Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scratch & Peck | Homegrown Living | Shelby, Texas

Well, I guess I lied.  Back on January 9th, I proclaimed that my New Year's resolution was to blog at least twice a week....dang, January isn't even over yet and I already bombed out on that resolution.  Maybe it's better if I don't make a resolution :)

Last week, the lovely and talented Senior Editor at Texas LIVE Magazine, Natalie Lacy Lange posted about her backyard beauties on her fun and informative blog - The Shady Acre.  So I was inspired to blog about some excitement we had with our chickens a couple of weeks ago.

We became the proud parents of new furry feathered chicks!  Our chickens have hatched their eggs before, but these have been really fun - because they are descendants of our flock of "big" chickens.  When we first started out on the journey as chicken owners, we had 3 bantam partridge variety hens and 2 bantam roosters.

Bantam means that it is a small variety and the chickens won't weigh more than about 2lbs.  They also lay small brown eggs.

We (Brad) were kind of freaked out by the smallish eggs, so we decided after we'd gotten the hang of chicken farming, we'd add some large varieties to our family.  Our local general store has a great selection of baby chicks in the spring time.  So we went in, picked four varieties that produce large eggs and got two of each and crossed our fingers that we didn't have any roosters in the mix.  The chicks are "supposed" to all be hens, but it's not always the case.

We ended up getting Red Leghorns, White Leghorns, Light Brahmas and Silver Gray Dorkings.  Thankfully, only one out of that whole group ended up being a Big Mix!  His deep crow can be heard from a mile away!

His counterpart Chloe died over the summer - we're still not sure what happened, but we're thinking she was egg-bound.

Meet Felipe (aka Dorothy Zbornak from the Golden Girls) - she's a hen - but for the longest time thought she was a rooster - hence the name Felipe lol.

Her counterpart who didn't really have a name for yet was killed by some varmit this summer too.

Meet Henny & Penny our Red Leghorns  & Flip & Flop our White Leghorns

This group of "big" chickens lay eggs that are big and plentiful. Brad said that when winter came we may not get any eggs.  Their production has slowed down, but we still get 3-4 a day from them.

One of our "little" chickens is the Mama of the entire group. It doesn't matter if it's her small eggs or big eggs, you can count on her to sit.  We noticed that she started sitting on a group of eggs and we decided to let her keep at it and see what would happen.  The night before they hatched, Brad put some of the eggs up to his ear and could hear them chirping, so we knew something would happen in the next few hours.  I went out to the coop the next morning and found 5 furry little cuties.  Here they are 2 weeks later!

They've already started getting their wing feathers and Mama is doing her job showing them how to scratch for food and is busy keeping them in line.  Stay tuned to see their growth as I will be documenting their transition into "big" chickens!

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  1. I've been wanting chickens but am concerned about the coyotes in the area and SNAKES!!! Have you had any snake problems? Great chick pics by the way!!!

  2. We've had chickens for about a year and a half and we've only had 2 snakes during that time, knock on wood! As far as coyotes and other animals, they haven't been a problem. We keep the chickens locked up in the coop at night with a heat lamp (winter) or regular light (summer) and that usually keeps coyotes away. You should DEFINITELY consider getting some chickens - they are so entertaining to watch - they all have their own personalities....and best of all, you save on your egg bill!

    1. So sweet! It makes me want to raise some more chicks this spring!