For quite some time now, I've thought it would be great to have chickens. I've liked the idea for a long time, inspired most recently by Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (as were lots, and lots, and lots of people, I'm sure). Last year when I mentioned it to S, he scoffed a bit at the idea. This year he thought it would be good to have chickens and I strongly agreed!
So yesterday we did a bit of research, visited our local feed store, Pomona Feed, and picked out 4 (hopefully) pullets to come live at our house.
Meet Betina, Ada, Beatrice, and Althea (from top left, down, and to the right).
(Yes we cleaned out the water trough right after we took the photo... we're new parents... we're learning the many ways chicks can dirty up their area).
Althea and Ada are the two golden yellow-brown chicks... both Buff Orpingtons. Betina and Beatrice, the two black chicks, are both Barred Rocks.
Our research shows that both breeds should be good backyard birds... docile, friendly, calm.
For now, the chicks are living in a big aluminum tub with a pine shaving floor. They'll be inside with a light bulb for heat for a few weeks. Then they'll move outside into a coop in the backyard. S is already making big plans for the coop and will build it himself.
And let me tell you, if we didn't want to have chickens for the local food -- sustainability angle of the whole thing, I would want them because they are just too darn cute! I couldn't resist showing a couple of videos. In the first one if you watch closely you can see them scratch and peck and, cutest, get a drink of water (they throw their head back to swallow ... too cute). In the second one, you can hear S and I chatting with them and watch them scurry around their little area.
I'll keep you posted as they grow... which they should do fast. We think they are somewhere around 4-8 days old right now (mostly guessing from pics). The barred rocks are a bit smaller than the orpingtons so we think they may be a bit younger. Both have started to get feathers, with the tail feathers being very tiny on the barred rocks. It's a whole new world friends ... I need to go surf the net more to learn what to expect!