Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chick chick chicken?? Backcounter chicken project

Reflections from the Backcounter

Many of you have realized through my postings that I am a frustrated homesteader. We make homemade yogurt, no knead bread, yogurt cheese and grow our own lemons, figs and tomatoes. But is it really enough? Those of you who know me, know that last year I received a set up for raising my own chickens but before the little darlings were delivered, I chickened out (no pun intended) and cancelled my order. Well, I have taken the plunge. Later today I will pick up my redstar chicks and begin my chicken adventure. Of course, this project is on the "down low" as I am concerned about neighborhood issues but....the little darlings will be carefully housed in the garage until they can brave the elements and hopefully by then we will have designed and built an appropriately camouflaged coop! I have connected with my personal chicken mentor Laura and look forward to meeting her today

Here is her information on the chicken project

LOL I hear you...thanks for inquiring. Red Star chicks get their name because it's a guarantee they are all females. When they are hatched, the white chicks are
roosters and the red ones are females. They are the brown egg layers and very hardy. How many chicks you want as laying hens is up to you :). When they start laying you will have eggs everyday. Maybe some will skip a day, but will make it up either in the early morning orafternoon. So if you get 5 chicks, you will have five eggs a day. I will be getting White Leghorn chicks this next week and they will be a couple days old. (So cute) They're still cute even when they grow older. They follow you everywhere. You are like their mom. They are the white egg layers. They are a smaller bird and very hardy as well. They aremostlyused for commercial eggs. Anyway if you are interested I do have starter kids that include: heat lamp, water dispenser, feeder, 10 lbs of chick starter feed and wood shavings for $60. I keep all my chicks in the garage or laundry room in a dog kennel of some sort until they get around 3-4 weeks of age. Put the wood shavings on the bottom inside the kennel for absorbing their messes. Very easy and fun. Feed is usually free for all and make sure they have clean water at all times. If they are in the garage, the heat lamp will be either on top of kennel or near the door entryofwarmth. They will start getting their feathers in a couple of weeks. I will send a pic of my set up.
When they get older, they will be fed chicken scratch or chick starter and grower feed. It's bigger granuals for them to fill up faster on. They need to protein in their young systems. As they become adults which is within a few months, they will love to eat anything. We usually feed them are bread scraps, fruit scraps, any grass they you grow they will love, noodles, anything that's not meat. Layer feed pellet form is a must when they are laying age. This helps them produce and it has the vitamins they need. They need calcium also. What ever you need to do to get calcium in their diet is up to you. They are very quiet except when they lay an egg. Which usually last like 20 seconds. They start cackling (bragging) that they have laid an egg.
Anyway, let me know :) what ever you decide.
So I look forward to the project....we will see how it goes and will keep you updated. We are probably twenty weeks away from home grown eggs


Kloggers/Polly said...

What a wonderful posting Julia and I can see you are full of enthusiasm.

Please - when you have a minute could you kindly post or send the recipe for the no-knead bread. I have to have wheat free and wonder if it would be suitable for that.

On the news here yesterday a school had project of keeping hens and one of them laid an enormous egg - nearly three inches in length it dwarfed all of the other eggs and looked like a long goose egg ... the hen looked amazingly contented afterwards though. You'd have thought that she would have been knocked for six!

Alisa@Foodista said...

That is so exciting! I've always wanted to raise a couple of chickens myself. I wish you the best of luck! :)

CardsYourWay.US said...

I'm coming up on a year with my Red Stars! We hand raised them and they are part of the family now. Our yard isn't very big so they have their own confined space (we let them out every few days). They do get pretty excited when they lay, but quiet down if you bring 'em a treat. Our neighbors are in love with them too, because when we have extra eggs.. we share. :D There's even a few families looking into getting their own hens now!

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