Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Additions! Baby Chicks!

Baby Chicks! 

We took the plunge!  Ever since we moved into this house about 7 months ago, we thought it would be great to have chickens, we loved the idea before but our old house was in a golf course community...I'm pretty sure backyard chickens weren't allowed!  Our neighbors here have an awesome chicken coop and we sometimes get to have some of their delicious eggs, but we wanted to raise our own on Monday this past week we stopped in the local feed store and picked out 3 brand new baby chicks.  They are just too stinkin cute!

I recently took the kids on a field trip through our homeschool group to Farmer Sue's Art Barn which was just awesome and she is fabulous!  After the trip I was emailing with her about chickens and through talking to her and through researching the website My Pet Chicken I knew I really wanted some Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red chickens.  When we stopped by the feed store just to "look" they actually had the Barred Rock chicks as well as Ameraucana which lay blue eggs!  I ran into another homeschool mom there with her boys and they were raving about the blue eggs and how they were the best tasting eggs they've ever had so I decided to try one of those.  Here is a picture of our future blue egg layer! (I HOPE! They are supposed to be sexed but there is a small chance some might turn out to be roosters).  

I REALLY love the Barred Rock Cochin (or as Farmer Sue calls them...Pajama Pants!) But I think we would have to special order...this is a picture of J holding one of Farmer Sue's Barred Rock Cochin - Pajama Pants Chickens in her barnyard...they are beautiful!  I got 2 Barred Rock and they will look sort of like the one in the picture below minus "pajama pants".

I read a lot about the Barred Rock and Rhode Island Reds both being smart, ferocious hunters, and having good personalities which make them fun pets.  Both are known to be pretty hardy and good egg layers, producing large brown eggs.  We get plenty of crickets and other bugs in our yard so I think we will all be happy when these girls are out there feasting on all the bugs!  I'm also hoping they might put a dent in the scorpion population around here!

I love the Barred Rock chicks... they remind me of baby penguins...little dark balls of fluff...So far it's been easy, we have them in a large box lined with paper that we change daily, we gently handle them quite a bit so they get used to being held.  I've been adding a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to their fresh water each day to help with the PH as well as help with their digestive health...and a little garlic powder to their feed as well, which I learned about doing from Fresh Eggs Daily's post about The Holistic Trinity for chickens.  Now I am having fun adding to my Backyard Chickens pinboard, learning all I can about the best tips for building our coop and keeping the chickens and coop as clean and healthy as possible!  And of course enjoying watching these cutie puff balls chip and grow and enjoying watching my kids enjoy them!

 We have a thermometer in the box with them and adjusting their temp as needed...they currently seem happiest between 82-84 degrees F.  The Rhode Island Reds come in April 8 so we will get some of those then and will have to keep them separate for a while so the older ones don't pick on the younger ones...hence the term "pecking order".