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Now that you are all set up for those cute little baby chicks it is time to pick out which breed is right for you. First, where do you find them? There are many farm stores and pet stores that carry them. You can also order them online. It is my experience if you order them online look for a reputable hatchery.
Which breed is right for you?
I found I had more success if I ordered from a hatchery closer to me. They were a lot healthier and stronger if the travel time was 3 days or less.
I learned that a baby chick before it is hatched out will suck in all of the yokes. This is the nourishment that they will use to get from the egg to your house. A baby chick can live on this for approximately 3 days very well. After that their chances of survival lesson. So it is very important to look at the time and distance to ship them.
Buying your babies
Now the fun part begins. Which breed do I want to buy? The first year I raised chickens I ordered Barred Rock. The place that I order from requires 25 or more chicks. This is so the chicks have a better chance of staying warm during shipping. Especially if you order them early in the Spring, and some of the places they travel through will be colder. I placed my order for my 24 hens and 1 rooster. I was so excited when they came.
I really liked this flock of chickens. They were a beautiful breed. The only problem that I had, they all looked alike, except the rooster of course. I needed a flock of chickens that I could name and tell them apart. I know a little bit silly, but you just have to be able to name them. If this is not something that is important to you then you will have no problem getting them all the same breed.
What color of eggs
Some of the things to look at are the color of eggs your chickens will lay. Some people do not like the brown eggs or the green eggs. If this is the case you wouldn’t be happy with the Auracana, sometimes called the Easter Egg chicken, because it lays green eggs. No matter the color, the shell is the only difference in the egg, it doesn’t affect the flavor or quality of the egg.
A funny story: My daughter went to college and I sent her with an egg carton full of various shades of blue and green eggs from my Auracana’s. She put them in her refrigerator, later she went to get her eggs out of the refrigerator to use them. They were gone. She asks her college roommates what had happened to them. They replied telling her they threw them away because they were moldy. The moral of the story is they are perfectly fine, just already perfectly colored. (Sorry I just had to tell you that story.)
Climate is important
The next thing to look at is your climate. If you live in a climate that is cold in the winter or that is really hot in the summers, find a breed that is adaptable to your climate. By researching the different breeds you will find that some are more sensitive to the cold or the heat.
Size of Eggs
What size of eggs you want. You wouldn’t want all Bantam breeds if you were looking for a large egg. So it is really important to do your research on the breeds. If you are looking for a chicken that you want for a pet, look for the breeds that are more docile. One of my least favorite breeds is Rhode Island Reds, but only because I have found they are a little more aggressive than some of the other breeds.
Love my chickens!!
I had a rooster named Harold and a hen named Hannah. They were a Bantam breed. We took them to the county fair and Harold was the Grand Champion Rooster. He lived to be almost 15 years old. Hannah was the cutest little hen. She was around 11 when she died. You can read the story “Slippers for Hannah” on my website www.brendaskidsbooks.com. Hannah and Harold are in the book and needless to say everyone loves them.
So do your research about your various breeds and choose the one that is perfect for you. And enjoy sitting back and relax while you watch your chickens grow. For me, this is so calming and fun to do.
I would love to hear about your chicken adventures and see some pictures. Feel free to post pictures and make comments on this blog.