Ahavah Ehyeh (ahavah) wrote,
Ahavah Ehyeh
ahavah

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!
Tags: farm, goals
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