Friday, February 4, 2011

can't wait for chicks!

This photo was taken at the cabin last spring. Just one year of birds and so much has changed...What hasn't altered in the slightest though is my excitement about getting chicks in the house again. I love their fluff, peeps, and antics. There will be scads too, since so many folks are coming here for a full day Chicken 101 workshop and leaving with their own Buff Orpington, Ameraucana, and Rhode Island Red (just like in Chick Days) to take home and raise up right. With all this snow (and more on the way)—nostalgia from even a year ago is comforting. Take heart though, fellow Antlers, Spring will come!

I hope.

Anyone else getting chickens this spring?

61 Comments:

Blogger Peacemom said...

Getting our first chickens this spring...can't wait!

February 4, 2011 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger Tru Vani said...

Yes, we are too...thanks to _Chick Days_!

February 4, 2011 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

We only moved five hens and one rooster to North Carolina (and 10 guinea fowl); egg production has picked up here - 4 daily most days.. and the guineas have started laying, so..... plan to collect the guinea eggs for a couple of weeks, add some chicken eggs til I get 42 mixed eggs, then fire up the incubator and see what happens!

February 4, 2011 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

Not getting chickens this spring. I am going to try to find a hen turkey to make my tom happy though

February 4, 2011 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

I really loved the guinea eggs my dad used to find in the field where they laid them. Seems to me they were better tasting that hen eggs. Another good memory for me.

February 4, 2011 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Me! So excited...

February 4, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

Yup, layers and meat birds. I, too, can't wait for the fuzzy peeps to fill the house!

February 4, 2011 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger sgtgriffsgirl said...

We currently have 5 chicks in the brooder. 2 dark chocolage egg layers, and 3 blue layers. On Valentines Day, 30 day old chicks are coming from Murray McMurray! Cant wait until they get here. Thanks for the inspiration Jenna!

February 4, 2011 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

i cant WAIT for those heapin', peepin', boxes of fun to arrive!

February 4, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Florida living has its benefits at times. We got our first chicks last fall and added our "spring" chickens at Christmas. Though those guys are mostly...well, guys and will be dispatched :(

I'm looking at ordering some chicks that are pullets and some turkeys and some ducks this year.

Poultry is addictive.

February 4, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Tatiana said...

I'm getting my first chicks in a few weeks! Though we still need to make a chicken coop, we have to fully enclose them for the neighbouring animals we have around my part of VA.

February 4, 2011 at 8:48 AM  
OpenID urbanadaptation said...

I only wish I could - local bylaws prohibit chickens within city limits (although we're trying to get that changed). But I still get hatchery catalogues and dream and plan for when I can get them.

February 4, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

I already have my hens and one not very sharp rooster so I am set for the spring.
Heard you on The Splendid Table Podcast, Jenna. You did great!

February 4, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Great picture! I did decide I will never have baby birds in my house again though. :( The dirt lingered.

We will be replacing our current suburban flock with a new flock of girls (and boys) this spring. We decided to go with a flock of all one kind and hopefully they will replace themselves in the future!

We are going with Silver Laced Wyandottes and I just posted about the order at my blog www.twobluehouses.blogspot.com

February 4, 2011 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Oh I can't wait to fire up the incubaor! I am hoping to hatch Salmon Favorells and Blue Laced Red Wynadottes. I also watch to cross my blr with my black cochin hens. I am so excited about crossing breeds. One of my coolest crosses so far has been a jersey giant roo with a light brahma hen. Such a large hearty bird that made. Can't wait!!!!

February 4, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Yep. I need to get some for sure. My Buffs are on the 2nd winter and not many eggs here. I would love to find some already laying. But I do love the little fluff balls too. I think I will try some Welsummers. I had a hen that I got at auction and I just loved her. Something got her last winter. But her eggs were so beautiful I hated to crack them open. And she was very laid back too. Good hen. And I want tome Freedom Rangers for meat. Gotta try those.

February 4, 2011 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

I love chicks and ducklings and goslings. Turkey poults are UGLY when they first hatch, they're all wet and their eyes seem too big for their head... But when they fluff out they're so cute. :)
And then they go and get ugly again, still love 'em though. They have a lot of personality (and are tasty too, when the time comes).

I'm hoping to get some Marans, Blue laced red Wyandottes, Speckled Sussex, and meat birds this year.
I'd really prefer to get the pretty birds from a breeder instead of a hatchery, but we'll have to see how it turns out.
And then there's my perpetual dream of owning a pair of Sebastopol geese...

February 4, 2011 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Next year! This is the year for doing research, building the coop, trying to pick a breed, etc. I'd rather have them this year, but my coop builder/husband wants to wait 1 more. Chick Days is really helping!

February 4, 2011 at 9:23 AM  
OpenID peihome said...

Ack we've got too many chickens as it is.

Husband has two incubators constantly whirring away (we raise show Old English Game and heritage Rhodies), plus we have meat/egg birds, as well.

And 2 guineas ... and 2 ducks ... and 3 turkeys ... and lots of pigeons (hey, you want cheap, easy eatin' raise regular old pigeons -they breed prolifically).

