The big day had arrived. Today was the day to go to a farm in Johnstown, Ohio to pick out chicks to start our flock!
Brooders are used to confine chicks with their feed and water and keep them warm, until they are 6 - 8 weeks old and ready to go outside
Bill helped carry the cabinet into the mudroom where I planned to keep the chicks, then we set the storm windows in place and hung the heat lamp.
- There are breeds used mainly for showing at fairs and chicken shows.
- Some chickens are used as mass egg layers, but their meat is not so tasty.
- Some are raised just for their meat, and are butchered within weeks after getting them.
- Then there are the dual purpose chickens.
Developed in New England in 1829.
This is a hardy chicken.
Can be very tame.
Is a good egg layer and has excellent tasting meat.
Lays brown eggs.
Originated in England in the 1880's.
Came to the USA in 1890.
Is hardy, smart, can be tame.
Has good meat and lays brown eggs.
Developed in the USA in 1890's.
It's a hardy chicken and is a beautiful deep red color.
It's a great egg layer,
Eggs that are brown to dark brown.
Developed in New York in the 1860's,
This chicken is docile and hardy.
Has a good temperament and are very good mothers.
Lays brown eggs and chicks are very strong.
On my first trip to the Tractor Supply earlier in the week, a clerk led me to items he said I would need:
A feeder, waterier, chick starter feed and antibiotic drops to put in the chicks water for 6 weeks, and a few other items.
|A small sampling of my reading material|
The closest Tractor Supply store to our farm is in New Rome, Ohio, and this trip, lucky for me, a lady named Debbie was working. She helped me more with advice about chickens than anyone has besides my stack of books. She answered many questions and told us about her chickens. I could have talked to her for hours, but my baby chicks were waiting for me!
When the chicks are older I will purchase a large galvanized steel water receptacle and feeder, but for now the chicks will eat from a small cake pan.
The small enclosed water receptacle is very important in the first week or so because baby chicks can easily drown in open containers of water.
On the road once again, we stopped to pick up my daughter Alexis and then headed north: our appointment was at noon.
The farm was like a farm should be, or how I picture it in my head. Pigs, chickens, cows, stacks of firewood, farm fields and a huge dog greeted us as we pulled into the lane.
A young Amish man, John came out of the hog pen to help us. He led Bill, Alexis and I through the barn to the back stairs that led to an upper floor.And there they were, OH MY GOSH, CHICKENS, A BILLION OF THEM!
Well hundreds anyways.
The little chicks were all inside squared off areas. Each area was covered and had a heat lamp. John asked me what kind of chicks I was interested in. I read off my list, which had each breed name with a photo of an adult chicken and baby chicken and a description.To his credit, John did not laugh, or snicker or make fun of me. He just took out his list of available chicks and matched our lists up.
(Yes, I’m that kind of person)
(Yes, I’m that kind of person)
Don’t judge me!
I decided I needed, no, must have 3 of each breed. Do the math, that's not six, that’s 12!
As I went back though my list, saying the breed names of the ones I wanted, John would hand me a baby chick, three from each breed and I placed them in the box.
Bill stood back and watched while Alexis oohed and ahhed over each and every baby chick as they were past into the box.
When I reached the desired amount we closed the box and headed back down stairs, Bill leading the way, then John, followed by Alexis carrying my box of babies and me last to say goodbye to all the other chicks.
I can’t believe I finally have chickens.
More information on keeping chickens:
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"A true friend is someone who knows you're a good egg even if you're a little cracked."
"The rooster may crow, but the hen lays the egg"