Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chick Season Nearing

What can I say, I am a sucker for an adorable, fluffy chick. Or in this case a fluffy, cold hen. More snow this past week here in Oregon. Makes for cranky leghorns, in this case a moody Starbuck who had to be lured out for a photo session.

Yesterday we spent part of the afternoon meandering around town surveying  the current batch of chicks available at our favorite chicken stores. Backyard Farmer, likely our most favorite chicken store in town, had a fresh batch of several breeds and it took all of my effort not to head home with a shoebox filled with peeping chicks. We're trying to wait for our favorite breeds to come in...ugh, the waiting.

In the meantime, let me spend a few moments gushing about raising chicks. This is what our original flock looked like soon after we brought them all home. During the first few weeks they spend a lot of time eating, sleeping, and seeking warmth. I can't wait to lay in bed and listen to the sound of little chirps from the other room.

After a while they start to resemble chickens with a few feathers coming in here and there. At this point, they become very inquisitive. And typically require moving into a larger box for their living situation as they start to jump about.

In a few months they will have grown large enough to begin living outside. Here are our ladies on their first day of living in the big outdoor world in their newly constructed chicken tractor. I remember how much I fretted the first evening!

This time around, we will spend a few months integrating our original flock and the new additions. This involves having their pens close together, yet not within contact yet. They'll cluck at each other, get used to the new scents, and when the little ones become big enough to hold their own around the original flock we will see how the integration goes. Check back soon for baby chick pics!

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