Wednesday, April 15, 2015

They're Here!

After two months of waiting, our little chicks have finally arrived! Here they are...

We purchased our little ladies from Townline Hatchery on the recommendation from my mother-in-law, who has had chickens for years and has had great luck with the company in the past. Bonus is, it's close to home so we were able to pick them up instead of having them mailed to us (scary!).

We decided on four different breeds. Our stipulations were that they had to be cold hardy because of our cold Michigan winters and also be dual purpose breeds, meaning good for both egg production and meat. Another important characteristic was for them to be good foragers as they will be primarily free range chickens, finding their food on our 7 acres.

Here are the breeds we chose and why;

#1. Rhode Island Red : Yes, you guessed it, they're the red ones! They lay large, brown eggs and are also good meat birds. I've read that they can be anti-social and sometimes aggressive, but hopefully we can raise them to be sweet and gentle.   

#2. Buff Orpington : This little chub couldn't keep herself out of the feeder! I watched them for two straight hours and every single time she ate, she stuffed herself into the hole as her little wings and feet flapped out the back. They are heritage breeds, meaning they have a pure bloodline that dates back prior to the mid-20th century. They lay large brown eggs and are good producers even in the cold winter months. Plus, we wanted a few blonde ladies in our flock ;)

#3. Barred Rock :  See the black ladies with the little yellow crowns? They grow up to have pretty black & white striped feathers that provide excellent camouflage to help them to blend in while foraging for food the woods. They're known to be exceptional foragers and are a dual purpose, cold hardy breed.

#4. Ameraucana : Chosen purely because they lay big, beautiful blue eggs. I'm the most excited for these guys :) They come in all different colors. The one above has a few stripes down it's back, the other has one fat stripe and the other two look like barn owls. They're very inquisitory and are always up close and personal checking out what the others are up to.

Some of our family have requested that we name a chicken after them, so I've decided that we'll name them all after people in our family. Then when their chicken gets cooked, we'll invite them over for dinner.

Kidding. In all seriousness, I talked a big game about being able to eat them. We will see.  

What do you think? Have you ever had chickens? Would you be able to eat them after raising them?

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