Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring Brings New Babies!

Spring has certainly sprung here at the Grieshop "farm"...and a farm we are becoming! We've been dreaming of raising chickens now for a number of years and finally, this Tuesday evening, our dream came true.

Last weekend we worked together as a family to build a proper brooding box made entirely from recycled wood and objects found around our homestead. From an old dog house, a fallen off wire door and some lumber odd and ends (and Matt's constructive creativity) we put together a great place for our babies! Originally we were going to use a cardboard box, but after scrounging around and finding some great reusable wood, we decided a nice sturdy box we can reuse every year (as we add to our brood) would be ideal.
We went in on an order of chicks with some friends who already have an established flock, but wanted to add to it and replace some victims of a hawk goes farm life. They also know a fair amount about the different breeds, how they lay and what kinds of eggs they lay.
We ended up getting 12 chicks in all, 3 each of 4 different breeds:

Rhode Island Red:
These girls will lay brown eggs and are known to be good layers that can produce for an upwards of 3 years. They are also known to be more skiddish and can be more aggressive...we'll see. We are already noticing they are molting the most of the three breeds we have now. Very cute!

Often thought of as chicks on the fanciers (yuppy-ish city folk who move to the country for the "real-life") have, Aurucanas are so pretty. Even as babies you can see they will have a gorgeous plumage. These ladies will lay a blue-green egg of medium to small size. I don't think they are particularly excellent layers, but they are fun to have and are known to be more mellow!

Barred Rock:
Good layers of brown eggs, these chicks are also known to be more mellow. Eventually they will have a black and white spotted plumage. These seem to be the most active so far and are the hardest to catch when we want to hold the chicks (which we try to do every day so they are used to us...the kids love it!)

Our final breed, Leghorns, are white and will lay white eggs that can be quite large. We'll pick up those babies on Tuesday! So far we really enjoy having them do the cat and dog!

We've also been having a few other friends of the poultry nature come around...especially on the rainy and foggy days.


Karen said...

ooooh, that's just wonderful that you are able to get your flock going! when i worked at the co-op, some of the local egg producers would bring in their eggs, a mixture of brown, white, and green (auracana) eggs, so colorful and so much better than what you can get in a mass-produced egg! i'm happy for you all, great job. hopefully you will end up with all or almost all hens. we look forward someday to our own flock, but unfortunately can't have them in town...come on buyer! happy spring....

Queen of Scatterville said...

Sounds like such fun! Much more fun then our newest members of the family, hamsters. All they do is sleep all day and the dog and cats stalk them, so that they are stuck in the shower with the bathroom door closed! Some day I'll have chickens but not until my dog behaves better.

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