Sunday, May 25, 2008

We Have New Chickens!

Since we've had trouble with predation the last few months and are down to just 11 hens and no roosters, we decided it was time to get more chicks. We really didn't want to have to start with day-old chicks and wait 22 weeks or more for them to start laying, so we were fortunate to hear from a friend about a local woman who raises chickens on (what I consider) a large scale, but not like a commercial seller. So we went to check her chicks out, and got to see the hens and roosters she uses to raise her own chicks--nothing mail-order here.

We ended up coming home with 10 future hens and one rooster. This picture shows 3 of the 4 2-month old pullets we bought--though I think the fourth is hiding in back. The darker one is a cuckoo maran, and the two lighter birds are araucanas (not sure which breed actually, if you look at the confusion over this breed mentioned at wikipedia).

Emily's holding a cuckoo maran.

The rest of the pictures show our 3 month old pullets. We got 2 buff Orpingtons, 2 Welsummers (one of each in this photo, though the Welsummer just shows her head) . . . plus 2 dark brahmas, a Jersey giant, and a mixed breed--don't remember what she said the mix was, but probably a dark brahma was one of the parents. Plus the rooster is a Jersey giant as well.

Here's another buff and the mix.

This shows the two dark brahmas and the mixed breed.

Here's the Jersey giant cockerel. He went straight for a high spot in the coop. :)

Right now they're staying in the coop, but probably in another day or two we'll let the older ones out into the fenced yard. The younger ones will have to wait a bit longer till we can secure the fence better for their smaller size. If you live in central Virginia and want to buy chickens, you can contact Karen Rice at 540-923-4052. She lives in Madison, VA. You can buy chicks of just about any age; she's got more breeds than the ones we purchased, and she sells eggs. Her husband raises produce to sell, as well.

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