Sunday, April 18, 2010

Baby Chicks

For years I have thought about having a few backyard chickens and now that we are settled in our home in Wilmington, I convinced my husband that it was a good idea.  :0)  Last week, with my DH's (dear husband's) permission, the kids and I went to the True Value Hardware store up in Castle Hayne - about a 30 minute drive north - to pick out six chickens - one each for the kids, plus one for me.  Since then, we have been busy cleaning up the enormus amounts of poop (recent FB status reads:  "6 chicks = TONS of poop"), socializing our baby birds, teaching them how to drink water and making plans for a chicken coop.
This is my baby bird, Sunshine or Sunny for short.  I didn't name her, the kids did because she kept trying to climb into the heat lamp.  Yes, INTO it!  She really likes the sunshine - whether its the real rays, or the fake heat lamp rays.  :0)

All six of our babies are Ameraucanas, also known as Easter eggers because they lay colored eggs.  Their eggs will probably be a light shade of green or blue, but some can lay light pink or light lavendar eggs!  I picked this breed because everything I read online agreed that they were great birds to have around children.  Apparentlly they are mild tempered, docile, smart and playful.  So far, they are living up to their reputation.  Click HERE for a cool article that shows an Ameraucana from one week to full grown so you can see what my girl will look like when she's older.

Here is Sunshine on her way to the park...

And here she is at the family campfire...

Can you tell I'm having fun with her?  :0)

Here are the kid's babies:

Kip named his chick Fluffy.

Brady named his Color.

Katie named hers Zoey.

Jake named his Victoria.  (I call her Tori.) :0)

Carrie named her Bellatrix.  (I call her Trixie.)  :0)

Many of my friends think I've jumped off the deep one on this one.  I guess they could say I've "flown the coop".  :0)  Hopefully these girls will turn out to be a blessing with farm fresh eggs and friendly company for my "unsocialized homeschoolers".  :0)  According to what I've read we should have eggs near the end of September.  This breed can lay up to one a day!  {Although I'd love to have eggs now and could have purchased "point of lay" or "POL" pullets (birds about 16 weeks old, near to when they would start laying) I have read that when you have children it is better to hand raise babies so they are not afraid of the kids and vice versa.}

No Roosters Allowed!!
The store was *almost* certain that we received all females, however there is a chance that one or even more could be a male/rooster.  We should know within the next month to six weeks.  All of the children understand that if we do have a rooster among us, that he will be given to a friend's farm.  I definitely don't want a rooster around!  Many people don't know that hens can and will lay eggs whether a rooster is around or not.  If there is no rooster, they just won't be fertilized eggs - meaning no baby chicks.  :0)  Pretty cool, hun?  I think so!  God's plan and His creation is just amazing to me!

Be sure to check back for updates on our chicken adventure!  I am hoping to take pictures every week so we can document their growth.  I've heard they grow very fast.  Better get to building that coop!  :0)

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