Odd as it may seem, this is a great time to be ordering chicks. In fact, I ordered our new batch of baby chicks for the farm on Thursday and I’m already counting down the days until their arrival! Last year I waited until the middle of February to place my order, which, unbeknownst to me, was rather late for putting my name on the queue. I had to wait until the end of April for my order to arrive. In the meantime I made multiple trips to the farm store for materials and had to walk right past their cages of adorable little chicks without buying ANY because I’d already ordered mine. So this year I was at the front of the line with my order!
These are the adorable fluff balls that will be arriving at my home in February. I order from Cackle Hatchery because they are in Missouri so the poor things don’t have to travel far and get to me in 24 hours. They have a good reputation, more than 100 kinds of chicks to choose from, and friendly service but there are dozens of online stores.
Last year I tried five different varieties of chicken. Because you can spend hours on the Internet
playing researching different breeds I looked and looked for birds that would be good pets, be fine in Missouri’s winters and summers, and lay interesting eggs. I have three Welsummer hens who are supposed to lay chocolate brown eggs, but in actually lay something closer to caramel. They are still my favorites because they are so pretty! There are three Light Brahmas, who are also favorites with me because of their personalities. They are the first out of the coop in the morning, the first to explore farthest in the yard, the first to come running when I throw out a treat, and the hardest to get into the coop at night! Then there are the three Barred Plymouth Rocks. These girls are just typically chicken except for one with a funny floppy comb. Since she’s so easy to ID I call her “Bertie.” Last there are the four Buff Orpingtons. I really love how pretty and fluffy these hens are, and they seem to be my best layers too.
I’d like to say this year’s selection were based on last year’s experience, but no. They are mostly just more birds that I want. I’m getting Silver Laced Wyandottes, because they are pretty. We are adding Rhoad Island Reds, because Brett says we need a red chicken. We’ve ordered Easter Eggers since none of last year’s survived and we want blue-green tinted eggs. And then we’re trying Cinammon Queens because they were advertised as good winter layers. So there you go, one breed chosen from experience. I also wanted Bantam Silkies because they look so darn cute. That’s the one in the photo above. See? Cute.
And if you’ve been thinking about adding chicks to the chaos at your house, stick around. I’ll be breaking down the time and effort it took me to get started with my hens in next week’s post!