Sunday, March 16, 2014

Springtime, sunshine, and baby chicks!

A majority of my life I have had chickens. Pretty much my entire life really, except college. We have been at our new house for 2 years so we decided it was time once again to welcome some chickens home.

The plan was to pick up 6 chicks at the local feedstore. 6 adult chickens will produce almost 6 eggs a day, so more than that will not make sense for our family of 3. But chickens are kinda cool to have around and need to be in a group. In fact, some stores have a minimum number of chicks that must be purchased at a time, often 6.

For people ordering 25 chicks or more you can order them direct from the hatchery and pick them up at your local post office. But for less than 25 a local feed store is a good bet. They take good care of the chicks and can help you decide what breeds will work best for you. 

When H and I got to the store, they only had a few of the types I was looking for so we only got 4 instead of 6.
2 Barred Rocks - my all time favorite breed, black with white stripes 
1 white leghorn - the Prius of chickens. Eat little, produce lots of white eggs.
1 Rhode Island Red - the traditional barn yard red chicken, great egg producer. 

My plan was to get 2 more either Silver Laced Wyandotts or Buff Orpingtons. I've never had either but always wanted them. They are big, pretty and not super efficient egg producers. I have also heard they are known for being gentle.

The hubs went with us to the feed store the second time when we picked up the two Buffs - they didn't have any Silvers. And since he was with us, we came home with an extra Rhode Island Red. :) 

Chicks are adorable, but are also very messy and grow rapidly. They need to be kept very warm for the first few weeks before they can start going outdoors. Right now they have a pretty small space living space which helps keep them warm in addition to a heat lamp. But once they are a month old they will start spending more time outside and get a much larger pen.

I'll be keeping you posted on our chick adventures the next few weeks and share our home made brooder. The hubs is working on their permanent pen so we will have updates on that as well.

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