It is that time of year. When I start to think about chickens. I think that we are about ready to take the plunge into chicken ownership. I have been reading book upon book about chickens. How to raise baby chicks. How to build a coop. What breeds are great egg layers. Which ones will attack you when you aren’t looking 🙂 My favorite book right now is Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and Other Small Spaces. It seems to have a good amount of information in it, all of what I need to know. It has all been a lot of information to take in of course, but I think I am ready.
Emma is definitely ready for baby chicks. I may have made the mistake of talking about baby chicks to Matt at one point. She definitely overheard. And since that time we have been talking about it quite a lot. Pretty much everyday she asks her daddy when she can get the very cute baby chicks which she will hold and take very good care of. There is nothing quite as convincing as her little voice asking for baby chicks “please daddy, please!” And when I said mistake before, I totally meant on purpose 🙂
The breeds that I have decided on are:
They are great layers. Have a friendly disposition. And are hardy in cold weather.
What appealed to me about this breed is that it has a friendly disposition, and of course the fact that they are cold hardy. Since I have young kids, I want chickens that will behave and be nice. I am hoping that raising them from chicks will help that. The fact that they will be around the kids from the beginning should help. At least that is my hope!
They are also great layers. Are friendly, yet curious.
Again, I was looking for great layers. While I eat a mainly vegan diet, the rest of my family tends to enjoy eggs (and I like them as well). I want to have chickens that lay a lot of eggs. I am hoping that we will be able to sell some of the extra eggs to some friends, hopefully making our chickens and eggs pretty much free.
These chickens are good layers, and they are cautious.
Let’s be honest. The real reason we are getting this breed is because they lay blue and green eggs. Who doesn’t want an easter egger as a breed in their flock. Emma loves to get blue and green eggs from the farm, and since I know they tend to survive well enough in our cold Maine winters, I am going to go for it 🙂
Technically we are only allowed six hens. But, I am thinking of getting many more than that, maybe 18. I know that we will probably lose a couple, and I would prefer to have enough at the end of the day, rather than too few. We live in an area that I doubt will be checked on, and even if we did get in trouble, since my mom lives down the road we could easily put half down there and be fine I am sure. Hopefully we won’t lose any though. It would be a much better situation not to have to explain to Emma that we have lost a baby chick. Although, that is life with farm animals, and I am sure she would take it well.
So, it will be happening soon, probably this week. Hopefully this means that I will be getting eggs in the fall, although I am not entirely sure how that all works. I know it usually takes 6 months or so before you start getting eggs, but since this will be in the fall, with a lot less light, I am not sure they will continue to lay or not. Any ideas on this? Should I keep light in their coop? Should I let them have a natural cycle and not have the light? Does it matter? We are also considering meat chickens. I think Matt would be very happy to have a roast chicken every week or so…those would definitely have to be at my mom’s. Exciting times here!