Our plan was to add animals as we go as we develop the homestead, eggs were at the top of our list!
So we love eggs and wanted to integrate animals not only for their food value but the value they bring to the land in general. Chickens fill many roles including pest control, fertilizer and sustainable food production. In return we provide shelter, water, food and protection from predators, the relationship goes both ways. Each chicken has it’s own personality, this we can start to see in the 2 week old chicks.
Our decision was a flock of 15 female birds. Welp sells birds in groups of 25 which we though to many for now and McMurray Hatchery offered birds in groups of 15. They also throw in a rare bird, that they will not tell you about….ever. They even hide it from themselves so nobody knows until they grow up. We will of course figure out the sex and type, eventually. The birds come in a box, designed for them with food supplements so you can get them off to a great start. I am pretty impressed with their service and care of the birds and I loved the Post Office call on early Sunday morning asking, do you want to come and get them or wait a day or two? Well that answer was short, we jumped in the truck and headed out to get them.
Of course this created a little panic as we had not set up the brooder, we were going to do that later in the day. Guess there is no time like the present. We used an 8′ long stock tank. Since this would keep predators from getting in and them from getting out. The initial investment was about $260 but we can use this over and over again. When we do meat birds, we can put 30-40 birds in this brooder. We had purchased wood chips for bedding along with a heat lamp, waterer and feed trough. So we put the brooder together fairly quickly.
Here is some video of the starting of the chicks, enjoy!