We really enjoy our chickens. Roasted, barbequed, or in soups…and sometimes their personalities are cute, too.
Two years ago, we ordered fifty chickens, without quite knowing where we would put them. We built a coop in one corner of the barn, but we discovered (the day we brought those chicks home) that it was drafty when it was six degrees outside and raining sideways. So, we ended up with fifty chicks taking up residence in our bathtub for a week or so, until we could make alternate arrangements.
This year, we ordered 25 more chicks, to replace the hens that the fox got last summer, and also with the intent of boosting our egg production, as we’ve found it astonishingly easy to unload eggs, even at a slightly profitable price. There are other folks around here selling eggs for less than we charge, but we have an advantage: one of our ‘bonus’ chickens that the hatchery included in our order lays green eggs. Apparently a green egg or two is worth at least a dollar a dozen!
With that in mind, we ordered ten straight run Americaunas, the breed that lays the green eggs. Apparently they can also lay blue, brown, and pink eggs, depending, so I’m hoping that we get at least five hens, and that at least a couple of them lay colored eggs.
We also got 15 Black Sex Link hen chicks. We’ve never had them before, but I really liked the idea of minimizing the number of new roosters around here. We still have plenty from the 25 or so we butchered in 2011; apparently we don’t eat chicken as often as I thought. These BSL girls are supposed to be good layers, and very hardy in cold weather. Hopefully this is true, as our winters are very long and cold.
Knowing we had chickens coming, we had a plan, and even a place to put them. The weather had been quite nice for several weeks, and there is a reasonably protected corner of the barn we thought we could reclaim; the coop we built for the 2011 chicks is, of course, occupied by the 2011 chickens, so that wasn’t an option. Then, of course (of course!), it got chilly, and the rain came. Great for my garden; not so great for day-old chicks. At least this time we didn’t have to scramble to put a hook in over the bathtub to hang the heat lamp on…
Those chicks will be evicted as soon as the weather turns, though…