Sunday, April 28, 2013

Placing the Chick Order

We began building the coop a week ago and are making great progress. I mentioned previously that I wanted to build the coop first then acquire chicks. I really didn't know how hard it would be or how long it would take us. After discussing it with K, we determined that it is safe to order the chicks because the coop would be finished before the chicks are ready to be housed outside.

Many of the farm and feed stores in my area currently have chicks in the stores and most have already had their "Chick Days" with order deadlines the first week of April. Luckily, I discovered that Long Horn Horse & Pet Supply has some later order dates. They also offer a nice variety of heavy, cold hearty breeds that do well in my area.

With the order form in hand and some research on breeds, I narrowed down my selection to seven supposedly docile breeds:


Barred Rock (Photo: Cackle Hatchery)

Barred Rock/Plymouth Rock


Origin: Developed in New England in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1869.

Weight: Hen 7 1/2 lbs

Purpose: Dual Purpose: egg laying and meat production

Egg Shell Color: Brown

Egg Production: 200 - 280 eggs per year







Dominique (Photo: Cackle Hatchery)

Dominique (AKA Pilgrim Fowl)


Origin: Considered America's oldest breed of chicken, probably descending from chickens brought to New England during colonial times. Many of today's breeds were developed by using Dominique bloodlines.

Weight: 6 1/2 lbs

Purpose: Dual Purpose: Egg laying and meat production

Egg Shell Color: Brown

Egg Production: 180-260 eggs per year.




Silver Laced Wyandotte (Photo: Cackle Hatchery)

Silver Laced Wyandotte


Origin: Developed in New York state in the early 1870s and was admitted to the standard in 1883.

Weight: 6 1/2 lbs

Purpose: Dual Purpose: Egg Laying and Meat Production

Egg Shell Color: Brown

Egg Production: 180-260 eggs per year







Golden Laced Wyandotte (Photo: Cackle Hatchery)

Golden Laced Wyandotte

Origin: Wisconsin in 1880 by crossing Silver Laced Wyandotte females with a large "Black Red" of unknown origin called the Winnebago.

Weight: 6 1/2 lbs

Purpose: Dual Purpose: Egg Laying and Meat Production

Egg Shell Color: Brown

Egg Production: 180-260 eggs per year



Buff Orpington (Photo: Cackle Hatchery)

Buff Orpington


Origin: Developed in Orpington, England in 1886 by crossing Langshan, Minorca and Plymouth Rock chickens. Black was the selected color because it hid the dirt and soot of London. Buff color was introduced in 1894.

Weight: 8 lbs.

Purpose: Dual Purpose: egg laying and meat production

Egg Shell Color: Brown

Egg Production: 200-280 eggs per year





Black Australorp (Photo: Cackle Hatchery)

Black Australorp


Origin: Developed in Australia from Black Orpington stock.

Weights: 6 1/2 lbs.

Purpose: Dual Purpose: egg laying and meat production

Egg Shell Color: Brown

Egg Production: 200-280 eggs per year




Easter Egger (Photo: Cackle Hatchery)

Easter Egger

Origin: A cross-bred variety from South America. Lays eggs that vary in color from blue to green to pink.

Weight: 5 1/2 lbs

Purpose: Egg Production

Egg Shell Color: Green or Blue

Egg Production: 200-280 eggs per year


The original plan was for six chickens, but I couldn't make a decision among the above breeds and figured that one more chicken isn't going to make a big difference. Plus there is always the chance of loss or that one (or two) of the chicks turns out to be a rooster.

The pick up date is May 24. That should give us plenty of time to finish the coop before the chicks feather out and are ready to be housed in the coop. Feathering out can take 6-8 weeks. If we are lucky, we may have some eggs before winter if we use some artificial lighting to extend the light to 16 hours per day.

8 comments:

  1. Nice selection, GM. They're all lovely looking chickens. Bet you're looking forward to those blue eggs!

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    1. Thanks Miss M! Yes, I just had to include at least one of the Easter Eggers. Blue eggs will be a feast for the eyes.

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  2. I can see why you have been busy. I kind of would like to have chickens but I don't want to be tied down, having to care for them year round. But you will have the eggs and the fun to look forward to.

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    1. Yes, there is a huge responsibility to be sure they have fresh water and food daily. We are home bodies and don't tend to travel too far.

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  3. ooohhh! Good luck with your chickens! I had some when I was a kid, but we live in a subdivision now. I hope I can someday have chickens again! Excited for you!

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    1. I am pretty excited. K is coming around too. It will be an adventure for sure.

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  4. I'm so jealous! Would LOVE to have hens! And as I was scrolling down through your list I kept saying to myself "have an Araucana! have an Araucana!" Nope, not specifically an Araucana, but that Easter Egger will definitely do the job! I just feel like, if you're going to have your own chickens, you've got to include someone that's going to lay blue/green eggs. (Granted, I'm saying this without having my own birds...)

    Very exciting!! Looking forward to following your adventures with the hens!

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    1. The Easter Egger was the reason I had to increase my number from 6 to 7. I wanted the blue/green eggs :) Now let's hope nothing happens to it and it doesn't turn out to be a roo.

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