Thursday, March 28, 2013

Introducing our chicks!

I know, I know, I teased you with a picture of six fluffy little chicks on Saturday, and then never gave you the full scoop! Well meet the gang below (no, we couldn't resist naming them after the cast of Friends):

Rachel and Phoebe are red pullets, so we already know they're ladies and are going to grow into Rhode Island Reds. The rest of the gang, however are a toss-up in the gender category. They're Speckled Sussex and the came as straightline, so we won't know until they're a little older if they're ladies or gents. While we hope they're all female, if we do end up having a rooster we can just sell him or make a trade for more chicks. Or as the helpful man at the Tractor Supply Store told us, we can "take him to our local Amish man to get him processed." Please tell me we're not the only ones who don't have a Amish man on call.

                         Rhode Island Red                                            Speckled Sussex

For anyone out there toying with the idea of back-yard chickens, but worrying about start-up cost, it's suprisingly quite low. The chicks themselves were $2 each, a bag of food was about $20 (and will last for quite a while), a giant bag of pine shavings for bedding was only $5, and besides that all you need is a heat lamp, a place to keep them until they're ready to go outside (we're using a large plastic storage tub) and food/water feeders ($10 each at the Tractor Supply Store, but may be cheaper on Amazon). All together our checkout was about $67. Not too shabby considering with 6 chickens you can get about 2 dozen (amazing, delicious) eggs/week for years! Plus endless enertainment -- we find ourselves just watching them jumping around and looking for non-existent worms in the non-existent dirt, they're just so funny!

Now, the next step for these back-yard farmers is building them a coop! We have joint custody planned with my brother and Jackie, we're housing them for the first month and then we'll be moving them into a coop in their much more spacious yard. In the meantime we'll be helping them clear out an area and set up their new digs. And in four short months, eggs for all!

So are there any other back-yard farmers out there? If so, I'd love to hear any tips or stories you have for these newbies!

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  1. Ah so cute! Very excited to start planning their coop!

  2. so fun! i would love to get my own chickens!
    cute blog :)