Chicken pickin’

I’m getting more and more eager to get this chicken thing going already. Partly because that’s just how I am, but also partly because – did you know – chickens take five to six months to start laying!

So I went online last night to search through available chicken breeds from the hatchery that most people seem to recommend¬† – Murray McMurray. And, woe is me, their minimum order is 25 chicks at a time (for warmth, so the chicks don’t die of cold as they’re being shipped). Of course, that didn’t stop me from filling a cart with daydreams:

They were sold out of a couple of the breeds I had wanted, like Dominiques and Buttercups, but these are all good, hardy, more-or-less heritage varieties of dual-purpose birds too. I was thinking of getting them straight run so that about half would be males for the stew pot. By the time those were all harvested (starting at 2 months) the hens would probably be laying and I could see which were the best layers and harvest the others.

It’s a good plan, but I don’t really want to have to build a coop big enough to house 25 birds. And I don’t think the neighbors would take too kindly to that, either. It’s kind of a big step up from the 3-6 layers I had originally planned on.

Of course what I SHOULD do is just wait till spring when the local feed store gets their orders in, and purchase individual chicks from them so I can get as few as I like. Course, I don’t know what kind of breeds they’ll get, but most likely at least the RIRs will be among them since they are still one of the most popular birds. But have you EVER known me to be able to wait on ANYTHING? -grin-

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