The Chickens are Here!

by Jenny Peterson on March 17, 2013

in Urban Farming

We’ve been planning to have chickens now for, oh, about 3 years — and now we finally have them! We built a chicken coop (post to come on that one) and then went to buy our chickens at Callahan’s General Store. They didn’t have the exact breeds we were looking for, so we came home with 12 chicks of the breeds they did have. (Turns out, you can special order the specific breeds you want, but most stores will have a minimum amount of, like, 20 — and we didn’t want that many. *Snort* keep reading to find out why that is funny).

Georgia Mae, my white Plymouth Rock

That was a little over 2 weeks ago. Then last Thursday, The Hunky Fiance came home with 6 more. Yes, six. I know we wanted these particular breeds, but 6 more? Now we have 18 chicks, capacity for our 8 x 10 coop. Here’s what we ended up with:

  1. Plymouth Rocks (5): We’ve got one white, one Partridge (brown) and three barred (a black and white coloration). These birds are known to be friendly, good layers of brown eggs, intelligent, curious and tolerant of cold weather.
  2. Black Breasted Red Kraienkoppes (3): Classified as a rare breed, these chickens are active foragers so will do best in a free range environment. They lay white eggs, are small birds (up to 4 lbs.) and can be a bit standoffish.
  3. Gold Sex Links (4): Superior egg-layers but also a good dual-purpose chicken for both meat and eggs (we aren’t using ours for meat), these chickens are on the small side (4-5 lbs for hens), which is funny because these are our largest chicks right now. Maybe they just grow more quickly?
  4. Rhode Island Reds (2): RIR’s lay extra-large brown eggs with good production, will still lay over the winter, have beautiful feathers but are sometimes described as aggressive towards other breeds. Roosters are more aggressive than the hens, and we don’t have any roosters, so I’ll take my chances.
  5. Americaunas (2): These chickens come in many different colors, lay medium-sized blue/green eggs, are known for their friendly and docile personalities and do well in most climates.
  6. Brahmas (2): These have adorable feathered legs and can grow ginormous (9-10 lbs.). These gentle girls lay brown eggs and are winter hardy, but can be diggers and have just average egg-laying.

Jolene, one of our Kraienkoppes

These little chicks are so snuggly and sweet, growing fast, and all getting along well. The only problem we’re having is that Pip, our 65-pound dog, likes to lick them. We can’t tell if it’s a maternal, protective kind of lick or a “Yum, you would feel really good in my tummy” kind of lick, but we’re willing to work with her.

We’ll keep you updated on our chicks as they grow — we are first-time chickens owners, so we are learning as we go. For right now, they are a bit of work until they are big enough to put out into the coop, but we are thrilled to have them. Probably not any more so than Pip, but anyway….

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlie March 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I have 0.4 of an acre and have looked at adding chikens for more than a year now. I am hoping to gather more experience about controlling rodents and diseases, etc. I will be anxious to follow your posts to see how you do.

Jenny Peterson March 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Thanks, Charlie! We’ve been planning to add chickens to our yard for probably 3 years now–they should be ready to go out into the coop pretty soon.

James Rogers March 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Looking forward to that coop posting. Word on the street is the designer and construction team knocked it out of the park!

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