On Tuesday (November 5th) we welcomed these three little balls of fluff into our home to join our flock of backyard chickens. I should mention, this is the first time we’ve ordered chicks from a hatchery rather than running to the nearest feed store, and this is also the first time we’ve attempted to raise chicks in the fall rather than spring. This whole project is very exciting, especially for my oldest daughter, and gives us a reason to bundle up and spend time in the fresh, brisk air a few times per day (which is, of course, exactly the point) as we find ourselves wandering down to the basement to check in on them for various reasons.
Two of the chicks are Olive Eggers, a new-to-me breed. From what I’ve read, this type of chicken is a cross between a dark brown egg layer and a blue egg layer, so it seems there may be quite the range of potential egg color. The third is a Black Copper Maran. She’ll be the second BCM to grace our flock, and I’m very happy to have her. Those dark brown eggs are my favorite.
I’ll admit, we are a little nervous about raising three chicks in the colder weather, and we are also a little worried about having nine hens residing together all at once in our little suburban coop, but we figure the benefits outweigh the costs. First, three out of our six hens are from the original flock and will be seven years old next spring, and if I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure they’ll all survive the winter. Second, these baby chicks will be five months old come April, which means eggs for us in spring! That right there is reason enough. We’ve been really missing those fresh eggs as our current flock is taking a break from laying for the colder months and probably won’t start back up again until February.
Anyway, we’ll have to figure out the logistics as we go, but we think we’ll be able to keep the chicks in their current basement brooder setup until it’s time to introduce them (slowly and carefully) to the rest of the flock. I’d like to try to film our experiences with this and share it on YouTube if I can find the time. It’s not hard to film the clips, of course, but finding time to edit is a struggle these days with a seven-month-old crawling underfoot. We shall see!