Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Our First Flock - Bringing Home Baby Chicks to Rehoboth Farm

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Well...we did it...we brought home baby chicks! This is a moment greatly celebrated by this new-to-the-country family.  We dreamed about this moment so many times during our city dwelling days. It is very surreal to think we were paying HOA fees last year, forbidden from keeping any "farmyard pets". And now, only by the grace of God, here we are with our very own little flock.  God is so good.

We picked them up this morning at the local farm supply store.

Like a little happy meal box - but, with "real white meat" inside!

We picked out 12 baby chickies:

(4) Buff Orpingtons - I love how full and fluffy they are when full grown - and their pretty buff coloring.

(2) Rhode Island Reds - They are a good hearty breed I thought we should start with (and redheads, to boot!)

(6) Ameraucanas - they lay blue and green eggs! So fun.
Their coloring is so varied! We got a mystery pack of boys/girls, so only time will tell how many colored eggs we will get. Not sure what will become of the possible roosters.

**They were out of Barred Rock babies, so we will be going back on Friday.  They are a beautiful old-fashioned looking hen!

Here is a "peep" through their little cardboard window:

The Buff Orpington/Rhode Island Red box "cheep cheep cheeped" all the way home.  The Ameraucana box was silent and still. They huddled in a little heap in the corner and slept the whole ride - with an occasional "cheep" when we went over a bump in the road.

Here they are settled in their brooder box, complete with all the new chickie necessities.

We originally looked in to purchasing a Chick Starter Kit like this one:
It comes with organic chick feed and all the essentials. But, we were able to gather all the supplies locally and piece it together ourselves for quite a bit less. If you don't have a local Rural King or Tractor Supply, everything is available online. Here's a list of everything we used to get started:
Cardboard shelter - we used an old appliance box to create a barrier, but had to quickly graduate to a larger home made of plywood.
Brooder lamp (definitely get one with the lightbulb guard!)
Chick feeder (we used 2 of these as well...you can use the plastic jar, but they are compatible with mason jars and we found that the weight of the glass helps keep them from tipping over when the food runs low and the chicks decide to perch on top of them).
Chick starter (this is a NON -GMO organic chick starter.)
Chick waterer (we used two for 18 birds and were refilling them twice a day)
Wood shavings (The pine shavings from the feed store lasted us a long time, even as we expanded their brooder. But, when we ran out we were able to use my husband's wood shavings from the workshop and they worked fine!)
 After they became acquainted with their new surroundings, we took them out a few at a time to get a closer look - and ooh and aww over their ridiculous cuteness!
Sophie, the official family representative, came to welcome the chicks to Rehoboth Farm.

"Don't worry, Little Red. You're going to love it here!"

"You....you might be a rooster, so I can't really make you any promises."

They are soft, fluffy, sweet, and adorable. They are full of energy and life and will eventually supply us with beautiful rich eggs.  But, mostly they are a milestone.  They are a marker that makes our journey official.
We're farmers now.

We are very proud of our first flock.

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