Yesterday, the chicks came in at the local farm store and we just had to go and get a few.
We planned on getting an even dozen- with us buying six and my mom and dad buying six, but then my mom (who loves babies of any kind) decided that if we ever move out and take our six chickens with us, she still needed a good-sized brood so she wanted ten chicks instead. And then we miscounted and an extra chick somehow made it into the box.
So we have seventeen baby chicks and boy, are they adorable!
As far as breeds go, we have Australorp, Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock chicks- all great laying breeds and some are dual-purpose for meat birds as well, although I don’t think we’ll be eating any of these. Unless like six turn out to be roosters or something.
We made sure to get organic feed so that we’ll have healthy chicks that haven’t been fed GMO grains and in turn, we’ll have healthy eggs once they start laying in about five months.
I’m happy because the feed is semi-local. It’s from Canada, but in British Columbia, which is only a few hours away and as the chicks get bigger and are able to eat larger grains, we’ll buy feed that is unprocessed, organic whole grain feed and is from Bellingham, WA; only two hours away! So we’re supporting local businesses as well.
As soon as the chicks are big enough, we’ll let them free range around the yard in a semi-enclosed space, to gobble up bugs and grass and get great nutrition the way God intended- from nature! We have a lot of hawks and eagles around here, so the chicks will have to be under netting or chicken wire most of the time to stay safe. We’re hoping the dogs will also help protect the flock from getting eaten. So far they’re doing pretty well with the chicks, although Daisy tried to pick one up in her mouth. She wants to mommy them, but she’s not too gentle about it! Our dog, Lucy is really protective of the chicks- she remembers the smell from when we had our chickens in Memphis and knows not to eat them. Bailey, the puppy doesn’t seem to care about them. She took one look and then walked away.
The kids sure are having fun with the chicks, they want to go check on them all the time, but we make sure the chickies have enough down time that they don’t get over handled and the kids are not allowed to go in to see them without an adult. I don’t mind checking on the chicks, I think I’m having just as much fun with them as the children! 🙂
Maybe I”ll do an upcoming post about how to take care of baby chicks, for those who would like to get a small flock and are not sure how to start. I’m by no means an expert, but this is our second time around with baby chicks and I’ve found lots of great resources on chicken raising. I’ll include some links and tips to get you started, at least. 🙂 Leave a comment if you think that is a good idea.
Hope you have a great Thursday!