Monday, April 30, 2007

pround owners of barred (plymouth) rock chicks

Paid a visit to Half Moon Bay Feed & Fuel today and came home with two Barred Rock chicks, and I paid $3.99 per pullet. I'd hoped to go in and pick up a New Hampshire Red as well, but they had none. I could have gotten a White Rhode Island chick (think Foghorn Leghorn coloring), but I wanted something a little more colorful to look at. The Barred Rock chicks all have emerging gold blazes on the crest of their heads, and I spent about 20 minutes picking (the best) two of the seven chicks available.

Each of the little girls is a little over a week old, which means they were likely born on Earth Day last week (how fitting). They came from the Belt Hatchery, which is not too far from the Bay Area, and I see from the retail price list at Belt that I paid a little over $2 premium per chick. The premium was fine with me since I didn't have to buy 25 chicks at once (like I would have had I bought them direct from Belt).

Also in my basket today? an infrared heat lamp and bulb as well as 5 pounds of chick starter crumb. I'd gone to Petco earlier in the day to buy a 10 gallon fish tank and "critter keeper" mesh top for the tank. So, all told, I spent $40 today to bring the chicks home to a home of their own.

So, after two and a half months of "planning" to get chicks, we've finally got some. Not named yet, but that'll come as we get to know their personalities.

For now, we've got two chicks resting comfortably under the glow of the heat lamp, and I'll be changing their papers in the morning.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

peeps incoming

After months of research and planning, we're less than two weeks from getting a couple chicks here at the house.

Plan A had been to buy an Eglu from Omlet, repleat with a pair of 17-week-old Gingernut Ranger pullets, but by the time I got around to placing the order online last week, the next ship date for pullets was June 18. Way to far in the future...

Plan B is to buy an Eglu in a month or so and get a pair of chicks now from a local supply store and raise them in a brooder indoors until they're ready to live outside in the Eglu.

Plan A would mean eggs by mid-July, but the juvenile birds wouldn't imprint on us as deeply as raising them from chicks. Plan B means we can choose from many breeds and they'll really imprint on us (more specifically, my daughters).

The more I think about it, the more happy I am with Plan B.

Over the next few weeks, I'll share how we got here and why we're pressing forward to raise a couple chickens in our urban backyard.


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