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The chickens are coming! Our first baby chicks

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.

The chickens are coming! Our first baby chicks

My favorite accounts there have become Backyard Chickens, Morning Chores, Fresh Eggs Daily, Rebecca’s Bird Gardens and Murano Chicken Farm.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

The chickens are coming! Our first baby chicks The chickens are coming! Our first baby chicks

  • 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…

The chickens are coming! Our first baby chicks The chickens are coming! Our first baby chicks

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.

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35 Comments

  1. Stacie

    That’s so fun! We used to have neighbors with chickens, an I loved watching them out and about in the yard.

    • Rachel Quenzer

      I’m sure that was fun! I hear they’re a riot.

  2. Kimberly K Croisant

    I have often thought about raising chickens, but now we have a LAB and so that answered that!!

    MY niece raises chickens and eats their eggs. I love that part about raising chicks. AND that chicken coup – boy that’s fancy.

    Good luck with your new adventure.

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Thank you! I’ve seen some dogs get along with chickens really well!

  3. Brianne

    Living in New York City, we’re not apt to see chickens. I do love to see them when we go to rural areas and the kids find them funny.

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Are there people there getting one or two though in the outskirts? City chickens have started to become a think in Chicago.

  4. Carol Bryant

    WOW this is fantastic. I never knew someone who raised chickens, other than my grandma who did so and sold their eggs. Folks used to stop by from all over. Have fun!

    • Rachel Quenzer

      We might sell them too. 🙂

  5. Cat

    That is so exciting!! I have always wondered what it would be like to raise them!

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Me too. I guess we’ll find out. LOL

  6. Liz Mays

    This should be such a great new journey for you guys! I hope the chicks enjoy their new home and the new coop when its ready.

  7. krystal

    I am SO jealous! I would love to have room for a chicken coop and to live in an area where they are allowed!

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Thank you. <3

  8. Sheila Rhodes

    You will love raising chickens! My sister raises them, and we have the best time with them. All we do is say, Hi Girls and they come running!

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Aw! That makes me so excited!

  9. Celebrate Woman Today

    Love your chicks for the farm, Rachel!
    I was raised in the country and do appreciate this lifestyle.
    Can’t wait to see these beautiful chicos to grow up!

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Those in the photo are not our’s. Our’s will arrive next week.

  10. Jennifer Maune

    This sounds like so much fun! Thanks for the little bit of insight – it’s fun to learn! This coop is gorgeous. Good luck!

    -Jennifer
    https://maunelegacy.com

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Thanks!

  11. Catalina

    wow! I am so glad for you! I am sure you are great parents and you built a wonderful house for your baby chicks!

  12. Melissa Dixon

    My aunt raises chickens for big companies like Perdue and Tyson. She used to complain a lot about the sick ones making others sick so that is something I would be mindful of when raising my own chickens. Also, a friend of mine raises chickens but he treats them like kids, even brought them into his house at times when predators became too much of a threat. It’s hilarious watching their adventures, I just love the chickens.

    • Rachel Quenzer

      I’ve seen some people do that. I think raising them for a family is probably a bit different than mass producing them. That must be really hard.

  13. Ruth I

    I really have no idea about raising chicks but I am so excited to follow your journey! Their house looks amazing!

  14. Dawn

    That coop is gorgeous, and so is your home! I have always wanted chickens, and not so secretly want to live on a farm. Maybe one day 🙂 Best of luck with your chicks, they are adorable!

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Thank you so much!

  15. Andrea Copley

    I’ve been keeping chickens for about 5 years now. My favorite breeds are the barred plymouth rock, americuana or easter eggers, and salmon faverolle. The salmon faverolle are my absolute favorite, but they lay smaller eggs. They have such personality, though, so I can overlook the egg size. Lol.

    Also, please check out The Chicken Chick. She is my go-to for chicken information. An incredible wealth of knowledge, will help and answer questions, and has lots of advice on her site from vets.

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Thank you so so much! I will for sure check her out! I’ve never even heard of the salmon faverolle!

  16. Raina

    Oh my gosh they are so cute, and their home is adorable to match!

  17. Jennifer

    I am so jealous! I love baby chicks and want some badly but my husband says NO WAY!

    • Rachel Quenzer

      Do you have the space? Maybe just bring a few home and see what he says. LOL.

  18. Pam

    I had baby chicks when I was little and living in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, I do not have any advice on how to care for them, since I was very young and then moved to NYC. But I think they are great as pets and they are so very cute! Also, knowing where your eggs are coming from is always a plus!

  19. Cindy Gordon

    Oh my gosh, I absolutely adore chickens! You will have a blast with being chicken parents and I can see they will be spoiled!

  20. Becca Wilson

    Having baby chicks would be so much fun! I am sure that my kiddos would really love to interact with them and watch them grow.

  21. Rosemary

    How cool and what fun. I’d love to ro raise chickens for my own eggs. What fun pets that will reward you with delicious eggs. From the looks of things, your chicks will be taken care of very well! Enjoy.

  22. Blairvillanueva

    Omg your blog reminds me of my childhood. We used to breed chicks too as part of our school assignments.


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