February 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Kirstyn said...

No chickens for at least a year for me... Just got married and husband's down with it but says he'd like to get a big garden under control first-- can't really blame him, I'm a little overwhelmed with my ambitions myself. :-) But do still have a yearning for some little cheepers...

February 4, 2011 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Sharon, you've just got to go for it! A year is a crazy long time for planning! Tell hubby time's a wastin'! :-) If you get chicks you'll have several weeks before you need the coop, so that's plenty of time to build!


I'll probably hatch a few 'bator fulls this year. I'm also getting started pullets and perhaps some more broilers.

February 4, 2011 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I have chicks right now. One group that's about a month old, and another that's only a week. It's not usually my policy to brood chicks in winter, but my circumstances dictated otherwise this time. I must admit, I'm not a REALLY early riser, so I'm never ready to get out of bed when the post office calls. However, all the grumbling about having to put on pants and shoes at that hour is instantly muted when I take them out of the box and remember just how darn cute they are. :)

February 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger jen said...

I've got 6 hens and a rooster, but he almost died a few months ago. I found him half dead, dehydrated, unable to walk...I nursed him back to health, but apparently he's not "doing his job"...none of the eggs I've collected recently have been fertilized. :(
He did, however, save his girls from a red-tailed hawk on Tuesday, so he's still keeping them safe.
This is the first year I'll try meat birds, and if it goes well I'll do turkey later...I can't wait!

February 4, 2011 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Bee said...

We are thinking of raising some meat brids this year, not sure which breed yet.
I hate to say this, becuase I will get all sorts of them, but I need a rooster!
Haha...even with this cold (now nothing like yours but for Northern California, it's been a tad nippy!) I am still getting 6 eggs a day from my seven hens!

February 4, 2011 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I'm working on him Katie Girl! It was just in the past month or so that he was agreeable to the idea. He knows more about construction than I do - anybody know where to find plans for a coop that someone who barely passed Shop 25 years ago can build? If I can find one, I'll do it myself!

February 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Sharon, just get a Chick-N-Hutch and three laying hens. It's a fine start and just 150 bucks.

February 4, 2011 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

Oh yes! Last year we ordered chicks three times! Chicken tractored about 100 broilers, had a couple hens hatch out about a dozen chicks and raised up our replacement layers. Also raised 9 turkeys, my husband saw a turkey poop in the lawn one day and said "What did THAT come from?" Well, it was huge!!!! (He's not the farmer, that's all my job...) Added two pigs to the mix in May and really enjoyed having them around. This year will likely be similar, we're expecting one, (maybe both) of our Nubian does to kid again at the beginning of April, pigs and chicks to arrive in May, turkeys in June and if we can pull it off this year it'll be our first year with a dairy calf and a couple beef critters! Some where in all this I've got to shear my herd of alpacas and goats, market that and raise a garden! I too can't wait!

February 4, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger becky3086 said...

I have hatched three little ones and have quail eggs in the incubator now. I do need some more standard sized chickens but haven't decided if I will order or not. I will also have meat chickens this year as well.

February 4, 2011 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Good idea Jenna, but I need a protected run too. My girls will be up against hawks, eagles, and raccoons the size of a 2nd grader, not to mention the usual cats, dogs & snakes. Anybody got an easy run plan?

Plus I can't decide on which ones. I'm favoring Ameraucanas or Orpingtons but I think the kids are looking at Hollands.

February 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM  
OpenID amygrennell said...

We are getting three black sexlinks in another month or so. We have a suburban backyard but can have chickens. We lost 2 this year from a raccoon incident so we are replacing those.

February 4, 2011 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Nerissa said...

Sharon-

I would suggest checking out these two from the library. They both have very good plans/guides which can of course be retro fitted if needed.

Chicken Coops by Judy Pangman
and
Building Chicken Coops by Gail Damerow

February 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
OpenID mountainchicken said...

Getting 25 chicks from McMurray. I'm really excited for the frizzles! Best part is that by getting 25 chicks, we get one "surprise bonus chick" !

February 4, 2011 at 1:20 PM  
OpenID whiteoakfarm said...

We're getting some chicks too! Also having a go at breeding turkeys so hopefully we'll have some gobblers as well!

February 4, 2011 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

I waffle back and forth between fear and excitement. We have a 100 yr old farm house on the edge of a town that is moving it's urban boundry soon. I want healthy food for my family, but cannot afford the 4.00/dz. pricetag on the organic eggs, so I get the 1.98 grain fed/free range eggs. I read a few books and they were scary in regard to diseases and bugs and things that can happen to them. Is it really that hard? I am wanting only hens as layers as we are too close to houses for roosters. Any advice for someone scared to dive in? Is it really that hard?

February 4, 2011 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

nope it really isn't that hard. advice? Just jump in and do it! You'll be glad you did. get a winter hardy breed and go for it!

February 4, 2011 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Frenchie said...

I'm hoping to get some chicks this spring. My youngest are 3 and my oldest is 11! I need to cull the flock to make room for some new ones. My dilemma is it's my sons job to take care of the chickens and he's taken them on as pets and doesn't want to get rid of any of them.

