Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cheep, Cheep-I Can't Believe My Peeps

So that 'something' I have been wanting for a long time and just haven't been able to have?

All together now....Awwww....

Those pictured above are my Laying breeds.
The black ones below are my Bantams...
And the non-black ones are younger Americaunas. They are much smaller than my other layers so they are going to have to stay with the Bantams until they get a little bigger.
We are having a hard time keeping our hands off of them. Megan is just as excited to have chickens as I am.

I little known fact about myself...I LOVE CHICKENS!

When I was growing up, my dad always had huge flocks of chickens-60-80 birds.

My mom also always kept a small flock around and us kids always had a 'pet' chicken.

I had two favorite chickens. One was a huge multi-colored rooster, that I named Pretty Boy. PB was a bit of a strange rooster. My brother's nasty black rooster always picked him, so he stayed off by himself a lot. He liked to be petted and talked to. All I had to do was go sit down by him and he would come over and was quite a lovey bird.

Pretty Boy spent a good bit of his time hanging around my other most favorite chicken ever, a small speckled Bantam hen named Sadie. Sadie wasn't much for petting on, but she would follow you around clucking and fussing.

Sadie was a good brooder hen. She hatched out babies all of the time, but she wasn't much of being a momma after that. That is where Pretty Boy came in. He l.o.v.e.d the baby chicks and took over raising them after Sadie hatched them out.

Picture this big, big rooster doing the clucking and fussing thing over a herd of tiny little Bantam chicks. It was quite a funny sight.

Thanks to my dad(Bantams were his favorite too) and Sadie, I have a very soft spot for Bantams. I have been waiting for quite some time to be able to have some again. I don't know exactly what kind of Bantams I got at the store today, all they had was assorted. So watching the little guys grow up and change is going to be fun.

The Bantams could end up being any color, but I'm hoping for at least one white and black speckled one...


Two of the larger chicks are Blue Andalusian pullets...
Two more are Black Australorp pullets...
The three little chicks in with the Bantams are Americaunas. I think the two light gray ones will end up looking like this...
They lay blue eggs.

And the buff Americauna may end up looking like this...

She should lay green eggs.

And no flock is complete without a couple of traditionals. I got two Rhode Island Red pullets...
I was reading off some of the stuff about these breeds to MH and Megan. All of them except the Bantams are good duel purpose birds and both MH and Megan got a bit frantic. No, no, no! Rest assured these are most likely going to be 'pet' chickens and kept around as layers. First of all I would like to get a nice flock of about 20 birds. I still have some other breeds that I want to get...Wyandottes, Jersey Giants, Orphingtons...some more Bantams. S.i.l.k.i.e.s...oohhhhh!

Next spring, I will probably look into getting 20 meat chicks to raise. I can raise them, but won't be butchering them myself...I've gotten way to soft to do that...Thankfully there are Mennonites around here that are perfectly willing to butcher your birds for you.

For now, I'm just excited to HAVE chickens again.

19 comments:

Mikey said...

I never knew this about you! Congrats on your new chickens!!!

Mrs Mom said...

hehe so now we can tell you not to get your feathers ruffled, and mean it! ;)

Between you and Lisa @ Laughing Orca, I'm getting into chickens!

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Interesting - chickens - some you talked about are even pretty! I know absolutely nothing about chickens...

PrairieFarmer said...

I have Buckeyes and they are just the best birds! Old heirloom breed, hard to find, look kinda like a Rhode Island red. They are super friendly and calm and follow us all around even though we didn't spend an inordinate time handing them as chicks. Just ordered myself another 25 chicks (I was hoping to hatch out some of our own but both of my roosters got killed by Red Tailed Hawks this spring! None of the 11 hens, just the two roos! I think they were running out to protect the girls). Really enjoy the chickens, it's just not a farm without them.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

AWESOME!!! I need to get chickens some day! I am so excited to see how yours turn out!! Congrats!

nccatnip said...

I love my chickens!!!! Buff orpingtons are my favorite, just love those fuzzy butts.

Leah Fry said...

