Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Getting Baby Chicks

Winnie and Sunny
The first thing I want to say is out of all the books I have read about chickens they don't emphasize enough about how much chicken poop you will be dealing with. A compost bin is a must!!!! Thank you to my husband for building mine ;) When you do your research and figure out how many and what breed of chicken you want the exciting day comes when you go to purchase them. We learned a few lessons on buying chickens at the feed store. Lesson 1~If you buy the banded pullets (the ones that are definetly hens) you have to take the metal out of their wing. If you are squeamish and an animal lover this part really sucks! But if you take your time and are careful you can get it out with little fuss from the baby chicks. Lesson 2~Check them over we had one with a bad toe. The other chickens pecked at it unrelentlessly so we had to seperate her. With chickens being flock animals she was sad for a few days until I bought her a smaller baby chicken friend. Luckily she only pecked her toe once and then left it alone. They are best buds now and Honeys/missing digit's toe healed up. Lesson 3~If the person at the feed store says "This one isn't doing well you can have it for free" say no thanks! I carried that little baby bird around all night and the second I put it down so I could fix dinner it died :'( The next time I get new chicks I will order from a hatchery.

Honey and Angel Squirt
                                              Our original plan was to end up with three hens. After buying our birds we had five chickens two of which were definetly female the other three were iffy. The "for sure" pullets were our americauna Winnie and our leghorn Sunny. Honey/missing digit grew up to be a pullet and I think she is a barnvelder, and her best buddy is also a female, a cute little blue cochin named Angelsquirt. The only chicken that ended up being a cockerel was Nibble a partridge plymouth. He had such an aggresive and curious personality were pretty positive he was male! Since we had to seperate the chicks, cliques formed. We have the three big ones in one clique and the two little ones in another. My daughters loved playing with the baby chicks after school. Now mommy loves playing with the chickens all day!

Nibble and Sunny

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