Alrighty then…here’s my very first posting! Yay me! Cheers to the beginning of my blog about our experiences growing food and chickens (and hopefully bees soon, too) on 1/8 acre as well as all of our joys and stumbles along the way! I thank you (my imagined reader) in advance while I figure this whole blog thing out.
What better way to start off then with the ultimate beginning…life! That’s right, last Wednesday we got a new batch of chicks from out local feedstore! 2 Ameraucanas and 2 Rhode Island Reds to add to our flock of 5 Ameraucanas we got last spring as our very first journey into Chicken Land! Until this morning, we were sure we would lose one of the R.I. Reds…she just couldn’t keep her feet under her, wouldn’t eat or drink unless encouraged and slept all the time. This morning, however, and all day since, she’s just like one of the others…running around like crazy, eating and chirping away! YAY! Hopefully this maintains!
Where do we keep these chicks? In a home made brooder in the garage for now. Where will they live when they’re big enough? Out in our backyard with the original 5…in the coop we built from scratch last spring. Trial and error? Oh, yes! And there is some re-modelling to be done this spring as well, but it works and has gotten them through the last 9 months or so. (Note: this cardboard box is not the brooder we built. Promise. I just don’t have a good picture of it yet.)
Now, just to give you a bit of history…You know the age-old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Well, in our case, it was the chicken first. Last year we bought 5 chicks with the intention of harvesting their eggs while they produce and then culling them when they stop (the goal is to be as sustainable as possible, not feed birds that aren’t giving us anything back…this may sound harsh, but it’s the truth). We were thinking that, statistically speaking, 1 would probably die and 1 would probably be a rooster which would promptly try to give away (our neighbors would not take kindly to the cockle doodle doos of a rooster) which would leave us with 3. This, we thought, was a good number to start off with. However, they all wound up surviving and they were all girls! We’ll see what this year brings, but we’ve obviously fallen in love with the whole backyard chicken idea…and even more in love with their super yummy, almost orange yolked eggs!!!