The baby chicks were so cute and fun to play with the first couple weeks!
At some point during the first week we had the chicks in our bath tub for a day! We were having some electrical work done and the side porch electric box needed to be accessible. That’s where we had the chick brooder, so everything had to be moved.
Our hens have been laying! Here’s a side-by-side comparison of a store bought egg on the left and an egg from one of our free-range (mostly) hens on the right. They really do look and taste better. I did notice however when the hens were kept exclusively in the barn for a few days, their eggs were more similar to the store-bought. Once we started letting them out to range in the yard and they were eating plants and bugs again, the eggs returned to the bright color and more flavorful taste again.
This was the process of moving the chickens from the tractor to the barn. TS caught them one at a time and put them in a plastic bin to carry to the barn.
Marshall the rooster is no longer with us after attacking SJ (she’s fine!). He was super yummy and the processing wasn’t that big of a deal.
In case you didn’t know, a rooster is not necessary for eggs. The hens will lay eggs anyway. A rooster is necessary of course if you want the eggs to be fertilized and hatch into baby chicks. (Which also requires either an incubator or a hen who will take care of the eggs and chicks – neither of which we have at the moment.) Different breeds of chickens lay different amounts of eggs. We get 3-5 eggs per day from 5 Leghorn hens (most days 4-5), which is really good. Some breeds only lay 2-3 eggs per week.
The chicks are looking more like chickens now. The brooder was getting crowded so we moved half of them into one of the tractors. We’ll move the other half to the second tractor soon. We’re having a rainy weekend and now that the brooder is less crowded the remaining ones will be fine for another week or two. The ones in the tractor are doing well, but still need a heat bulb on as well as a lot of cover from the rain. The Naked Neck chick is still as hideous as ever. There is now a pretty obvious size difference between the Naked Neck and the Red Rangers. It’s obvious now which one’s been bred for fast growth.
We’ve also gotten a pair of Ameraucana chickens we are in the process of introducing to the Leghorns and a trio of Lavender Orpington chicks that are in their own coop. We’ve had some friends and family visit as well so more updates and photos soon!