Yesterday I went to town alone. However I came back from town with 12 passengers!! We are now the owners of a little flock of chicks, or “chickies” as Qade calls them. They are tiny little fluff-balls and very cute! I’m pretty sure our 3 monkeys would sit and watch them all day terrorizing the poor things by shaking up their little box home as well, if we let them. Yesterday was confined to 2 brief viewings to ‘check’ on the chicks. The lads have been promised that today they could hold them, so here’s hoping that the chickies survive their ordeal!!
I guess we’re just jumping headlong into homesteading…. or if you like husbandry. Ha ha! We’ve talked, since last year, about getting hens. I’ve been reading since then various blogs and online resources about keeping chickens. It’s apparently fairly simple. So much so that people in cities are able to keep a few! If apartment dwelling city folk can keep chickens, then surely we should be able to, right? 😉 I told Stuart last night that I hope this “chicken experiment” doesn’t end up like our “planting experiment” of last Spring. That would just be sad.
However, while we have the whole “country” thing going for us with the chicks, we also have things that the city chickens don’t have to contend with. Namely snakes, coyotes, hawks to name the big ones. Oh and our kids… they should probably be included in that list as well. 😉 That is why we decided to get 12 birds. The chicks are very delicate and vulnerable, of course, but saying they all survive the 4-5 weeks it’ll take to feather out and be okay to move to the coop, there’s really no telling how many of them will “make it” far enough along to become hearty egg layers. We plan to “free range” our chickens so of course, there will be the whole predator factor involved. If on the other hand most or ALL of them make it, we are going to be swimming in eggs!
I was originally thinking that it would be nice to have 4 ish or so laying hens. The breeds that we got are all considered “excellent” layers with 5-6 eggs per week. Times 12 that’s…. (math’s not my strong point)….. around 72 eggs per week. PER WEEK!!!
We like to eat eggs in our house, but we average less than 18 per week right now. Unless we can come up with a LOT more recipes or just start eating quiche all the time, we’re going to be in trouble. 😉 Ha ha ha!!
Well, of course I hope to sell some, and maybe that’ll work out. Who knows. First we need to get them to 20-25 weeks old before they start laying and that’ll be close to October here, and typically hens don’t lay as much in the winter, so there ya go.
Anyway, here are our chicks. We got mixed breeds! At first we thought of only having the white Leghorns, but I was a little disappointed to find out they lay white eggs. I though, “If you’re going to go to all the bother of having a flock of “farm” chickens, you should at least get “farm looking” eggs.” Fortunately the other 3 breeds lay brown eggs. Though someday I want to get some “Easter Eggers” which lay eggs in a variety of shades from blue to green! How fun would that be?
Okay so Leghorns. We have 3 little White Leghorns and you can click on that link if you want to read more about the breed. I can’t help thinking of Foghorn Leghorn every time I say the name! 😉 Ours are all supposed to be gals though, so guess we can’t name one Foghorn. Ha! They will be white, and lay white eggs. Right now they are cute little yellow fluff!
The ones I was most interested in at the feed store were the Road Island Reds. We have 3 of those. They turn out to be very pretty hens! A little color in the flock won’t hurt! They are supposed to be really great “backyard” birds.
Golden Sex-Link are these lil ones. They will be well… golden, I guess when they are big.
And these ones are Barred Rock chicks! I think they’re adorable right now, but man are they good lookers when they’re grown up!! Brown eggs from them too, I think.
The boys enjoyed holding the chicks. I spoke to them about how delicate the babies are and how they had to be SUPER careful not to squish them. They seemed to take it very seriously. In fact, I had a hard time coaxing a smile out of Myles at first because he was so intent on being careful with his chick. When all the chicks had been handled and returned “home” I asked the lads how they felt, and they said soft, and Qade said, “They made my hands feel SO comfy!!” 🙂 I think the boys will enjoy the daily task of “getting them used to us” as they put it. 😉 Ella will have her turn, but I think it will be wise to let her do it without the boys present, and with Mommy or Daddy helping her the whole time. 🙂 Uh-huh!
More on birds to come…. I’m sure.