Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chick Day!

Our 9 year old son raises "fancy" chickens for 4H, to show at the fair in August. We have 7 older chickens from last year, and we just added 7 babies on Tuesday. We special ordered several different breeds from a feed mill about an hour away, and picked them up on Tuesday. Fancy chickens are breeds that are considered more or less "ornamental". Not used for meat or known for producing lots of eggs, though they do lay some eggs. Pets basically.
All of ours are bantam breeds, which are about half the size of most other chickens. This year we got one Araucana, 3 Buff Brahmas, 2 Mille Fleurs, and one blue Silkie. We also have 6 Polish breed chicken (they look like they are wearing Tina Turner wigs as adults) eggs in an incubator which should hatch, or not, in afew days.
Baby chicks are cute, but it is quite a lot of work to care for them. They tend to be quite messy, especially once they get a little older and have sawdust in their cage. Which is a baby swimming pool in our laundry room. They can't go out to the barn until they are fully feathered, which will be about 6 weeks. I'm hoping that in 2 weeks or so we'll be able to put them in the garage with a heat lamp.
I put a marshmallow peep in with them to show how small they are. Not much bigger than a marshmallow peep with legs! I also learned that real chicks are afraid of marshmallow chicks.


Janine said...

They are soooo cute. We love heritage breed chickens and have had several of the breeds you mentioned, full-size not bantam!
My alltime favorites are Buff Orpingtons. Those girls, and even the roosters, were so gentle and easy going.
Ummm, I can't figure out how to reply to comments that folks leave on my blog SO in reply to your question about bees: I was really nervous at first because of all the negative press that bees get. People are grossly misinformed. I am crazy about bees, even after 7 years. It is an expensive hobby, and can get ridiculously expensive if you have a husband who wants the biggest and best of everything!haha Still yet, they are fascinating. I really prefer to mess with the bees/hives/installations of new bees, whereas, hubby prefers spinning out the honey, bottling, and marketing. It works out quite well. I only get stung 1-2 times a year and I promise you it is always my fault. Honeybees are very gentle and forgiving. The only times they get "mischievous" is if they do not have any nectar to collect ie heat of summer, beginning of spring. Other than that, I really could open a hive w/o a suit, but I figure, why be too confident? They are so busy when the nectar comes in that they don't seem to notice me...see I could go on and on. To close, bees are necessary, fascinating, and educational.

Megan Nordheim said...

I want to vacation at Harvest Moon Farm!!

Mrs Swan said...

Soooooo cute!!!!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Hey, marshmallow peeps scare me ,too!
Please keep taking pictures of them.