Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Additions

 We're adding to our backyard flock this year.  I went to "the farm store" intent on getting some chicks that would lay blue eggs--just for fun of course--but we couldn't get over how cute the little bantam chicks were.
So we brought home four bantam chicks instead.

 Bantams are basically "mini chickens"  Their adult size will be only half or a third the size of our other chickens.

 After a few weeks in doors we put them outside with the other chickens.  They are doing well out there however when we come over they run away like we are their natural predators as opposed to the truth: we are the ones with their food.

Sometimes you can't help but yell, "Oh, don't be such a chicken!"

The bantams all look totally different, from each other and our older three chickens. They add a lot of personality to the flock.

 After checking out our city code we agreed to accept four more chicks last week from an elementary class that "hatched them".  They are the basic yellow leghorn chicks and will grow up to lay white eggs. With a straight run of chicks there's a 50/50 chance of being hens or roosters.  In reality we could end up this year with up to 8 hens or up to 8 roosters (I hope it's the first one).

Our city code actually doesn't forbid roosters like many do.  And there isn't a maximum flock size either.  They simply regulate the position of your coop in relation to the neighbors.  Also, they prohibit letting your poultry run at large through the city.  That may sound like a pretty strict regulation for chickens, but rest assured the code also prohibits letting rhinoceroses, and chimpanzees run at large through the city as well--yes by name. 

I am a little nervous about how many eggs we'll be getting.  We're getting two eggs a day from the older chickens.  If 4 of 8 are hens that will be an additional 4 eggs a day their first year.  Of course the bantams will lay mini-eggs.  So I only think we'll have trouble with too many eggs if more than 4 are hens.

Afterall, I do have three young boys to feed now, so we may be just fine.  I've been amazed lately at how quickly we have been going through food.  Jonas is just really starting to eat more, and Wyatt has recently gotten old enough to start eating some of everything we're having.  We used to be able to snack on a pint of grape tomatoes over the course of a few days.  Now that pint is easily gone in one snack lunch.

That's precisely the reason I like having chickens--If we are going to keep (and invest money into) animals for the fun and entertainment of the family--why not have them be animals that provide for some of the physical needs of the family as well?  Everyone is happy.

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