It’s been quite awhile y’all! I haven’t posted any updates on my flock, and I thought it was about time I did.
I recently added some new ladies to my flock, well not flock per say since they are only 6 day old little chicks. They are in their brooder, just being cute and growing. This all started with a trip to Tractor Supply on our usual chicken feed resupply day… and lo and behold I’m walking down the middle of Tractor Supply and BAM!, little chicks! What’s a girl supposed to do besides take some home! So, my selection was either White Leghorns (which I already have Amber Stars) or Assorted Feather Footed Bantams! I’m a fairly new chicken owner, I’ve had my oldest hens (Rhode Island Reds) 11 months now. A cute ornamental breed was a BIG YES!
Now my dilemma, they’re straight run and my neighborhood is a residential area and won’t allow roosters. Huge bummer by-the-way cause I would love to have one, but I can have hens! So, I didn’t buy the chicks right away and played it cool. Inside I was so excited, I loaded up the feed in my truck and googled “how to tell apart male and female chicks?”, yes what an amateur move right? Well I have to learn someway! So I run back in like I’m a pro chicken owner now and ask for some help selecting my chicks and I spread their wings to check if the feathers match the picture I just searched up on google, and viola!, I saw the difference in the wing feathers. I look up at the associate like I’m so awesome and tell him this is a female. I eventually walked away with 4 Feather Footed Bantams, which kind of bantams… NO CLUE! I’m excited at the unknown. I’m a creature of habit, I don’t do well with surprises… but they were just too darn cute to resist!
If anyone knows what kind of bantams these are, feel free to drop a comment below. It would be much appreciated!
Now, moving on to my Rhode Island’s (11 months old) & Amber Stars (7 months old). They are so fun and have such sassy attitudes, I love it! I have one particular Amber Star that is so broody, she will sit in the coop all day and night on those eggs. I try to take them a few hours after they’re done laying for the day because poor thing won’t move from there. I use egg collecting as a chore now for my kids, they’re on rotation for collecting eggs. Some days my son and some days my daughter. Gotta teach em’ responsibility and hard work early on. They sure enjoy eating eggs so I make em’ work for it.
One of my Amber Stars is an escape artist, we call her “Sally”. She will find a way whether lifting up the chicken wire and going under or finding an opening and flying out. I’m constantly reinforcing the chicken fortress but she gets creative. I added an extension to their chicken run with some chicken wire, wood stakes and a tarp cover. If that tarp leaves even a little corner uncovered, she will fly right out! Unfortunately, my dog is not chicken friendly so every-time Sally gets out I’m running to save her life. She’s just foraging like she has no care at all for the menacing dog attempting to eat her! But thankfully my dogs chain will not allow her more than 50 ft and somehow Sally knows to not cross into the threshold of the chicken-eating dogs side of the yard.
Then, we have “Butterscotch”, she was the most picked-on by the rest of the flock. As a result of that, she’s always super jittery and always runs away. Yet, she’s a favorite of mine because I just felt so bad for her. Now she’s integrated with the flock much better but I catch the occasional bully pecking at her, even making her get up when she’s dust bathing just to take her spot. So when I give them treats Butterscotch always receives a little more.
My girls consistently lay eggs. I have so many eggs I sell to friends and family. The eggs pretty much pay for the feed, which is a big plus! I made the mistake of going with a more affordable feed and I realized their yolks went from a bright orange to a pale yellow and I was not happy! After doing an amateur Internet deep dive I figured out it was due to the marigold extract that the cheaper feed did NOT have. I ended up going right back to Blue Seal Home Fresh Extra Egg Layer Poultry Feed, and this has been by far the best feed for my girls. I mix in some black sunflower seeds or cracked corn every now and then just to change it up a bit. I give them cabbage heads, which they love to eat and play with too.
To wrap this up, my girls are doing great! I can’t wait to see these little chicks grow and find out what kind of bantams I brought home! I will keep y’all updated, until next time!