In the dead of winter, new life seemed like such a great idea! My current flock of 8 Chickens and 2 ducks were providing lots of eggs. Although I was hesitant to get ANY chickens, I found that I really enjoy caring for them. Gathering the eggs every day and checking on them is not as much work as I thought it might be. I decided to add 9 new chicks to the flock in February. These little feathered friends camped out in my dining room for 3 weeks! We enjoyed watching them grow and holding them every day. When the dust and baby feathers were too much, I moved them to the well house where we have a heater installed. I waited as long as possible to do this in hopes that they would continue letting us hold them. Baby chicks have to stay warm until they have all their adult feathers, unless they are hatched by one of your own hens who will keep them warm. You can’t introduce new chicks to your flock when they are very young because the hens and roosters might kill them. They will still establish a pecking order when you introduce them, but they will survive if you wait until they are at least 6-8 weeks old.
Nine Baby Chicks
I chose to purchase the new chicks at Rural King because their chicks are all supposed to be pullets, which are female chickens. We already have two roosters, Tippy and Henry, so I definitely don’t want to add more roosters. The new chicks are 3 Easter Eggers, 3 Olive Eggers, and 3 Welsummers. The Easter Eggers will lay blue eggs. Olive Egger chickens will lay green eggs. Wesummer chickens will lay dark brown/speckled eggs.
The chicks moved from the well house to the chicken house. As winter was coming to an end, I fixed a partition in the chicken house to keep the older hens and roosters from pecking they young chicks. This allowed them to be introduced safely. After a couple of weeks I took the partition out and all the chickens live together now. We lost 2 chickens to a sudden cold snap but all the others have done great! When I let the chickens out to free range, they actually form two separate flocks. Each flock stays together as they eat plants and insects. The new hens should begin laying eggs sometime in July. If they all lay an egg every day, I will have 18 eggs per day. I don’t plan to get any more egg chickens for a while! Meat chickens are in the future plans so stay tuned for that adventure!