My phone rang at 7:30 this morning and it was the post office clerk letting me know that the chicks had arrived. I wouldn’t say that I forgot about placing the order, I’m just saying that I may have forgotten to buy a few basic supplies yesterday.
Such as chick food.
And a new heat lamp.
Lucky for me, our local pharmacy stocks farm supplies and I was able to find chick starter as well. Crisis averted.
I went with Black Australorp pullets this time around even though I was tempted to add a couple of Welsummers and Ameraucanas into the mix for the variation of color in the egg basket. I’ve had lots of different breeds and have found the Australorp to be the most consistent layer throughout every season. Not to mention that I adore these puffy little black and yellow chicks.
Nerd confession- I love taking pictures of eggs. I also love my custom stamps from Substation Paperie.
I prefer to order chicks in the fall because the temps are perfect and I don’t have to worry over whether or not they are getting too hot or too cold.
Another bonus for starting chicks in the fall is that they will be laying eggs in the spring. Everyone gets to stay cooped up and just focus on growing through the winter. It’s magical.
I have found that a rabbit cage makes a fantastic brooder if you have an area were you can keep them safely locked up. We keep ours in the garage.
For now, I simply line the wire floor of the cage with paper towels and in a couple of days I will add shavings on top of the paper towels. Later on I will remove the towels and insert the dropping pan that came with the rabbit cage. This makes for easy clean up and that’s extremely important when tending to chicks.
If you’ve been on the fence as to whether or not to start your own backyard flock, I say go for it. I’m a huge advocate of the laying hen and believe that everyone needs a few. Three hens will provide enough fresh eggs for a family of four and they will impress you with their bug-eating skills in the summer. Not to mention that it’s one less thing to add to your grocery list.
*Notes- I order chicks from Ideal Poultry and have never been disappointed.
They packed extra males for warmth, ten to be exact, and I had to show my husband the receipt to prove that I DID NOT order twenty chicks. Luckily, there’s always someone out there that’s willing to take extras off of our hands.