Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cheep, cheep, peep.

Once again, we went to the feed store. And once again, there was the "cheep cheep peep!" of the baby poultry. I'm tellin' ya, it's virtually impossible to walk out of that store without a box of fluffy, peeping little birds. Sigh.

And so... meet Tinkerbell, Freckles, Penelope, and Twilight.
If you've ever tried to photograph baby chickens,
you'll understand why all of these pictures
are so awful.

Penelope is a Blue Andalusian. She'll lay white eggs. Twilight, the gray one, will lay blue eggs. I believe she's a variety of Auracana, but I can't remember for sure. Tinkerbell and Freckles are banties - they'll lay eggs the size of marbles. The only reason we got banties was because The Oldest was dead set on owning a couple of banties this year. I will admit, though, that they are absolutely darling little things.

These four will be pets, in addition to Jupiter, Grammy, Matilda and Goldilocks, the four egg-laying hens we already have. They will be tormented loved and cuddled and hand-fed worms and vegetable trimmings, and will hopefully live long, happy lives as beloved chickens.

And while we were picking out our pet chickens, we noticed a sign over one of the brooders at the store that read, "Buy Any 50lb Bag of Chicken Feed, Get 10 Roosters Free." Well now, who can turn down a deal like that? It's like 10 free dinners.

Meet "The Boys"
Note the little green dots on their heads, identifying them as Roosters, and therefore mostly unwanted by the general population, who are primarily interested in buying egg-laying hens, not roosters for eating. They are Buff Orpington roosters, and will be butchered in September.

The Turkeys are all alive and well, growing rapidly, as baby birds are wont to do. They seemed so small still, until we brought home the baby chickens. Now we realize how big they really are already!

Turkeys are surprisingly calm for baby birds. When you hold them, they just settle right in and relax. And they are curious as all get out, pecking and picking at everything they see. I'm thinking next year, we'll need some heirloom turkeys to keep around because I think I like turkey personalities.And this is a quick shot of our "nursery" set up.
The guest house on our property is set up to be more of a workshop. It is the perfect place to raise baby poultry, and baby plants. Note the plants growing happily under the lights on the table at the right-hand side of the photo. Currently tomatoes, bell peppers, an assortment of cole crops, and some herbs and flowers are sprouting and growing. The two tanks together are where the Meat Birds live, and the new pet chickens are on the far left. And in the background, all the shelves and boxes of Miscellaneous Stuff that the previous owner left for us - screws and nails and other bits of hardware, cans of paints and wood finishes, and all kinds of other yet-undiscovered treasures.

So the poultry count is now up to 22: 8 pet hens, a pet rooster, 10 meat roosters, and 3 meat turkeys. Hopefully we don't have to go to the feed store again until after chick days are over. Clearly, I lack the self control to keep going in there.


Wendy said...

i love it!! I can't believe it was a get 10 roosters free sale. hilarious. So I know you guys hunt, but have you butchered anything you've raised before? I wonder if that will be hard? I love that you have all that space and you get do (and buy) whatever you want!

Julie said...

Well, we don't exactly get to do and buy *everything we want... or I'd have my $2500 mini-jersey cow and a few more horses, plus a trailer to pull them in, and probably a tractor. But chickens are cheap, and there's already a chicken barn on our property. There's also the part about time... we can only do as much as time allows, and it seems each day we run a little short on hours!
No, we haven't butchered anything we've raised, save for the nasty mean rooster at the old house. I think it'll be hard for the girls, especially Chloe. I'm hoping she gets used to it... or maybe she'll become a vegetarian. LOL Cora has already picked out which turkey she wants to eat for her birthday in August, and asked Daddy if she can shoot it. :-X Clearly, we have raised a heartless little child. Haha

Just Me said...

She's not heartless. She just knows where her food comes from. I love how well your kids really understand that.

Wendy said...

Cora's comment - ha ha ha!