Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Chickens are Coming !!

Dominique a rare breed we will have.
In 7 days there will be 25 chicks arriving via Priority Mail.  One of the items on my "list" was to keep chickens again.  I figured out a place I think would work right next to "the big garden".  First, there is already 6' horse fence and shade cloth running for 40'. Second, the shed is about 10' from that. So sandwiched (excuse the term) between the two will be the chicken run.  About 35' x 10'.  When they are grown,  there will be a little door that leads into the big garden. They are good bug and grub pickers.  For now they will stay in the "nursery."
The "Nursery" scrubbed spotless

The "nursery" is actually a rabbit hutch  I put wooden sides on, that is completely locked up ALL the time. They will have a heat lamp, and a very good thermometer that I will check constantly for the first week.  I am keeping the nursery on the patio.  Bob spent hours attaching fencing on the wall around the patio to make it higher.  We have coyotes.  And we have an electric fence that will be electrified every night (which we have to figure out VERY soon!). More on Fort Chicken later.

"Fort Chicken"

Baby chicks can be ordered on line, over the phone, via catalogue.   Day old chicks need no food or water for the first 72 hours. They get sustenance from the yolk inside the egg prior to hatching. This gives them a few days to get aquainted...or travel, as in our flock's case.  The post office usually calls at the crack of dawn to tell me they have arrived.  I have warned my local PO who ships all me Etsy orders to keep an eye out.  I think my post office is as excited as I am! They should arrive with their fuzz on, and start feathering out in a week. I will keep a photo diary and share it with you readers. Below is a link to MurrayMcMurray Hatchery of Buff Cochin Chicks on youtube.  A breed we are getting.
Buff Cochin Chick
Buff Cochin Hen
Ethan will be here when they arrive.  I am hoping he's his Grandma's boy in a chicken way too.  He is an animal lover also. I wish for that to include chickens.  My adult son helped Bob dig post holes and pour concrete.  He too is a big chicken lover.  I look forward to all of us hanging with the peeps very soon.  Adding another generation to my flock. :-)
Box O Chicks
It takes 5 months for them to start to lay eggs.  I could have gotten "pullets" which are older.  However, they do not bond the way day old chicks do.   Tomorrow I will go to all the local feed stores to see what kinds of feed they carry.  Back on the farm I had my feed custom mixed for me.  With this small flock that would be impossible.  Once they have gotten past the critical first month, they will be weaned off of "chick food" and eat table scraps, and some organic chicken feed.

I'm so excited, I can't really express it in words.  We will have a "Chick Party" the day they arrive. I invite neighbors and  friends to come see them and celebrate all this new life.  I promise I will be sharing pictures daily.  Baby chicks have always meant a physical form of hope that Spring brings to me.   It's my favorite time of year.  If you are close and reading this, know you are invited to join us next week.
The Chicken Catalog

Thanks for reading.
Each day is a gift, open now.


  1. Yay, Suz! You beat me to it. We have been thinking of keeping chickens for a couple years now, but still haven't taken the leap. It is a lot of preparation to keep them safe from neighboring dogs and wildlife, but I still so want to do it! Until I do, I will live vicariously through you... so you better keep me updated with photos and more photos! Enjoy those chicks!

  2. After reading your blog post my heart is yearning for baby chicks! I grew up as a child with chickens in our backyard. There's nothing like having fresh eggs! When I saw your title - I assumed your chicks were going to be made of metal - I was pleasantly surprised that they were real chicks! Right now, I am up to my ears in rabbits - Easter bunnies - only mine are coming from my sewing machine. I won't need to feed them before they find new homes to go to. Wishing you all the best in your chicken raising endeavors - I'm sure your grandson will love them, too!

  3. Oh Suz, what fun! I'm so enjoying your chicken saga and can't wait for the next installment! I keep pestering Joe to consider keeping chickens, but we too would have to built a fort against the fox, the bobcat and (yep, here too) the coyote. :)

  4. What fun, I love my banty chickens! There is nothing more peaceful than watching chickens wander around the yard! We usually hatch a couple of eggs every spring, my daughters are already planning on it! Last year we had a fox family living in the field behind our house, poor chickens had to spend the summer days in their coop, scratching in the dirt instead of the grass :( Hoping the foxes relocated this year... :)