We moved to WA in May of 2007. The following spring, we were delighted to see all the baby chicks at the feed store and the kids and I instantly fell in love! We wanted chicks right then, but Daryl thought it would be best to wait a year since we had other more pressing projects that needed his attention. So, the following year, we took the plunge. That was spring, 2009.
I think I got a little over excited about chicks. I researched and learned and placed my order at the feed store. I wanted to be sure we had plenty of chickens, so in case some of the babies died, I added a couple of each type onto the order, just in case. When I arrived to pick up my chick order, there were a couple more in the chick bins that I couldn’t go home without, and when it was all said and done, I think I came home with about 32 chicks.
We also were quite ambitious and borrowed a friend’s incubator, and hatched out 14 banty chicks, so we had well over 40 chickens once all the excitement was over. We didn’t have a real place to keep them all yet, and finally, we actually ended up giving away all the banties. That still left us with close to 30 chickens, 2 of which ended up being roosters.
Well, to make a long story short, we enjoyed a plentiful amount of eggs, enough to sell to friends and neighbors, with excess left over, and the fun little hobby/project was more work than any of us wanted to do. Then, over the summer and fall of last year, something began to kill the chickens, and we weren’t sure what it was.
We ended up giving way our last chickens to a friend this past fall, and have had no chickens at all over the winter. Until now.
I guess March begins springtime, even though around here, things are still under 2 ft of snow, but the feed store had their little and big bins full of cute, fluffy, peeping chicks, and I was sucked in again, and yesterday, we brought home 16 fluffy little birds.
I feel I did much better this time, not getting too overly extended, and having just enough to keep fresh eggs in our fridge, and perhaps a dozen here or there to sell. We got 3 Buff Orphingtons, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Barred Rock, 3 Araucanas, 2 puff heads (I don’t remember their names, but they are black with a white puff of feathers on their head), and 2 adorable little yellow ducks (that should be white as adults).
Kaelyn has promised to be the caretaker of the chickens, since she has to go out to the barn anyway to take care of her horses. We have a beautiful 10 x 12 ft chicken coop, complete with 12 nesting boxes, a flap door, little ramp, and a chain linked yard for them to scratch around in, so the infrastructure is already in place. For now though, they are IN.THE.HOUSE.
Believe me, they are NOT going to be in here very long, maybe a week, and then they are going out to the coop. Chickens are the dustiest things, and our entire downstairs was covered in a fine layer of dust last time, and it was horrible. We have a nice warming light, and once they get a few more real feathers, out they go.
They are the cutest little things, peeping, scratching, drinking with their tiny little beaks, and generally staying busy in their little container. I can’t wait for the eggs. We won’t have any white eggs this time, but should have a variety of red/brownish eggs as well as some blue/green eggs. I’m not sure what the ducks are going to contribute!