success of our farm - from helping me in the field to taking care of all of the animals at home," he said. "It makes me very happy and proud of my kids when I see them helping and working hard to make this farm the best it can be."

The children said they enjoy the responsibility that comes with owning animals - even if it means cleaning out stalls and spending hours preparing for competitions at the county and state fair.

"I like taking care of animals," said Hunter, 12. "I look at this as a privilege. It is a privilege to have everything I have."

Taking part in 4-H requires a lot of work, agreed his sister, Ashlyn, 14, but it's also a lot of fun.

"I make a lot of new friends," she said. "We get to stay the night at the Ohio State Fair."

Reagan, 7, likes mothering her menagerie of animals in the barn and showing her horse, Ellie.

"I've got to give her feed and water and keep her exercised," she said.

The kids keep busy, said Amy's father, Dennis Wilt.

"They don't watch much TV," said Wilt who also owns a farm in London.

He said he's glad his grandchildren are growing up on a farm just as their mother did. The lifestyle keeps them busy and teaches them responsibility, said Wilt, who worked on a farm as a teen before owning one as an adult.

"It's a different environment out here," he said.

His daughter readily agreed. Farms breed hard workers, she said.

"It's the best environment," she said. "I know my children will turn out well."