Friday, June 22, 2012

Chick Update

The chicks are eating, drinking, pooping, sleeping and seem to be very happy with their life in our brooder.

The brooder is set up with a screen on top because we've learned in the past that very quickly the little peepers can jump higher than you'd ever think possible and too often seem intent on making an escape to check out parts of the garage that aren't included in their little world.

Our chicks came from Sand Hill Preservation Center in Iowa where we've orered chicks for several years and, as usual, seem to be very healthy. Our order this year was for Black Australorps, Icelandics, Dominiques and Golden Laced Cochin bantams. Because of hatching difficulties at the hatchery, we ended up with Black Australorps, Icelandics and Barred Hollands. No banties, sad to say. We've always had very good luck with bantams because they go broody for us, make excellent mothers and also give a fair amount of eggs for a longer period of time than standard sized hens.

The hatchery offered to give us a partial refund because they couldn't supply the varieties we wanted, but we told them that wasn't necessary. Maybe next year we'll give another try at the two breeds we didn't get this year. We've always enjoyed dealing with Sand Hill as they're a family business that does right by their customers.

Because we didn't get these chicks until so late in the season, they won't start laying until close to the first of the new year. Right now our current seven laying hens are giving us five or six eggs a day. If they can hang in there with good production until these new chicks come on board, we'll be all set.

12 comments:

Susan said...

I'm not familiar with the Icelandics - what made you choose them? I am thinking a theme here ... Icelandic sheep, Icelandic chickens, Icelandic horses, whoa!

Leigh said...

They are so cute! How neat that you try new breeds every year. What fun.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Curiousity. They're supposedly extremely hardy birds (you'd be, too, if you hailed from Iceland, no?) who go broody any time of year and will take their chicks out onto the snow and everybody will love it. When all the rest of the birds won't go out in winter, the Icelandics will. (Maybe they're just not too bright?) Superb layers and foragers with a pleasant temperament. Extremely feed efficient. All this remains to be proven since we've never even seen one yet!! (Other than as babies, of course.)

A theme? Icelandic sheep, chickens, horses? Double whoa!

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - We keep searching for the "perfect" bird . . . plus it's fun to raise different breeds and compare them. I think so far both of us like the Black Australorps as much as any we've had.

Stephanie said...

Nice!! I bet they feel much more comfy than they were in that box. You are such a good momma to your critters

Erin said...

Will be a fun summer tending to those little chicks, when you are that cute it's okay that you don't lay eggs yet!

judy said...

in that order huh? eat ,drink,poop and sleep? why does that sound familiar? oh I know ,babies ,I guess I should know.poop no I mean pooped ,thats what I am Jerry's cousins sure are funny tho.the weather is not co-operating with my menu tho,no cook-out in the rain and I'm running short of idea's not counting food buy they were nice enough to give me a break last night in trying to feed a hundred hillbillies jk ,they bought pizza ( but tomorrow there will be 8 of them plus my hundred--lol

The Weekend Homesteader said...

One of our roosters is a cochin bantam, and I have to say he's one of our favorites. So sorry you didn't get the bantams.

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Animals won't be too, too far in your future now! How exciting. Thanks for your kind words, but we both know people who don't take care of animals shouldn't have them! Ever!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - It is fun when they are old enough to go outside on green grass. We have a special little, moveable house where these guys will grow up. They won't go into the "big girls'" house until late fall when they're pretty much full-grown.

Mama Pea said...

judy - Now that you mention it, little baby animals ARE a lot like human babies!! How much longer is your company staying?

Mama Pea said...

The Weekend Homesteader - Yeah, we were actually pretty disappointed. I think bantams almost always have a really good disposition . . . especially the roosters.