Way back in March Joseph and I decided to take the plunge and research what it would take to get chickens. Our sweet Michael has been bugging us about chickens since before we had moved into this house. “Can we buy a house we can have chickens at???” We knew he would be thrilled, and the thought of fresh eggs was quite appealing. I thought we would research for a year or two and then jump in, Joseph just figured that if we researched too long we wouldn’t do it so, one day, he just up and says “Okay, lets order them today.”
So started our chicken journey.
We decided to order them, via mail, from a large hatchery, and researched all the breeds we thought might be good. We decided to get a dual purpose breed, one large enough to get a decent amount of meat and a good enough layer to get a decent number of eggs, and had decided on five breeds. Five different breeds, minimum order of 25 day old chicks, and we bit the bullet and ordered them. All of them. Five Silver Laced Wyandottes, Five Delawares, Five Barred Rocks, Five Easter Eggers and Five Speckled Sussex. (just in case you didn’t catch that, TWENTY FIVE chicks!!!!) They were scheduled to arrive the first week of June, which gave us plenty of time to remodel the old shed into a chicken coop (I thought), and get a brooder area ready.
When we got them I opened the box at the post office, only to find that twenty of the twenty-seven mailed to us were dead. It was so depressing. We ordered 25, plus the one free chick, plus the one they throw in there just in case, and only had six left. They were DARN cute and we jumped right into making them right at home. I called the hatchery and they insisted on attempting a second shipment vs refunding my money (I was really hoping for the money. All of the sudden SIX seemed a much better deal than 25!) and was told we could expect the second shipment within the week.
The second shipment came, complete with an extra FIVE Red Star rooster chicks thrown in there for safe shipping. ROOSTERS. Ugh.
We grew them, they’ve been a joy to have! We’ve worked on their coop (it took SO much longer than we thought, and we’re still not really done yet, but we’re getting there!) and now they are happy in their coop, with a covered run attached. I am surprised at how attracted I am to these silly birds! It is amazingly relaxing to just go down to the coop and watch them in their run. The hens make this beautiful low rumbling sound “speaking” to one another and the roosters work very hard to protect their girls. They love getting snacks, like popcorn or left over sausage. They’re soft and sweet and lovely, and I hope we never stop raising them!
We don’t have any eggs yet, don’t expect them until the end of this month, but can’t wait to get them! (first, we probably ought to make nest boxes…)