February 4, 2011 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Thanks Nerissa, I have to go to the library anyway today!

February 4, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Just yesterday I heard the local Agway is taking chick orders. This means spring WILL happen, all evidence to the contrary. Can't wait to have peeps in the laundry room again!

February 4, 2011 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 4, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

thanks From the Country Farm...........my gut says the same thing, nothing worth doing is easy all the time, but the payoff sounds so good.....thinking that my grandparents would not have even blinked an eye at such an endeaver. Irony is my husband tore down the original huge chicken house his grandad kept as it was dangerous to the children....too old.......should have made a few measurements before we did that! :)

February 4, 2011 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

me, me, me! hoping to trade some meat rabbits for some!

on a very sad note, I went to watch Edwardian Farm on youtube like I watched Victorian Farm and both of them are down :( Soooooo sad! Some annoying people tattled to youtube on the account holder.

February 4, 2011 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

We just passed backyard chickens in town and I read your book. Getting 6 chickens next month!

February 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Rural Revival said...

Getting our first chicks this year, and we're all very excited!

February 4, 2011 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger ************* said...

Last year we bought our chickens at about 2 months old, but this year I think we're starting younger! So excited. And we even have (almost) the same combo of egg layers too: Rhode Island Reds + White Orpingtons + Araucanas. I posted some photos of when they were little here, below the pics of spring carrots and peas:
http://www.baltimorediy.org/2010/06/garden-update-chicken-sitting.html

February 4, 2011 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

What did you do with the chickens you got from Greenfire Farm?

February 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I would like to get some chicks this year, but there are a lot of depends...depends on whether I can talk my husband into it, depends on whether or not I can build a coop, depends on if I can finally decide where I want to put them.

I need to finish my bee hive and get my bees installed before I can start talking about chicks again.

But I want them!

February 4, 2011 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Lara Katherine Mountain Colley said...

We're down to 16 chickens (not enough) so we've got a few Silkie Bantams, 6 Rhode Island Reds, 2 more Auracanas, 4 Marans, a Buff Orpington, and one Jersey Giant reserved at our local feed store for the Spring. Quail and Geese on the way too! What can I say, we're poultry people here.

February 4, 2011 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Goatldi said...

We already have a fine flock of hens. They are getting older tho and we will be adding some chicks to the mix in Feb or March.

After many breeds over the years I have settled on my favorites for layers. Missouri Super Leggers (a Leghorn X) for white eggs and Cherry Eggers for brown.

These two breeds are the first in 25 years of chickens we have had that continue to lay well through the winter without any lights. And since I don't like using lights on my chickens they made a great addition here at Walnetto Farm.

February 4, 2011 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

We've got 5 more girls coming on March 7. That will take us up to 8 girls. We have Reds and Aracaunas. Considering how cold it's been these last 5 days in AR, I'm glad we have cold-hardy girls. They're snug as bugs and paying their keep with eggs every day. We love them!

February 4, 2011 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

We raised chicks for the first time last spring. I agree - such a fun experience and they are so incredible cute!!

February 4, 2011 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Gelfling said...

If all goes according to plan and we close on our own little 5 acre farm on March 11th, we'll be ordering another dozen chickies of all different kinds, including (finally!) an Ameraucana rooster. Can't wait!

February 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Amy McPherson Sirk said...

My Plymouth Rocks are laying mature eggs now so we'll be putting some in the incubator. The hens are so prolific I really hope that trait gets passed on to their babies.

February 4, 2011 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I have decided to not start layer chicks this spring but instead to buy some almost mature pullets in September. Last year I experienced a lot of predation by Crows and Ravens who were feeding babies in their nests. I will be using my empty shed for turkey poults and then Freedom Rangers.

February 4, 2011 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Yep, more chickens here at our farm. We are expanding our flock. Also, ducks, geese, and a hive of bees expected. We are going to be busy!

February 4, 2011 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Cris said...

I am! So excited, just placed my order a couple of days ago for Speckled Sussex, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Cuckoo Marans, Partridge Cochin, and Araucana pullets. It's going to be like Easter every day!

February 4, 2011 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna= would it be financially feasible to offer your book through your website and thus eliminate the middle man in some instances-you could always say signed copies or something. just an idea to help financially-maybe

February 4, 2011 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Yes, Meat and layer. we might even try turkeys.

February 4, 2011 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

My daughter and I are! I have Chick Days and I'm enjoying the idea that yes, I can do this!

February 4, 2011 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Pumpkins are in the barn. They are on strike while it's winter.In the spring they'll be more themselves.

February 4, 2011 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Ben, raise one or two with your birds. It's fine, they do well together if you have room for them to sleep on straw or some sturdy roosts. My first turkey was amazing (or so the person who ate it told me)

February 4, 2011 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Paula, you & I are in the same boat, except my guy wants to concentrate on converting an attached garage to a bigger bedroom for us, so one of the kids can have our old room. But gee, a tractor wouldn't take long!

February 7, 2011 at 9:09 AM  

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