The chickens are coming! The chickens are coming! Last Friday we finally ordered our baby chicks from mypetchicken.com and I couldn’t be more excited!
I had been planning on ordering them for weeks, but what I didn’t realize is that you order them and then pick a time for them to be delivered. I sort of thought they just showed up like two days later. Never mind that whole needing-to-be-born stuff. 🙂
This will not be the last time I’m completely ignorant about something despite all my research.
Speaking of research, most of my learnings thus far have come from Pinterest. I have a board called Raising Chickens where I’ve been stock piling information and blog posts from people much savvier than I in dealing with our feathered friends.
Additionally, I’ve been using the book Raising Chickens as sort of a chicken bible. I love how simple it is to get through and the concepts are straight forward and factual.
With it all, I still feel not ready somehow. I’m actually a bit terrified that I’m going to kill them and feel completely crushed over their little lives – not to mention devastated for my kids that will be heartbroken.
Nevertheless, the chickens are coming.
Breeds of Baby Chicks
Two things drove my picks for deciding which breeds to get.
- They needed to be cold hardy. Living in West Michigan near the lake we tend to get a lot of snow here. Additionally, this winter has been awful and while I hear it’s an anomaly, I wanted to make sure that any birds we brought home could handle it.
- I wanted to make sure they would be kid-friendly. We won’t be raising meat chickens. We will be raising the chickens for eggs and as pets.
Here is what we are getting:
- 2 Buff Orpington – Large and super friendly birds, these were developed in the United Kingdom and are dual purpose birds. They’re apparently wonderful mothers too.
- 2 Blue/Black Splash Orpington – This bird has a blue plumage and is supposed to be very sweet and gentle. The Blue/Black/Splash is refers to the range of colors you might get in the adult bird’s feathers.
- 2 Lavender Orpington – This bird is supposed to “tolerate endless carrying” and is a large and loosely feathered bird. They lay three to four light brown eggs per week.
- 2 Blue Easter Eggers – This is a cross-breed from mypetchicken.com and about 95 percent of them lay about five green eggs a week. The other 5 percent may lay brown or brownish pink eggs.
- 2 Snowy Easter Eggers – Another exclusive from mypetchicken.com this is a white bird that will lay large blue and green eggs.
- 2 Barred Plymouth Rock – With alternating black and white feathers these birds are dual purpose and lay large, brown eggs. They’re supposed to be very friendly and even the roosters are supposed to be one of the “better’ rooster breeds to have.
First time baby chick parents…
So, our 12 new babies will be here sometime next week, and I feel, oddly, like an expectant mother again – the excitement, the fear, the unknown, vaccination decisions (I elected to vaccinate them.), picking out names all the stuff we need for them…
We started preparing this weekend by buying a large, silver, long drum as a brooder and pine shavings for the bottom of it. (Although, I’ve been thinking about putting sand in there at some point. Yes or no?)
I’ve elected to have a chick brooder heating plate instead of a heat lamp. It’s supposed to be able to heat up to 50 chicks (a bit overkill for us) but it’s adjustable as the chicks grow and gets great reviews. It’s also supposed to be much safer, so fingers crossed there.
We’ve also started talking about names. My kids have each picked out one name – Rosa Bella and Batman. I tried to explain to my son that the chickens were all going to be girls (God willing) but he felt like any girl or boy chicken would be honored to be called Batman. I might pick out the remaining 10 names…LOL.
Their future home
To make it even more exciting, the coop is almost done! I know they won’t be able to go out there for weeks but just the idea that it will be here shortly after the babies makes me even more excited. It’s like prepping a room for a newborn. 🙂
Horizon Structures sent us photos last week and they are planning to ship it at the end of the month. Here is what it looks like…
So, tell me, if you’ve had baby chicks, what’s the must-do that I need to know? Give me all the secrets for keeping them alive…Pretty please…with an egg on top?
For more about our outdoor farm projects, click here.