Monday, March 24, 2014

{Yard Birds}

My life, ever animal themed, has taken an agricultural turn as of late. The discussion started over a year ago, When I mentioned how much I'd like a pig... which Jeff promptly shot down ( and probably with good reason). This led to other conversations, one of which was keeping Chickens. Surprisingly enough, it was something we both agreed on, and so, a year ago, we both decided that this summer we would make efforts towards learning new skills in self sufficiency, and along with a vegetable garden, building up a respectable food storage, we are venturing into the world of urban ( or in our case Suburban) chickens.

After Copious amounts of research and planning, we started at the end of February with the first set of chicks. I wanted a varied flock with different breeds so that they would first, be easier to tell apart, second, provide a varied set of eggs, and third, would give us some experience on the difference between chicken breeds first hand. As different breeds started to hatch and trickle in to the local feed stores, we started our search and ended up with four different breeds of chickens in our flock. Golden Comets, Buff Brahmas, Easter Eggers, and Silver Laced Wyandottes.

The first several weeks are spent keeping them warm in a brooder, out of their water source, and out of the mouths of canines. While I'm sure the choosing of particularly docile breeds has been a huge factor, these guys are by in large very sweet, curious, and easy to manage. Some are flightier than others, but a couple of them are happy to eat right from your hand, and are just as interested in the dogs as the dogs are in them ( Though I suspect they have very different motives). It has been surprisingly easier than I thought it would be so far, and provided Mother Nature can get her act together, we will be transitioning them outside as each chicken becomes old enough.  Until then, the older girls enjoy day trips outside, while they younger ones enjoy free reign of the brooder in their absence!

Chickmunk is a sassy Buff Brahma, feathered legs and all!
Nugget is another Buff Brahma, and will make a tasty meal in a few weeks!
This little lady is an Easter Egger, and will lay an egg that can range from blue-green in color. She's a shy, but calm little bird so far! 
This is Becky! She's also an Easter Egger, and we're curious how she's going to feather out. So far, every one of our easter eggers looks very different from the other, and I'm curious how different their eggs will be, too!

 Some of these ladies will be dinner in a month or two, while most of them will be laying a colorful set of eggs, both being more organic and healthful than anything we can find in a store! We're certainly looking forward to the fun, struggle and adventure that these gals have in store for us!