We got 12 baby chicks yesterday. They are darling! They are messy. Right now, they are in a large tub on my pantry counter with a heat light above them. They seem to be happy. Daughter is writing a list with their names on them as I write you. They all look pretty much the same, except for two. One is very blond (Blondie) and the other is reddish (Delaina).
I thought I would get to choose my breeds and I did so much research on them. But when you go to the Grange Coop and they are only a few days old, all they know is that they are all pullets (hens). But the breeds I ended up with are desirable. Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, and my favorite, Buff Orpington. I’m not sure yet which are which or how many of what, yet. You get what you get. When you buy a 50 lb. bag of feed, you get five chicks free. So I only paid for the seven. I got organic feed, which I have read can be as much as double. But it was only $5.00 more than the standard, and it is really important to me.
When you order from breeders through the mail, you can choose your breeds. But there is a minimum order of 25 chicks, as they need that many in a box to keep each other warm enough during shipping. Also, you have to allow that you might lose a few during shipping. I am not in a position to house that many hens at this time. They will be in a 100 square foot shed and 12 is probably pushing it.
Later, we’d like to raise some of the Cornish Rocks for meat. They are ready in 4-6 weeks. I think I would hoop house them in the field until they are ready to butcher. We can process and freeze them and not worry about chicken meat for the year. And, you know what you’re eating.
Later, when my older children are 12 and 13, we will find more land to build a green/solar/ecological home, where we can raise more animals. Here we cannot have a cow or goats. We can have horses here, however. Our neighborhood has Covenants, Codes and Regulations governing what types of animals we can have on our land.
Well, I have several chicken books and I am learning as I go along. I hope I don’t lose anybody.