Thursday, March 10, 2011


This year, for the first time, I am trying my hand at raising a few laying hens.

I got a total of 12 pullets. They're supposed to be pullets (girls) anyway....

The red ones are Rhode Island Reds. When they grow up, they should look like this:

The black ones with the white on their wings are Barred Plymouth Rocks. I think they are probably the most iconic-looking of all chickens. When they grow up, they'll look like this:

The white ones are called California Whites. They are a cross between a White Leghorn and a Barred Plymouth Rock.

When they grow up, they'll look something like this:

Now, the black ones with the little bit of white on their head and chest are called Black Sex Link chicks.

They are a cross between a Barred Plymouth Rock and a Red Island Red. The neat thing about them is that the girls are all black--always, so I know for sure, at least, that these two are pullets. Here's what they'll look like when they get older:

I got two of each of the above, and then four "rainbow layers," which just means they were the leftovers from other orders. I think I got an extra Barred and a Red in these, but the other two--who knows?

I mostly got them to try to keep the number of bugs by the house this summer down to at least a tolerable level. Every year I get attacked half the summer, and Dad said he remembered when his mom had chickens the bugs didn't seem so bad, so even if I don't get a single egg, it will hopefully be worth it.

Of course, I do hope I'll get a few eggs from them.

They're fun to watch, though, and seem to not be too hard to take care of.

They currently live on the back porch, in a spare water tub, with a light and I leave an electric heater out there to keep the temperature higher than it normally would be back there.

It seems to be working well. They're active and happy, and one even seems to have a bit of an attitude.

You talk'n to me?

Compared to the horses, changing their bedding is a breeze!

Of course, once they get outside, keeping them alive is probably going to be the hardest part. I'm going to use the old smoke house as a temporary coop. It's sturdy, enclosed, and well-ventilated, so hopefully they all make it to that point.

I didn't need more animals, but I figured, 'what the cluck?'


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Cute!! You got a nice assortment :)

I'm planning on having chix at the farmette once I move there. Not Guinea hens though!! There was a flock of them next door for a while - they created an infernal racket! ;)

Alan T Hainkel said...

Cute chicks... ;)

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

How cool, I am jealous! I want chickens in the worse way. I love the Plymouth Rock ones. Good luck, wish I was your neighbor:)

Lisa said...

They are so adorable I almost wish they could stay that way. I have about 15 chickens, the last eggs to hatch were last year. I 've started taking the eggs as I don't want anymore babies.

I stopped by after reading about your blog through Jennifer. Love your blog & will stop back again!


Annette said...

You are going to love having chickens! The eggs are out of this world especially if you let them run around and eat bugs. They'll eat frogs too - bet you didn't think about chickens eating meat! We give them all the kitchen scraps too. We have Rhode Island Reds (great layers, great temperment), Barred Rocks (very cool coloring, my favorite) and an assortment of others. You gotta have an assortment.

smazourek said...

I'd like to get chickens when we finally get our own place. The only problem is that I'm a rooster bullseye, I cannot walk past one without getting attacked in some way. I'm like a walking Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Nicole said...

what the cluck... LOL hahahahahaha. We are debating on getting some too.

Vintage West said...

Great breed picks! My favs are the Barred Rocks and RI Reds :)

SallymetHarryHorse said...

love chickens, you're are lovely! here's wishing you heaps of yummy eggs!

Krazy Cindy said...

Awesome! Now remember, if you have any questions, you can ask your favorite chickenologist (me, in case you were wondering), and I will pretend like I know what I'm talking about :-)

BTW, if you decide you want more in the future, might I suggest Black Australorps and Buff Orpingtons? Two very cool breeds that I'd get if I could ;-)