Sugar Jones is raising backyard chickens! Here's an update on her chicks, including how to care for them in extreme heat.Read More
We decided that it would be cool to have farm fresh eggs at home. Not the kind you buy at the store that say "Farm Fresh" but actually fresh from our very own yard. Apparently, I'm not the only one. Recently, there has been a run on chickens in San Diego. The country feed store near our home in The Boonies sells out of them as soon as they put a sign up announcing Laying Hens. They didn't have any when I went by there a couple of weeks back. They did, however, have a ton of baby chicks.
So I decided to bring a bunch home. Six, to be exact.
Here's one on her first day home:
You would not believe how many kinds of chickens there are. Thankfully, the Country Feed Store only had three breeds of baby chicks, so that made the picking easy. They did have one of the breeds I wanted, which was the Ameraucan. Our neighbors have those and they have the prettiest goldish brown feathers. they also lay blue-green eggs. I pretty much wanted them so that I can serve Green Eggs & Ham for breakfast.
Would you like them in a box? Would you like them with a fox?
Beside the Ameraucan, they had White Leghorns and Wyndott. The Wyndotts will grow to be black and white speckled and will lay brown eggs. The White Leghorn is the white chicken you see in old Americana posters. Nothing fancy, but kinda cool.
We bought a cage for them that they will outgrow in about a month. That gives us a little time to flatten out a spot out in the yard and build a coop and chicken run. We also had to buy hay. Do you know how many different kinds of hay there are? I won't bore you. Just know that if you raise baby chicks, go with the Bermuda hay. We made sure to buy a heat lamp for times when the temperature dips below 65 degrees. We used that for about a week before the heat wave hit. Better safe than sorry, right?
Eating and Pooping
Chicken also like to crap where they eat, so feeders have to hang from the top of the cage in order to avoid such behavior. Unfortunately, I didn't think they'd do that to their water feeder, but they did. I clean that out a few times a day. I found a water dispenser for the chicken coop, so I won't have to do that anymore. When they're not pooping in their water, they're just dropping it right where they are, so we have to clean out the little cage once a week. I use the hay and poopies in my compost.
Right now, they're pretty much being babies. They're just eating, pooping, and sleeping. They start off with mostly fuzz and a few tiny feathers, but they're going to grow very quickly, and their feathers are getting longer. Every day that we watch them running around, pecking for food, and hopping around each other, we can see how fast they are growing. I'm glad I got some video of their first few days home. Wanna see?
Watch this video:
Friends that also have chickens have told me that they have got some serious personalities. They were right. I've been watching them for the last few weeks trying to decide what names I should give them. I've named Miss Cleo (above) and three more of the six chicks. The final two, the Wyndotts are rather bitchy. They stay to themselves most times and do NOT like to be held. I need to come up with some good farm names that hints at that personality.