Beau April 9th, 2010
I love morning in spring… everything is so cool and refreshing, and the sounds of the birds are amazing. Life is scrambling everywhere it seems, and I feel that energy to start things that Iv’e been waiting for all winter. The sun’s light quickly colors the landscape and the redbud trees are beautiful…
And there are other blessings too, or at least cute ones. Somehow I’ve always wanted to raise a few chickens. But I never said much about that, at least seriously. Then the boy comes along and tells me he wants to raise chickens. His mom not so much… but she at least thinks they’re cute, and likes looking at them- as long as I take care of them! So I figure we’ll have a little project for a few years or more. I’m not getting any younger- and the boy is growing older fast, so this is the perfect time. I’m excited to introduce our new friends… a host of little chicks that will grow up to lay eggs.
So it seems I have another project to add to the list…. building a coop! They are doing well though, at about 2 1/2 weeks old. These little guys (girls!) are funny- they snuggle together to keep warm, and then chase each other all around when one of them appears to have something to eat that the others want.
There’s seven pullets and three from a “straight run” batch, or “pan fry special” where it’s a guess as to their sex. Overall for the hens I picked up three red sex-linked chicks which were cited as a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a Delaware (or other white) hen, a New Hampshire Red, two Buff Orpingtons and a “rainbow pullet” which looks like a Leghorn. The other three are made up of two Barred Plymouth Rocks (which I think are hens…), and a black colored chick which is anyone’s guess. I’m hoping it’s a rooster, as it just had that feel to it. The two Barred Rocks could be roosters as well, but by the coloration my guess is that they’ll be hens.
Aside from taking care of them, the biggest challenge may be to keep them safe from predators- including our dogs and cats to begin with. The little shiba dog sat nearly drooling as he watched the little chicks running about for exercise the other day. I’ll have to build a stout coop and run for them. But we’ve got foxes, coyotes, racoons, owls and hawks of all kinds around the area. I’m looking forward to watching them grow, and sometime next fall we should have some healthy eggs.
With effort and a little luck, the peeps should grow up to have a good, happy life. Ah yes, we’ll see. But I’m not quite ready to count my… well, you know.