Well after a year and a half of healing from our chicken tragedy, we are ready to have chicks again. Unfortunately some neighbor dogs got into our chicken fence and massacred 18 chickens. To add insult to injury it was my partner's birthday. Not a nice thing to wake up to. So getting back to a place where we can have chickens again has taken a lot of me convincing my partner and an electric fence.
So we got electricity down to the chicken house and so we have gotten chicks! We keep them in the garage while they are little and need more constant attention. Beside my son loves to hold them, gently of course and that's great for the chicks too. We want gentle chickens that are happy to have us hang out with them in their yard.
I have had chickens all my life. My dad loved to have chickens. We lived out in the woods with dogs so the racoons left our chickens alone. The only challenge we had growing up was the chickens always escaped. So we were constantly chasing them back into the yard.
So this is how we do it! We use a dog kennel to contain them. The kennel has big holes so when they are little I put cardboard walls up so that they don't squeeze through the holes. And also so the cats don't get them. We have hunter kitties so we have to watch closely until they are big enough to defend themselves.
They need a water container, and baby chick feed. Bedding is important to help maintain a warm temperature, we used pine shavings. A not breezy place is good too. It's not unusual for people to keep chicks in the house for a week or two if it's cold in your climate.
It was exceptionally cold today so I put them in a card board box inside the kennel to keep them a little warmer. Chicks need a heat lamp to stay warm. We bought chicks from our local feed store. They had a min of six so we bought six. We may get a few more. We purchased Americana, Rhode Island Red and Orp Buffington.
The Americana will produce green and blue tinted eggs. These chicks will not produce eggs for four to five months. So we will need to be patient and raise them through most of the summer before we get fresh eggs everyday!
We will feed our chickens organic egg layer once they are older. They will also get all of our kitchen scraps and since I cook for 7-12 people each night for dinner we have lots of scraps. Also we encourage our neighbors to share their scraps with our chicken too and we share their eggs with them. They love all kinds of left overs including meat. yes, chickens are meat eaters. Usually their meat comes into form of worms, and other insects. They love left over ham. Our chicken do not get a lot of meat scraps but the ones they do they love!
Have you ever had chickens? What was your experience?