Our Chicken Adventures Begin

Well, we finally did it. We went to town and brought back six tiny chicks. This is something I’ve wanted to do for years, so I’m really excited for this adventure to begin!

I honestly could have bought more because they’re so cute…but…self control. Sigh.

Anyway, we hope to utilize these chicks as laying hens so that we can supply ourselves with farm-fresh eggs.

It’s already been so much fun to watch them scratch in their bedding, sleep on the waterer, and begin to grow feathers.

Jacob and I were watching them one evening when a fly fell into the brooder. I wasn’t timing it, but I’d guess that fly wasn’t in there for more than half a second before he was gobbled up by a chick!

And of course they also come with some not-so-fun parts like cleaning the brooder and catching rouge chicks, but that’s just part of it. I think there are many valuable lessons to learn from caring for animals. Especially when that animal is a source of food for the family. It gives you more of an appreciation for them too.

The Breeds We Purchased

Ameraucana

  • Dual purpose (for both meat and laying eggs).
  • Skittish of humans and other breeds, but gentle and docile.
  • Tend to lay well even in winter.
  • Lays up to 200 eggs per year.

Rhode Island Red

  • Typically raised for egg production.
  • Lays over 280 eggs per year.
  • Ornery, energetic, and not usually interested in human companionship.

Plymouth Rock

  • Dual purpose (for both meat and laying eggs).
  • Lays 200-250 eggs per year.
  • Mellow, docile, and curious in temperament.
  • Enjoys human companionship.

What We Needed to Bring Them Home

The thought of bringing chicks home can be a bit daunting…they are animals after-all! But caring for chicks is actually quite easy as long as you have the proper items prepared for them.

Here are the items we found necessary for our chicks:

  • Brooder
  • Waterer
  • Food trough
  • Food
  • Heat lamp
  • Bedding

Our Brooder Set-Up

At first we had the chicks in a medium-size box, but that soon became too cramped. We then upgraded to a much larger brooder made from pieces of cardboard.

We discovered that we must now cover the top with chicken wire because one of the Plymouth Rocks escaped multiple times!

Our heat lamp is in the corner of the brooder so that they chicks have a place to get warm but also some space away from the lamp to keep cool.

We laid trash bags at the bottom of the brooder and then added a layer of wood shavings on top of them.

The set up was completed by adding the waterer, feeder, and chicks.

Where Will We Put Them?

We are currently building an ‘A Frame’ chicken tractor. This is basically a mobile coop with nesting boxes, roosts, and room to roam.

You can expect to see a future blog post with all the details about our chicken tractor!

The idea is to move them to fresh grass each day while still being contained in the tractor. This will give them a constant supply of fresh insects and grubs while they fertilize our yard.


We’ve had our chicks for four or five weeks now and so far it’s all gone really well! They are growing feathers, getting much larger, developing personalities, and will soon be ready to move to the chicken tractor.

I’m so looking forward to collecting eggs from our very own chickens one day!

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