Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chickens, Chickens, Chickens

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine called me from the co-op. She was down there ordering her cornish-cross chickens. She had been all over me about getting some and wanted to know if I wanted to order some too. I broke down and told her to order us 10. After all, they are a short-term project (butchering around 8 weeks). She told me that she would keep them until they were feathered out and could be put into my chicken tractor (good thing I didn't tear it down).

Yesterday, she called to tell me that she had picked them up. I decided that we would keep them here, so that the girls could have the experience. I have to go pick up a tote to use as a brooder. I had never thought about using a rubbermaid in this fashion. I've always just used a cardboard box.

This same friend has about 50 free-range laying hens too. She is going to let us borrow her incubator, until I can build my own, and give us 18 eggs to hatch. I thought this would be a great science experiment for the littles and they can also take on some of the responsibility for caring for them. I'll post pics as we go along.

Now, this won't replace my plans to purchase my buff orpingtons. I want 18 of those too. This just means that I really need to get moving on my chicken house! I think this year it will be something simple, since the goats took a big chunk of my budget and I still have to prepare for the pigs that will be here in June.

I almost forgot to mention, we seem to have a stray chicken from the neighbors house. She was hanging out with me in the shop the other day when I was cleaning it out. Shyann and I have wondered if she's been laying eggs out there, but couldn't figure out where. When I was unloading hay last week, we found a 'nest' with several eggs. We found this by the horrific smell that it was letting off. She still goes home to roost, but in exchange for all of the bugs she can eat, has decided to grace us with an egg every day. If only we could convince a couple more of their chickens to do this for a few more months, we'd be set until we have layers.

God bless you all!

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