Baby chickens? Yes, please!
In 2009 we embarked on the new challenge of keeping urban chickens. It was an adventure, marked with idealism about “easy” coop and run construction, harmony with the backyard plants and critters, and visions of endless supplies of eggs. Did it all go as planned? Well…. for the most part it did, but that’s another post!
In the intervening time our flock has gradually dwindled down to one remaining hen and we have decided that it is time to bring in some new faces. Sophia, our lone surviving “easter egger” (named for her pastel-green eggs), is still reliably laying and appears to be in perfect health. Our friends have asked if we plan to “retire” her, which means anything from sending her to “freezer camp” (as my husband dubbed it), giving her away to another flock, or just letting her live out the rest of her life in coddled backyard leisure. Since we have raised her from chick-hood and made the decision (a mistake, in hindsight) to name her, we could never bear to dispatch her. (We’re such softies!) So, Sophia will be living in retirement until that Big Nest-Box in the Sky calls her home.
As we did for our last batch of chickens, we have turned to My Pet Chicken to order our new chickens. This company is geared to the current trend of owning backyard chickens for fun and companionship, as opposed to more agricultural operations. The advantage that they offer is that you can order very small batches of chickens, which is perfect for the urban backyard farmer.
Since our chickens have suffered the most during the brutally hot summers of Georgia, we have decided to focus on the chickens that are described as being more heat tolerant. Based on chick availability from the hatcheries and our preference for assorted egg colors, we have ordered one each of the following breeds (click on the links for photos):
- Golden Campine, northern European native that lays large white eggs
- Welsummer, native to Holland and lays chocolate brown eggs
- Blue Andalusian, native to the Andalusian region of Spain that lays large white eggs
- another “Easter Egger” (Sophia has been very reliable.)
The chicks are born with enough yolk remaining in their stomachs that they can survive for about 3 days, so they will be sent via USPS to our local post office. They’re due sometime after May 5th, so stay tuned for updates!
Before they arrive I’ll be addressing some of the preparations in upcoming posts, including fixing some of the problems with our existing coop/backyard setup, preparing the brooder box and coop to receive the new chicks, and planning for the challenge of combining flocks.