Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicks in the Mail

After mooning over the Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog for months now, Livydoo and I finally sat down and made a list of our must-have chickens for this year. She made many a strong case for some very rare and fancy breeds, but alas I had to burst her bubble. We're going for more of a "meat & potatoes" approach to chicken breeds - sturdy, friendly and good growers & layers. Fancy is lovely, we don't have the luxury of raising hothouse flowers around here.

So, I ordered the egg-layers/breeding stock today, and will order the meat birds somewhere a little further down the line. Here's what we've got headed our way, come March-

10 Black Australorp Hens
2 Black Australop Roos (Two for insurance that we get a good one. We're keeping one and Craigs-listing the other.)
2 Silver Polish Hens
2 Golden Polish Roosters (RIP, Georgie!)
5 Americauna Hens
2 Americauna Straight Run (Maybe we'll get a roo, maybe we won't)
2 Turken Hens (aka "Naked Necks")
1 Turken Straight Run
1 free Rare/Exotic chick - Straight Run

Sooo... if we keep one of each variety of roo, and if by some fluke, all of the straight runs turn out to be hens, we'll be adding 25 chickens to our existing flock of 5 hens. I can't even picture 30 chickens in my yard! Imagine it though - somewhere around two dozen eggs per day. Not to mention that with our chosen breeds of hens, we will have the full spectrum of egg colors - deep brown, olive green, baby blue, pinkish brown and white. :)

Of course, all of this chicken shopping means that the new coop and brooder are next up on the non-stop chore list. Poor Bill is still recovering from building the new goat pen & shed, and now I've dropped this on his plate. If this first year of building this farm doesn't kill us (or at least Bill), then nothing will. At least he has his super helper, Farmgirl Scarlet.

My dynamic duo worked together seamlessly to finish up the new goat pen this past weekend. Scarlet & Bill like to swing the hammers, while Liv & I like to do the cerebral bit - reading, research and planning. It's a pretty nice division of labor, actually.

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