We had a long winter with little to no eggs. Getting 0-3 eggs a day, I was forced to buy eggs from the store! I forget how spoiled we are until I eat eggs from a store. It’s like eating those ice cream dots instead of Haagen Daz.
Although our girls have picked up production now, we always add new chicks every year to replace the older girls (3-4 years old) that have stopped laying.
- 10 Ameraucana (blue & green eggs)
- 5 Black sex link (brown eggs)
- 3 Barred Rock (Brownish/pink eggs and I just like the look of these girls)
- 5 Road Island Red (Light brown eggs. They are not the prettiest, but they are prolific layers)
- 2 White Leghorn (White eggs)
We always buy a few more then we need to cover the losses and roosters. Our motto is “If it crows, it goes”. When were learning about chickens I read a post from a lady that terrified me. She said they raised all their kids around chickens and roosters and never had any problems. Then one year her 2 year old grandson was visiting and went to collect eggs with her and the rooster jumped up and pecked him in the eye. He ended up loosing almost all vision in that eye.
That was all I needed to hear. Its just not worth it. Many have tried to convert me to the benefits of a rooster, but I would rather loose a few birds to a predator each year and have beautiful chickens. Roosters can trash the feathers on the hens, they start to look like haggard old showgirls. So… “If it crows, it goes”
Once we bring the chicks home we start them off in a large horse feeding trough with heating lamps and a mirror or old CD. If the chicks have something reflective to peck at they usually do not peck each other. Chicks are pretty easy to take care of but in the beginning they can get Pasty butt. Yes, Pasty butt is as gross as it sounds. It occurs in baby chicks when their droppings stick to the tiny feathers (down) around their vent. So basically they can get a poop plug that if not taken care of quickly can lead to death. The good news is, its super easy to fix. You just hold the chicks bum under slightly warm water as you gently massage the poop to break it up and get it all out. Dry the chick well and put her back under the heat lamp.
Really my favorite thing about baby chicks is the chirping sound they make and how mesmerizing they are to watch and play with.
You need to enjoy them when they are cute and fluffy because in a very short time they hit their teenage stage and they look downright scary.
~The Country Chick