A couple weeks ago we added 12 new additions to the homestead. Chicks!!
I'm a total newbe to chicken keeping, but a backyard flock of chickens has been high on my new-home wishlist. I selected a dozen chickens--five Buff Orpington, five Australorp, and two Black Copper Marans. They are all female, since our city isn't crazy about roosters in city limits (which is okay, roosters don't tend to lay many eggs).
I chose breeds that are considered "dual purpose." They will be good for both meat and eggs (but won't get as big as a meat-only breed, or lay quite as many eggs as a layer breed). Eggs are the most important part, but I also want my daughters to grow up okay with the idea that we eat meat, and the meat we eat used to be an animal. We raised the creature in a humane, loving way and then gave it's life to make our dinner. It's part of the cycle of life, and it is silly to be squeamish about it. (That said, I am squeamish about it, and I'll have to work on that before any of these girls end up going in the soup-pot.)
The chicks are living inside with us until their feathers come in and they can move outside. Right now they are in two giant uhaul boxes that I've taped together to make a brooder. It isn't nearly big enough, especially now that they have started growing. Later today I'm going to add two more boxes so they have a bit more room.
I'm not naming them. I'm not sure how many will become chicken soup, but just in case I don't want to turn them into pets. Some of them are easy to tell apart, of course. The runt is half the size of the others. There are only two Marans. A couple of the Buff Orpingtons are HUGE. But no names until I know I'm okay with "Runty McNugget" potentially turning into real McNuggets.
Whoops. So much for not naming them. I guess Runty has a name now. Well, we won't name the other 11, then.
In a future post I'll introduce you to the Hall of Golden Yolks, which hubby built with a good friend of his. It is absolutely beeeeeyoutiful, and deserves its own post.