As much as I love to eat chicken and believe in the values of farm life and homesteading, I could not eat these little guys we picked up May 11th from our one boothed post office in Olga. With only the loss of two, we have a brood of fourteen. Of course, I told O it would only be about eight but it was barely economical to buy the small amount of fifteen (plus
my our free exotic… who kicked it within 16 hours). And now I think I have found a new home for 4-6 of the girls, but how on earth could I choose? The first year we moved to Orcas, in 1993, I bought fifty with not a clue of how to raise poultry.
For those of you who have had chicks and love them, you’ll probably enjoy the next thirty or so photos. And those who don’t, well I’ve got an excellent roast chicken with Sumac to share on FB- but I couldn’t bare to put it here.
Here’s the technical info on Chicks 2013 cut and pasted from McMurray Hatchery. We have 4 Buff Orpingtons (3 female and 1 male), 4 New Hampshire Reds, 2 Buff Rocks, 2 Speckled Sussex and 2 Dominiques. I’d love to add/trade for a couple Aracauna’s/Americauna’s and Copper Marens for the egg colors. (The link to MyPetChicken is a source for small quantity purchases). And yes… 1 rooster for the 14 hens.
They kicked up dust living in a plastic bin in the pantry for two weeks. The first couple days we had cardboard down and I hadn’t realized they were collecting little shit balls on their feet. Now I’m adding these photos to help you avoid this issue. My daughter, Chloe, horrified I took pics, actually took one of me taking one of the chick’s feet!
Let’s just say their was some bonding going on as I took each little chick and ran warm water over their toes gently rolling and nudging off the clay like formation, their delicate toenails happy to be free to grow normal. I know they were thanking me in their own little way. (I’m totally divulging my luny side) yeah… that was 114 toes.We turned Chloe’s playhouse into chick fort knox. We’ve experienced traumatizing poultry kill in the past and I wanted our girls and guy locked up safe. We enclosed their entire mini yard. Free ranging in the garden will happen on days we are outside working and can keep an eye on them. Gone are the summer evenings we have to leave a party at dusk to make sure the girls are safely put away. We (we being Wade our friend and helper) dug down two feet with wire at an angle plus metal roofing to keep out digging raccoons.
This wee gal had to stay in for some R&R as she was being bullied. They started picking at her tail (which I did not take a pic of) till it was bloody. This is why they debeak in factories. They are all crammed so close and without monitoring, once they start they don’t stop. She actually kept trying to jump out of her infirmary to get back with the rest of the pack- I guess no attention was worse than bad attention. It happened a second time in the coop and I pulled her again. We again cleaned her up with iodine and sprayed apple bitters on her bum and it hasn’t happened again. I think she’s in the clear.
After about another week they hit the greenery… and LOVED it. Say hello little poser NH Red. It’s pretty sweet when their neck feathers are the last to mature.
A Speckled Sussex… Our one Buff Orpington rooster. The rest were sex linked females. Believe me- it’s worth the extra 50 cents/chick if you don’t plan on “harvesting” the extra roosters. Are these cute little butts or what!I’m so pretty….I’m so preetttyyy… she merrily tweets. Same poser I swear. Only weeks old and the instinctual dust bath begins… The Dominique too begins rolling and primping… Cut back to Rooster (I think). Peek a boo… life is sweet.
They figured out their little plank walk in no time.
Oh no… i’m not done yet. You would think that. But I’m not. Enter Otis…Doesn’t look good does it.
We’ll be in there about 30 minutes I’d say. Otis is a champ.
PS – A little thank you to Spinning Pixels for her chick tales. We so think alike!