Sunday, June 7, 2015

got chickens?

Roots & Wings hosted a presentation on Backyard Chickens
back in 2013--it may be time to do this again!
Do you know someone who keeps chickens? 

From Texas to Virginia to London there are reports that backyard chickens are trendy. Right here in our rivertowns, I know four, maybe five, yards with chickens. 

Why would you want to have chickens? Well, once you build your coop, and obtain water and food dispensers, you probably get a bit more value in eggs than you spend on feed. But it is also magical to get those beautiful fresh eggs . . . 

Where do people get the chicks from? One friend orders hers from The rest of the people I know get theirs from Springhurst Elementary School! Each year the first graders hatch chickens. As the school year comes to an end, most of the ittle chicks go to a friendly farm upstate. And some are quietly dispersed throughout the community. We’ve gotten chicks from the school for the last 5 or so years.

One of the biggest problems with picking little chicks at the elementary school is that you have to figure out what gender they are. Our rule of thumb was to NOT pick the loners since they would obviously be roosters. That rule of thumb has been proved wrong year after year. In fact, only just now did I actually research it and found this simple piece of advice. (MyPetChicken guarantees that they only send hens—but they've been known to be wrong, too.)  

If you keep chickens, let me know! Perhaps there's a need for a Chicken Help Line of sorts for newcomers to this hobby. 

Where to get the feed. What kind of coop. Can they be outside when no one is home. Can you feed them table scraps? Organic vs non organic feed and a new one for me this year—did I want medicated starter feed.  

Right now we have three chicks. Stay tuned—will they make it through the summer? (We’ve been hearing raccons at night—scary!) Will they all be female? More to come!