Friday, March 7, 2008

the results are in!

So the jury is in. After a lot of thought here are the winners of my selection process and why. I’ll be getting just twelve chicks, and a trio of goslings. The chicks will only be 2 breeds I have a lot of experience with and really liked. The Brahma and the Ameraucana. The Brahma’s are a heavy set bird that does great in colder weather and lays brown eggs. They were all over Diana’s farm in Idaho and my Veronica, the calmest and sweetest bird of the entire flock was a Buff Brahma. I’ll be getting Light Brahmas because sadly, the buffs aren’t sexed and I might end up with a bunch of roosters instead of laying hens. So I’ll get getting my white and black speckled chicks in a few weeks, maybe sooner.

The second breed is the Ameraucana. Which, my friends, is awesome. These chickens lay green and blue eggs instead of brown or white ones, and let me tell you, I am pumped about that. I never raised this breed myself, but I’ll get getting six pullet (female) chicks of these are well and they will be sharing the shed outside by the garden as their new home. I have to lay down a bed of straw and pine shavings and install a few vertical 2x4s as roosts, but all is okay with the property owner and the close proximity to my garden means the chickens will have a safe fenced in area to hang out safe from roaming coyotes and fisher kings and in view of the cabin. Right on.

So twelve chickens may sound like a lot, but the sad truth is only about nine of them will survive to laying age, if that. Between drafts, foxes, health problems or what have you – you can almost always count on a quarter loss with your flock. Maybe since these are pets as much as livestock, that won’t happen. I did manage to raise all five Silkie chicks to adulthood easily. Who knows, all I know is my max capacity for laying hens is about 25 and I’d rather have 12 blissful hens than 25 cramped ones.

Oh, and geese. I am getting a trio of Toulouse goslings, which are a dark gray, beautiful breed. I will be having as much contact with them as possible so they are never biters or honkers at people. They’ll share space with the hens and lay their own giant eggs for food for me. I doubt I’ll keep them through the winter, the plan is to sell them at fair time. Since they are such a pretty lot, I doubt I’ll have any trouble selling them all to a nice pond farm near here who would love friendly geese on the premises.

It is going to feel so much more like a home when seedlings are sprouting, chicks are chirping and the cabin starts to mature into a farm and not just a place that keeps the rain off. I can't wait. Come visit in the nest two months and prepare for super cuteness.


Blogger The Old Man and His Dog said...

My cousin had some of those Ameraucanas. I used to stay with them each year for two weeks each year during summer vacation and we would eat the eggs for breakfast after collecting them in the morning. Always made me feel like "Sam" from Dr. Seuss.... "Sam I am Green eggs and ham". enjoy

March 7, 2008 at 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohh, sounds just great Jenna. I hope Joe and I can come up sometime to visit your little farmette. Good going little woman:)

March 7, 2008 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger moesewco said...

I have a photo of one of those geese, filled to the, erm, bottom... with eggs. Never seen anything like it.

Took the photo in Costa Rica.

I'm pretty good with wild duck/goose/other northern birds, so I'm pretty sure it's the same species. But you'd know better than me!

March 8, 2008 at 6:57 PM  

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