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Intro to Chickens

July 20, 2016 - Farming

Hi, this is Hannah, and today I am going to tell you about chickens in the jungle.

When we wanted to get chickens I did a lot of reading on multiple different websites about how to care for chickens and how to build a house for them and that sort of thing. Everyone says that before you buy chickens you need to figure out what breed you want, some are for eggs, some are for meat, some are for both and some are for show. Yes, there are show chickens, there are competitions and you can get prizes… for your chickens. You need to know your neighbourhood rules, are you allowed to have roosters? Are you allowed to have chickens at all? And people in, say, Canada probably don’t have chickens for sale in just any pet store so you then have to find a supplier and order your chicks.

(If you have, want, need stuff for or have questions about chickens go to My Pet Chicken or Backyard Chickens)

After doing all this research, we went to the pet store and said we wanted some baby chicks, the owner asked us how many we wanted so we said six. She then proceeded to put six chicks into a box for us, including the one little black chick that they had among all of the yellow ones.

The upside to this is that it’s easy; you get your chicks and you go home, there is no risk of losing some in transit and you don’t have to wait for them to arrive. The nice thing about ordering your chicks from a commercial breeder is that you know what breed they are, what gender they are and whether they are for meat or eggs, you get to carefully choose the exact product that you receive. We, knowing next to nothing about chickens, got six, brought them home, cared for them, built them an awesome house, named them and even cuddled them. But we had no idea what gender they were and were only hoping that they would lay eggs.

We named the black chick Agatha, and the five white ones Butter, Nugget, Princess, Freedom and Hufflepuff. Once they grew up they all looked so similar that it got very hard to tell them apart.

After talking to some of our neighbours we realized that we had meat birds and that they would get too fat and have health problems. To which mom said, “If we keep them active so they don’t get too fat then maybe they will still get old enough to lay eggs.”
We later realized that we only had two hens, Nugget and Princess. Which meant that we had a rooster named Agatha but that’s alright.

It actually became problematic when Princess died about a week ago. I don’t actually know what happened to her but I do know that meat birds, if they get too fat, are likely to have heart attacks and other lethal health problems. You can’t eat birds that have died of disease so we buried Princess and had one of our neighbours process the rest for us.

Agatha was always smaller than the other ones so we kept him and got four new hens. We purchased these ones as hens, not as chicks. He is bigger than any of our new hens though. They did not lay any eggs the first day we had them but in the four days since then they have laid ten. They seem to be earning their keep.

We were very sad to have to say goodbye to our first batch of chickens, though it wasn’t quite as bad as we had feared, and now we have healthy, happy chickens that are laying eggs and free-ranging around the yard. And the the best part is that we can tell them all apart.


Soup



Prince Agatha

 


Kiko

 


Dori



Hamster

3 thoughts on “Intro to Chickens

Nana

I am wondering if you then got to eat your first ‘meat’ birds? I love your photos, especially the big red gal. Which one lays the most eggs. In the north they have cycles, laying less eggs in the winter. See if they have cycles there!

Reply
    Hannah and Ezra

    We have not yet eaten them all but we did get to keep them, yes. I’m not sure which one lays the most actually, we usually get three eggs a day from our four hens, I’m not sure if one of them is still to young or if they just alternate days or what. We are currently in the wet season which is the equivalent of winter here so we will see if the number of eggs changes as we switch back into the dry season.

    Reply
gramma

Great article. I learned a lot.

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