I've always liked them too. When I was a kid, my grandmother's neighbor (that in adulthood I found out was my great aunt & uncle that nobody spoke to) always had chickens, and it was my favorite place to hang out. I had them when I lived in PA, but here it would be hard because of the coyotes. I have to live vicariously through all you guys that have them.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I'm excited for you too. The other day we were in the supermarket buying eggs. I commented on how hard it is to find two dozen eggs in a package that doesn't have at least a couple of cracked eggs in it thanks to rough handling. I said I've thought about raising my own chickens, except I was afraid of all the extra work taking care of them. The courtesy clerk got this smirk on his face, nodded his head as if speaking from experience, and said, "Yeah, they're a lot of work. Plus they get eaten by coyotes all the time."

Which reminds me, (just rambling here) Bombay sniffed the ground yesterday and I looked at what he was sniffing. It was bunny skin and fur. That means something is out there eating bunnies. It's weird how the horses and dogs react to deer, but I never hear a "peep" out of them regarding the coyotes. I guess the horses just think they are like the neighborhood dogs and my dogs aren't outside when the coyotes are to alert me to them.

Anyway, I hope you don't have to deal with predators where you are, or if you do, I hope you can put together a coyote-free zone for the chickens once they get out of their incubator.

PrairieFarmer said...

We have lots of coyotes where we live too. I haven't had too much of a problem with that as long as I put them into their protected pen at night, and we have a dog that roams our property during the day and keeps the coyotes off. I've had the most problem with raptors! Eagles, hawks, owls! Grr....Although it is always bad this time of year (spring, baby-making season and everybody is hungry) and doesn't seem so bad the rest of the year...

PrairieFarmer said...

Oh...And the eggs are like 100% better than the store bought! I can't even handle the expensive organic, free-range eggs anymore from the store. After having our own that are so firm, so not runny, so fresh, so crazy neon orange, even just cracking a watery, pale yellow insipid store egg makes me feel sick!
And the hard-boiled eggs are to die for! So creamy and moist, no mayo needed! Once you get your own chickens, it's darn hard to ever, ever go back...

Paint Girl said...

How fun! They are so cute! I had chickens growing up, and I remember my mom sending us girls down to get the eggs in the morning. It would be fun to have chickens again someday, but I also worry about the coyotes. They already have taken off with one of my cats and I would worry. But I suppose my carpenter OH could coyote proof a chicken pen!

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

Awesome! Congrats:) I have always wanted chickens but dont really know why as I have absolutely NO experience with them. Maybe a post outlining the basics of keeping chickens? Is there "basics". DB wont let me get them because he thinks they are dirty! But he eats eggs all the time!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I hadn't realized until I started doing a little internet reading, that so many people have become re-interesting in keeping chickens.

It seems that even city people like to keep them.

We are going to build a small coop and portable pen here(at the house we are still living in) and later build a larger coop and run at the new place.

With the outdoor dogs and proper facilities, I'm not overly worried about predators. There are always predators.

Like PF says it's so worth it.

HC-You'll have to tell DB that chickens are actually good for 5 things-Eggs, Meat, As insect eaters, Great fertilizer for gardening and Pure amusement.;)

Oh and NM, they are great for dispersing horse poop. Add a bit of oats to your horse's feed and the chickens make those piles literally disappear...So they can effectively reduce your workload.

I didn't have chickens when I was in AZ, but I did have oodles and oodles of wild quail. They did an amazing job. It was very seldom that I ever had to scoop poop.;)

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

And 14th...because GoLightly visits here. LOL

cdncowgirl said...

Awesome! I hope that when Pie and I find our place I have the room/time for some hens... I love fresh eggs!

joycemocha said...

I used to raise chickens as well, did pretty well showing them in 4-H!

Have fun with your peeps.

fernvalley01 said...

I am not such a chicken person,but I am glad other people raise them , And I do love the beautiful colored varieties ,Just at someone elses house.Congrats

~The South Dakota Cowgirl~ said...

Oh oh oh! I love chickens. I only have 8 birds- all the same kind- and I can't have bantams- they're so small I'm afraid our mean red-tailed hawks would carry them off, so I opted for the feathery-footed Giant Cochin hens. I love them. I'm so excited for you to have chickens! keep us posted!

Vaquerogirl said...

I like chickens too, but I dont own any for myself. Lil Momma keeps a few and so does the girl I board Desi with.
The Feed store posts a sign every year at chick season that reads- 'chicks are not returnable'.
That just cracks me up!