On the chicken rush

_dsc2575The child and I went online last weekend to put in this year’s chicken order (meat and egg birds).  The online catalog at our normal place was down (weird, but perhaps just a fluke) so we went looking around the other online hatcheries to see what we could see.

What we could see was booked chicken orders going from now to June!

As you might know, I am a glass-half-empty kind of person.  I wouldn’t say I always skew negative, but I do so more often than not.  But (but!) I think this uptick in chicken-rearing is a good thing.  More people are giving it a try, it would appear.  As you know, my perfect world would have most houses with backyard greenhouses AND chicken coops, so my inconvenience seems like great news to me.

Eventually, we would like to be self-sufficient in chickens, both as meat and as layers…that day will one day come.  Last weekend, though, I just wanted to mail in my check for my 50 birds, expecting them at the homestead in early June.  And it would appear that June is the earliest I can get them, isn’t that strange?  So, on June 2nd, I expect to receive a call from our post office about a box of 50 peeping chicks…_dsc2577We got two more bantam chicks on Thursday due to another trip to the feed store.  Actually, the child wanted two white Brahmas but the minimum order from our hatchery was five and (gosh) I almost hesitated and said “sure,” sucker that I am…then I remembered I could probably take her to the feed store and find her a single white bird, satisfying her singular desire.  So here it is, the cutie.  Tiny little thing two weeks younger than the other baby bantam Ameraucana:  we have no idea what kind of bantam this white one is, but the other unseen small one is a frizzle Cochin bantam: crazy!  Chicken crazy!

Happy fuzzy Easter chicks to you all!

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12 responses to “On the chicken rush

  1. Aaaahhhh! I would love to have chickens. And I do know that lots of city folk have them, it’s all over youtube. Couldn’t do fifty, just enough to put eggs on the table…we go through about 2 dozen a week. Just how many chickens do you think a city girl could hide in her backyard? hmm….

    • That’s easy, Lindsay. You would need between 4 and 5 young chickens! (Each bird lays about an egg a day so…let’s say 6 eggs a week in high season, so 4×6=24…plus you will need to share some eggs 🙂 ) Get them now and you’ll have eggs by the end of July.

  2. This girl plans on hiding four in her backyard…my landlord won’t suspect a thing!

    I also have four “mystery” pullets living in my laundry room until their chicken tractor is built and they have their real feathers. I’m hoping they are Buff Orpingtons as that breed is supposed to be docile, calm, and good in small spaces.

    (And I’m surprised the feed store would let you just buy one. Mine had a minimum of 6, so I gave two away…I just didn’t have the room.)

  3. T urns out you CAN have chickens here in the District of Columbia if you have a permit and keep them a considerable distance from the neighbors. That’s a pretty tough standard for us to meet, living in a row house. How about on the roof?

  4. I love that second photo. Your child looks crazy with glee and the chickens are looking at each other like they don’t know how to react. “What are you doing here? I didn’t expect to have to share.”

  5. Your peeps are adorable! I love your new banner picture – it makes me smile every time I come to your page.

    Thanks for your advice on the feed stores. We are getting to the season where we’ll be back and forth between Kzoo and SH weekly – Bangor is an easy stop as we come through there regularly. Lawrence is doable, too, if we take the highway.

    I planted a bunch of seeds and my potatoes yesterday! So exicted! Thanks for the planting advice.

  6. What is more joyful than watching a chicken spread it’s wings and run across the pasture!

    I can’t imagine never having chickens now.

    At first I thought the yolks were weird, and couldn’t eat them. Now, I can’t manage the store bought eggs! I love sharing the eggs with friends and neighbors (31 chickens, currently).

  7. My experience was the same as yours. The hatchery told me that of the breeds that I was considering, only the Buff Orpingtons would be available, and then not ’till June 1 or 2. Other breeds would not be available for shipping ’till mid-June or later. There does indeed seem to be an uptick in chicken raising.

    This will be my first time. I have an astronomical observatory that I know longer use (the skies are the same from year to year, the nebula just don’t change, and besides, I get tired of fighting mosquitoes in summer and having my eyelids stick to the lens in winter). So I’m converting that to a coop.

    Just talked to a chap yesterday who said he really enjoys going outside and hearing the hens gently clucking as they go about their business. I’m looking forward to it.

  8. El: only 3 1/2 months for eggs? That’s great news… I thought it was more like 5 or 6…

  9. Life is just so good with poultry in the back yard. My feed store won’t have turkeys for a while; I guess they aren’t cute enough to go into an Easter basket, so I’ll most likely be following the child’s lead and fetching some bantoms home for now. That will be a new experience for the queen; they have to be more tolerable than the insane duck.
    I hope you had a fun Easter,

  10. Cute litte fuzzy babies. We can’t have them here (stupid ordinances), or they would be free-ranging all over my lawn!

  11. Sarah, how exciting for you! Are the chicks, well, buff colored (light tan)? And yes wait until they feather out or you won’t hear the end of it from them as they’ll be peeping pitifully.

    Ed, I was surprised we could have them in Minneapolis too, you just needed sign-off from, like, half your neighbors. I once caught a rooster, really a pathetic half-grown one running down my alley, when I was enormously pregnant. I called the pound and said “you won’t believe what I found” and they said “yes we would, they’re legal.” Who knew! But yeah I would think roof birds for you would be some pretty hot chicken, no?

    Oh yes Daphne she (the child) is more than happy to have even more birds. Poor birdies. They do look kind of spooked, don’t they?

    Jen you’re quite welcome, and glad you got your spuds in! I need to do that too, come to think of it, but have some work ahead of me first (sigh). Good luck on your travels: I always think dodging around in the country is fun.

    Wow Petunia, 31 layers? That’s a lot of eggs! I think we are going to top out this year at 15-16, plus the 5 bantams…that’s a lot of birds too I guess what am I saying! But indeed I think they’ll always be a part of my life too. They’re so endearing.

    Dennis, I got my first birds when our daughter was just 2 and I was still a nervous mother. It was so enjoyable to sit and watch the chicks then chickens! They required NOTHING of me: no “don’t peck that, honey,” “don’t scratch that, honey” and the other anxiety-laden hyperobservation that my child required of me: just sit, watch, laugh. You will love it. And yeah: excepting the occasional comet, those skies don’t change much, do they?

    Sylvie, my notes say my first chickens laid their first eggs at 3.5 months (we got them April 1st as day-olds and they laid their first on the 3rd week of July). I can’t remember when the 2nd batch started but I know it was within 4 months. Our pullet Chicken Patty, the meat bird, waited 6 months. Still, it doesn’t take long!

    Hi Pamela, did you get some Bantams? I hope the Queen is a tolerable sort. Our turkeys took to our geese (who though the same age were 2x as big) as their “mamas” hopping on their backs to sleep, following them around pecking at their bills…it was adorable. Poults are adorable too: googly-eyed long-legged things.

    Paige, that’s too bad! They are such fun companions. And they’re always happy to see you, which is also fun. One day, maybe? Don’t rule them out!

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