Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Additions

I've been driving my hubby a bit bonkers with our "chicken merry-go-round." I have grand plans for the chickens and many reasons for changing things up so let me explain a bit.

Two years ago my FIL surprised us with some baby chicks. So soft and sweet looking. They are of the Barred Rock variety. We started out with just those six which thankfully were all hens. The next spring I bought eight more and one ended up being a rooster. Poor Clarence met his untimely demise this spring after he was a bit too "rooster-like" towards Grandad and injured him.

This is not Clarence, but he looked very similar. 

Just after Clarence's death I snagged some eggs to incubate just to try it out. It was fun and educational. We ended up with five hens and six roosters. 

Of these I just delivered all five hens and one rooster to a young girl I know who really wanted her own flock. We'll be keeping one rooster and I'm giving another one away to another friend. Now we just need to find homes for the remaining three. 

All this to say, I'm starting fresh. 

I recently purchased six Buff Orpington's, six Dark Braham's, and six guinea hens. Right now they are all located on my screened in porch in a brooder box (converted washing machine box). They are about six weeks old at this point and not quite fully feathered yet. 

The Buff Orpington's will look like this when full grown....

The Dark Braham's will look like this....

And my guineas will look sort of like this.....
but some of mine have more white on their body. They are still little and still cute. LOL

These are my chicks. The white one is actually a Dark Braham rooster, the one in the middle (and the far left and foreground) is a guinea hen, and the one on the right is a Dark Braham hen. 

The all gold colored ones in the photo are the Buff Orpington chicks. We're trying hard to socialize them, but it's a hard job as they were already three weeks old when we bought them. We'll get there though. The boys love to hold them! I was hoping to have really tame chickens and guineas but I'm not sure we can devote the time needed at the moment. 

Our current flock of Barred Rocks will be replaced with the above batch once the younger ones start laying eggs. That should be sometime this fall. I'm not sure yet whether we'll give the Barred Rocks away or if they will just be dispatched. While chickens can live upwards of ten years they only lay eggs for the first 2-3 so my flock only has another 1-2 years of egg production. And if our new rooster can't stop all the "pecking order" that is going on, they will most likely end up gone for good.

On top of changing up the chickens, they will also be getting a new home! My hubby & discussed it and in the next year or so my FIL will be working on renovating our old barn. Something that desperately needs to occur. Partly due to that hubby decided to build me a new coop. He started working on it this week and I'll have photos up soon. We're also going to do a trial of free ranging the chickens. We'll see how that goes. I had planned to free range the guineas since we got them to help keep the tick population down. However, six guineas roaming around is vastly different when a dozen chickens are added. Today I found a deer tick crawling on me so they can't grow up fast enough! Thankfully the tick hadn't bitten me.

That is a glimpse in to our chicken life. 


  1. Awww! We're still waiting to see for sure what we have in our newest hatchlings. I think it's 5 hens and 4 roosters, but I'm not sure. I'm so new at this stuff! LOL And there's Cheeper of course, looking more and more Buff! We'll need to buy a coop soon as they're getting so big!

  2. Ticks, yuck!

    We let our chicken's just wander the yard... they go in when the sun starts to set. The only problem we have with it, is that they like to come up the steps to the house, and poop on them. Plus there is now poop all through the yard, which we sometimes tend to forget..

    Love the pic's! :)

  3. I hate ticks!

    Farm fresh eggs - yum!


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