Over the past few years I’ve thought off and on about getting chickens. We live on a little over five acres and with the exception of the land right around the house, we let most of the property remain natural. We’ve got a good chunk fenced off for Shadow and another chunk fenced for my orchard. Every spring I’ve seen the sweet little chicks at the feed stores, but haven’t quite been ready to take the step. My sister went on Thursday to get some of her own… and it finally spurred me to get some of my own!
I ended up getting a variety of breeds and colors… some of them look very similar as chicks, but will look very different as adult hens. None of them will be meat birds… we’re just looking for eggs.
Speckled Sussex: a breed that is very adaptive and docile.
Rhode Island Red: an American breed of chicken known for it’s egg laying and hardiness.
Barred Rock: (also known as Plymouth Rock) a breed of chicken that originated in the United States and is a cold hardy bird. They lay a light brown egg that can have a hint of pink. I got two of these ones.
Gold Sex Link: a breed of chicken whose color at hatching is differentiated by sex, which makes it very easy to tell a hen from a rooster.
Brown Cuckoo Maran: a breed of chicken that originates from a western region of France, known for their dark brown eggs (and fine meat quality).
Welsummer: a Dutch chicken breed from the small villiage of Welsum, known for being friendly and intelligent.
Feather Legged Cuckoo Maran: similar breed to the brown cuckoo maran, only these guys have feathers down their legs.
Red Sex Link: a redder version of the gold sex link (see above)
Dominique: considered America’s oldest chicken breed, known for their meat and brown eggs
My little chicks look nothing like the pictures above. You have to use a red heat lamp because chickens are naturally cannibalistic and if for some reason one of them has any blood on it, they’ll peck it to death. The red light helps to hide anything that might trigger peckfest. That said, my garage looks like the red light district… and we have windows, so it shines outside.
Here are the ladies (well, hopefully all ladies) without the red glow. They were a little agitated because they had been taking a nap and I woke them up.
I decided that I am going to build my own coop… I have about a month before they are ready to leave their box and I have picked out a section of the orchard (that way we have double fencing) that I think would be perfect. I want to build a functional coop with a HUGE run. I can’t wait!!!