Barn Love

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Spring Peeps: Get 'Em Before They're Gone

Are you dreaming of fresh eggs?  If you are thinking about growing your own chickens, now is the time to start doing your homework.  This time of year many hatcheries begin taking orders for chicks, and if you pick a popular breed, they could be on backorder.  Not to mention, we got our first chicks in early-mid March and didn't get our first egg until mid-August!  So the process takes about 6 months.

Before you start putting eggs in your basket, here is a brief list of things to get you started:

Check County Ordinances/ Extension Services
  • Find out if you are allowed to have chickens in your area - and if so, how many. 
  • The extension service will help with techniques for raising your chicks, general chicken health, and even how to sell extra eggs. 

You won't have to use an extension service, but it is an excellent resource for questions that you may encounter while raising your chicks.  Such as: 
  "Why does my chicken have a runny nose?"
  "Why do my eggs have thin shells?"
  "Why did the chicken cross the road?"   -   Okay, so that's probably not a legitimate question, but I bet  that they could give you an answer!

Essentially, it is the "Chicken Encyclopedia".   Speaking of which, do people even use encyclopedias these days?

  • Do you want chicks that are pretty to look at, or do you want hearty egg layers?
  • What color eggs would you like? Different breeds offer different colored eggs.  Our Barred Rock chickens lay brown eggs, while our Easter Eggers lay green eggs. 
For the record, the eggs aren't really green, they are more of a pretty blue color.

  • The closer to your location, the better.  Chicks are shipped through the mail, so the less time they spend on the road, the better their survival rate.
  • You might even get lucky enough to find some chicks in your area by using Craigslist.

These are our Easter Eggers when they were first shipped to us.  Aren't they cute?!

The research phase is one of the hardest parts of raising chickens. When my husband decided to raise chickens I looked at him like he was crazy. We had a 6 month old, 2 beehives, and a dog, but he wanted to add 8 more babies to our list.  Once I saw them, I was in love….  that is, until they wound up living in our kitchen. 

No comments:

Post a Comment