I went to Big R today and picked up half a dozen chicks. (quick note from a month later than this post: read up on Marek’s Disease and think about vaccination)
We’ve prepared for them for almost a week now. I bought a mixing trough and built a screen to cover the top, complete with places to clamp heat lamps.
I could talk about the care and feeding, but there are much better resources for that. In fact, please let me know if you see that I’ve done something wrong!
We settled on Orpingtons. They’re a well-documented breed of chicken, so I can find plenty of help online. Orpingtons are very docile and easy to handle. They are dual-purpose, meaning that they’re used for eggs and for meat. The roosters can get up to 10 lbs.
I plan on letting the chickens grub for food on the stead, supplementing with as little feed as possible. This means that the chickens won’t grow quickly and eggs won’t come as often as they could.
That’s all down the road though. Right now, I’m keeping the wee ones toasty and sheltered.
Here’s a chick in my wife’s hands…