So I had planned to be all organized blogging about how the house and land projects in order etc – but to hell with that – Chicks happened! LOL
We had planned on getting a couple chickens for the eggs and after doing some research I wisely decided that 4 was all we needed and that we were not going to raise baby chicks because of the amount of effort and observation they needed – I would just buy 4 pullets (for the uninitiated that means female chickens that had not quite started laying yet)
This was clearly a smart plan since we are busy and this would be the first time keeping chickens. I ordered and nice smaller coop kit online – a chicken tractor to be precise – one that you can move around the yard so they can have fresh grass to forage on. My teenager built it for me and now all I needed were some chickens to put in it.
I quickly discovered that getting small numbers of pullets was not as easy as I had hoped – scarce as hens teeth, if you will. Larger minimum orders or people just selling straight run chicks (unsexed – you don’t know what flavor they are till they grow up) which doesn’t work for me because I do not have the heart to kill the roosters for meat
Then a couple things happened – first the house we just purchased has a fairly large chain link enclosure – might have been a dog run or something and I had the genius idea that I could turn that into a nice chicken run if I just built a coop onto the side of it…. I also found a lady online close to me that has a small chicken farm that was willing to let me pick out as many female chicks as I wanted and on top of that we visited a feed store that just got a bunch of young pullets in stock…..
All my sensible plans of only getting 4 older pullets went straight out the window when faced with the undeniable cuteness of the week old chicks. I bought eight of them! 4 buff orpintons, 2 black sex links, 2 other hybrids that I have forgotten the names off.
So I brought my chirping cargo back to the house and installed them in the small coop inside the garage with a lamp as a makeshift brooder for now – It’s florida so I don’t need to worry too much about them getting too cold but the first week they need to be at 90, going down 5 degrees a week till they are ready to live outside at about 5 weeks old when all their proper feathers come in.
So we have less than a month to build the larger coop in the yard….. more on that project later. For now we are enjoying watching the chicken TV – the chicks have their wing feathers and their tail feathers are just starting to sprout.
We have been getting up at dawn to make sure they are warm enough and I have even had to wipe tiny chicken butt to save it from getting “pasted up” – a condition which can kill them – so we need to keep an eye on that runty little one. Six months from now I will have to get creative with egg recipes as we may be drowning in them LOL