…a person’s interest turns to: Chickens! (Of course) Here’s the thing, I’m down to two very geriatric chickens, and I need to refresh my flock this spring. Now, you and I could just wait around and see what the feed store brings us during the chick season, or we could, if we work together, pick out some really cool and productive breeds and do a group order. I am doing this out of the very, very goodness of my heart, as this project will no doubt turn into a logistical nightmare; I am certain -CERTAIN- that I will end up kicking myself a thousand times for making this offer. However, after spending hours researching the strengths and weaknesses of the different breeds it would be a shame for me to just quietly order my three chicks through the mail without sharing my knowledge and the freight bill with my stalwart fans. Plus, chicks travel better in a group due to the massed body heat, so really we are doing the birds a favor by “car pooling”.
Imagine getting a set of chicks with The Real Garden seal of approval stamped on their butt! Not to mention the fact that anyone who gets in on this will have yours truly on the hook 24/7 for advice and counseling (“they aren’t dead, they are sleeping” and other pearls of wisdom).
So here’s what I’m thinking: Most of the good hatcheries have a minimum order of 25 chicks. The chicks come in the mail immediately after hatching, because the chicks are absorbing the yolk sac for the first 72 hours and don’t need food or water during that time. So for this to work, anyone who signs up needs to have their brooding box set up and running, and be prepared to pick up their chicks on the day they come in. The price range is around 3-5 dollars per chick, depending on breed, plus shipping, etc. I am not doing this to make any money (I am certain -CERTAIN- to loose a few bucks on this), so everyone pays exactly what their chicks cost plus an even split for shipping.
I need three chicks, so I need people to speak up for another 22 chicks. Once we fill the minimum order, we can order more with no problem.
I’ lusting after the following breeds: Norwegian Jaerhorn, link 1, link 2, link 3. Some kind of Leghorn, either light brown or Exchequer. Miss Kitty has taught me to go for a Buff or Red Sex-Link, or maybe one of these “Gold Comet” production models. Rhode Island Reds (or Production Reds)and Barred Rocks are certainly classics for the backyard chickeneer, and my friend’s Welsummer has charmed me. So many choices. Basically, I am going for sheer productively this time around. White egg, brown egg, pretty bird, plain bird, I don’t care. I am looking for the hens that can produce that mythical 300 eggs a year without artificial lighting. Naturally, you can order what ever is available.
So this project is “hatched”, ha ha. Let me know if you are interested. Maybe people could leave comments on what kind of chickens they would like to have and why. I’d like to get a jump of the season and order for a March 1st-ish delivery.
Happy Solstice Everyone! Get your seeds (and chickens) ordered!