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Chickens!

We recently got twenty four Buckeye chickens. They are one week old today, although we got them in the mail when they were two days old. We'd ordered twenty five, but one poor little guy didn't make the shipping. I ordered a straight-run, which means unsexed chickens. Hopefully we'll end up with about half-and-half, but we won't find out until they're much older. Depending on how many ladies we have (hopefully at least a dozen), we'll keep one or two roosters. Josh is building a chicken tractor for the layers and their rooster. The rest of the roos will be separated and put in the chicken run once they're older. We've read that roosters do fine together when there are no ladies around but will fight over the girls if left all together.

We decided that when we purchase livestock, we'd like to focus mainly on breeds that are listed as critical or threatened by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. After reading about different breeds of chickens, I decided on Buckeyes for several reasons. They are listed in critical danger of becoming extinct, they're a good dual-purpose bird, cold-hardy, friendly (good for the kids & animals, I'm hoping), they sometimes give a dinosaur-like roar (girls will love that...we'll see how mom & dad do), and my personal favorite: they're the only breed that was completely developed by a woman, Mrs. Nettie Metcalf of Ohio.

We were a little late getting started with day-old chicks. I could only find one place that was still selling this late & wasn't already sold out for the year, Ideal Poultry. I've heard some pretty good things about them, especially for a hatchery. Once I learn more about breeding, I plan to buy more breeding stock from a reputable breeder. Once we're comfortable enough with chickens in general, I'd like to eventually have a dozen or so of another breed, maybe one who lays white or pastel eggs.



Our two dozen Buckeyes who arrived on July 16, at two days old.





Ivy with one of the chicks



Eden



So tiny! We had them in a box at first.



Little fella. Or lass.



Love this pic.



And this one.



Josh had the hen house built before they arrived, with Eden & Ivy's help. He's adding the run now.



Now they're a week old and a little bigger.



We've moved them outside. There are two little chick boxes. This is the side with the light, and with the little roost that Josh built them. He separated the two “rooms” with cardboard & styrofoam.



A cooler back room without a light, in case they get too hot (Missouri gets hot even without a heat lamp on you all night!).



They're cute little things!

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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
maiabee8
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
So cute! Wishing you luck!
ahavah
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
intrepidrayne
Jul. 22nd, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Those chicks are seriously adorable! :) Good luck with your chickens. Your farm is becoming impressive. Oh and the picture of Ivy and the chick is crazy cute!
ahavah
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! We have so many plans. I just hope we can do most of them. Josh and I are going to try to make a mission101 list for the farm. If we manage to accomplish everything we're hoping to do, it'll be a lot more impressive!
aimingforpeace
Jul. 22nd, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
Squeeeeeee!
They're even cuter now! I love their little wing feathers :-D

Do they like people or run away when you try to handle them?
ahavah
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Squeeeeeee!
They're noticeably bigger already, although I'm not sure how much you can tell in the pictures. Josh & the girls mainly feed them. They get a bit startled when we open the doors, but they don't seem to mind us. They didn't want me getting them though. We're going to have to handle them a bit more and get them used to it. They don't seem to be at odds with any of the pets since we moved them outside, so that's a pretty good sign too. *knocks wood*
blonde_viki
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
Oh my i want one! They are so fab - I definitely want chickens when I move out of the city - I love those ones that have such feathered legs they look like they are wearing flared trousers!

Please name one 'blondie' after me! Or at least let me think you did ;)
ahavah
Jul. 22nd, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Once I can tell them apart, I'll name one Blondie! I hope you can get your chickens. Even a lot of urban places are allowing for a couple of laying hens nowadays.
mrsgirlyduck
Jul. 22nd, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
When I was in 3rd grade we moved to the "country". We had horses, goats, pigs, even briefly a couple of cows my dad "found" (they'd wandered from someones pasture). Not to mention all the dogs, cats, rabbits, ect...

Watching your farming adventures has brought back lots of memories.
ahavah
Jul. 22nd, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
Did you enjoy it? This is the closest I've lived to a farm, although we still have a long way to go before I think we can be a "real" farm. We hope to get goats soon, and maybe some sheep. I'm working my way up to cows & pigs.
mrsgirlyduck
Jul. 23rd, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
I did and I didn't.

There was a lot of freedom, especially as I got older. But there was also a lot of being tied to the animals. Not being able to go away on vacation or whatever because someone had to take care of them. It was also very isolated. I went to a 1 room school house, kindergarten through 8th grade with one teacher. And it was about an hour drive to the nearest grocery store.

Now as an adult I'm often looked at as odd because of my lack of attachment to pets. I love animals but at the same time I had to get use to early on that they often die. Either as food for us or for some wild animal or whatever. Sometimes I feel like something's missing because of that detachment to animals that I have now.

Pigs are A LOT of work. They're very smart and are hard to pen, escape artists. After maybe the third one we had butchered (we weren't that farmy that we butchered our own) and what seemed like years of eating nothing but pork, I came to absolutely detest pork. Not because of the little piggy being killed or anything, just because it takes a LONG freaking time for a family of four to eat a full grown pig.

If you have to choose between the goats and the sheep, go with the sheep. They're smarter than goats and don't eat everything they can get between their teeth the way goats do.
ahavah
Jul. 23rd, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
I think that sounds awesome! I hear you about being tied to the animals though. I think once I learn how to care for everything properly, I might offer services as a farm sitter for people who do want vacations and that kind of thing.

I'm sorry that you feel you're missing something. Maybe you just haven't found the right pet yet! I think they're a lot like love, in that you have a few potential soul mates out there, and you know it once you've found them.

Josh is really wanting some goats to help eat the field and the brush. I eventually want a dairy goat & want to learn how to make cheese, but we've been talking to someone who's giving two wethers away. Can't beat free! They're selling sheep, too, so I may get a couple of those for dairy. I'm still waiting to hear back from her though.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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