Monday, April 4, 2011

Article: Backyard Chickens Chapter 1

Our newly-hatched chicks hanging out in their makeshift brooder

Well, we've gone and done it. We went and got chickens. Our neighbors Kevin and Jenny inspired us to do it. You see, we eat a lot of eggs around here, and figured we might as well raise our own.

We also have two kids: Will (6 years old), and Elias (3 years old).  Both boys pretty much understand that eggs come from real animals and not from the grocery store shelf... but we'd like to make sure this important lesson is learned for real.

So we got some chickens 3 days ago. They include 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Black Stars (a cross of Black Australorps and Rhode Island Reds), and 2 Buff Orpingtons. Generally speaking, these birds are adapted for cold weather, friendliness, and egg production.

Here's what we know so far:
  • We have 8 baby chickens, or "chicks"
  • 2 of the chicks are for our neighbors
  • 6 of the chicks are for our family
  • The chicks we are keeping have names
  • Their names are: Silvia, Willa, Eliza, Gina, Margo, Rita (as in "margorita", get it?)
  • The chicks are very cute
  • They make adorable little chirping sounds
  • They need to stay warm at 95 degrees F or so
  • Pine shavings are the best bedding
  • All of the chicks think our 6-year-old Will is their momma
  • I need to build a chicken coop, pronto!

We'll keep you updated as we roll through this amazing journey of life, love, and tasty omelettes...

4 comments:

  1. Nice. One of the little kids in our family has a thriving egg business, unfortunately we live too far away to get her eggs on a regular basis. They're totally worth it.

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  2. Sure hope so! Planning to give regular updates on the chicken front. Should be fun.

    -Derek

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  3. Good luck! Chickens are great and the eggs are so much better than anything you can buy. Six Chickens will give you about 4-5 eggs a day. Hope you have a big yard if you plan to free range them. We have three chickens and a 6000sq ft lot. If we had more chickens, the yard would get denuded of vegetation quickly!

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  4. Hi Nina,

    Thanks for stopping by. The plan is to give the chickens a smaller permanent yard, and then we'll let them into parts of the main yard and garden for search and destroy missions on slugs and other pests. I'll let you know how it goes!

    -Derek

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Howdy! Thanks for visiting, and thanks even more for leaving a comment. I'll respond as soon as the kids are asleep.