Raising Chickens


Raising Meat Chickens

Hey ya'll!
Our new batch of 50 peeps arrived in the mail last week.  I thought you might like to take a peek and check them out while they're still adorable...

When they arrive, they haven't had any food or water yet.

As we take each chick out of the shipping box, we show it where to drink by dipping its beak.

They are noisy and freaked out.  Understandably.

Here's our little set up.  Rubbermaid tote, heat lamp, food and water.


Little sleepy heads.

Uh-oh.  Gotta add another bin.  See how easy it is to rig this all up?  
Wait til you see how much they've grown in just one week!  All they do is sleep and eat, eat, eat!

 The Peeps Are Here!

In honor of the momentous occasion that our chickens actually started laying eggs, I'd like to share the story with you.  We are new to this whole chicken-raising thing, so it's been a real learning experience and a fun adventure.

The first thing we had to do was get their little house ready.  We had an old equipment shed on our property already, so all we needed were a few modifications.

The guys put up a wall to separate the coop from the junk side.

And then they built some spiffy nesting boxes.  Gotta love those hard workin' men!
We also built in a couple of roosts made from trees out of our back yard.

Meanwhile, we mail ordered our peeps.  We picked out the top selling Golden Buff layers, some Rhode Island Reds, because Graci liked those the best, and three Barred Plymouth Rocks because they were cheaper if I ordered 25 peeps all together.

We were so excited the day that they came in the mail. But first I had to find the post office, which was in my home town, which I didn't even know existed.  It was a very friendly post office, by the way.

So here they are...

Aren't they adorable?

We made their brooder out of a Rubbermaid bin.  We have a heat lamp hanging above them that can be adjusted to keep the temperature just right.  These babies like it hot!

To be continued...

Peeps to Teenage Chicks

After only two short weeks of living in our garage, these girls were just about ready to move out.  They like it to be about 90 degrees the first week and then just a little cooler each week.  Since it was July, we barely even needed the heat lamps, except for at night, so they could move into the coop and still be warm enough.
Life in here is getting a little crowded!

Barred Plymouth Rock...  "Happy Feet" 
at about two weeks, starting to look like a bird instead of a puff ball.

Boys hanging out in the coop (brand new shavings) watching the girls hide in the corner.

They were a little freaked out at first.
Funny looking at one month... half peep, half chicken.  They're called pullets.
Getting all settled in... still hanging out under the heat lamp at night.

That's all there is to it!  These quirky little pets are much easier to keep than you might think.  Now all they need to do is lay some eggs...

Lovin' My Girls... and the Rooster, Too

Have I told you lately how much I absolutely love my chickens?

I need to tell you so that if you are even remotely trying to decide if you want to try to raise your own, I might be able to tip the scale in favor of wonderful chickens.  So far, there is not one thing that I do not like about these birds.

Here's a few things that we've learned from our experience:

They are easier to care for than the dog. 

They make eggs.

They eat every bit of kitchen scraps and grody stuff out of my fridge and turn it into eggs.

The eggs taste good.

They do not stink.  The chickens, that is.

They are surprisingly resilient.

They are just as happy at 95 degrees as they are at 19.

They keep the dog from being neurotic by giving her a job to do.

They are friendly, in a weird sort of way.

And they are extremely entertaining.

Are you convinced yet?  Even though we've built a run for them to hang out in, I like to let them out and watch them explore the yard and look for bugs.  It drives Noah crazy because he worries about them all day.  He's pretty attached.

They like to clean up under the bird feeders. 

They'll stand at our front door looking in.  The rooster will even look in the back deck door.  By the way, we didn't order a rooster.  He just happened to be included.  His name is Manly Stanley.  So far he's a bit of a bully, but not mean.  I enjoy watching him strut his stuff.  I learn a lot about men that way.  ; )

One of our girls decided to go broody today.  That means that she wants to start a family so she set up camp in one of the nesting boxes and is planning on hatching everyone else's eggs, as well as her own.

I would be pretty excited about it, but since it's the middle of winter, I think her timing is a little off.  We'll have to keep shooing her off and maybe she can try again in the Spring.  I'd sure love those little peeps!  I'm not quite sure about all those chickens, though.  We're already eating eggs every day!  Oh well, the more the merrier.
Anyways...just wanted you to know. : )

Later, Peeps.

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