It seemed fitting that after Zach and I wrapped up our final Community Chickens podcast episode that I name my new chickens after the Golden Girls! That was a suggestion of Zach’s on the show.
You may have gotten a glimpse of my chicken coop in my previous post regarding Bruce. Here’s a clearer image. As you probably agree, after listening to all of the podcast episodes. That seems like a coop that should hold a maximum of 4 chickens (its advertised to hold 10).
After deciding that 4 was the magic number, I made another decision. I wanted hens. Not hatchlings, I wanted hens that were already laying. My opinion on the matter when making this choice was that I would be time and money ahead by getting chickens that were already at the age of production.
Here are my pros to getting adult layers:
I would immediately be bringing breakfast to the table!
I could avoid the cost of incubation and brooding equipment.
There wouldn’t be a poop smell in the house.
I could save the children (and myself) from emotionally scarring incidents happening with the delicate chicks…
I wouldn’t have the heartbreak of watching a chick fail from illness.
There isn’t a “full-grown chicken season,” so I could take my time getting them.
So, where can I find these magnificent worry-free chickens!? That is the question, isn’t it…
I started with a simple Facebook post.
After receiving little feedback, I joined several local poultry groups on Facebook. I posted similar “ISO’s” and trolled other peoples posts looking for a lead. What I was finding was that most people had chickens that “were going to start laying any day now…” I was unimpressed with that answer and continued looking for those magical unicorns looking to downsize their healthy flocks.
If chicken people are flighty, does that mean that cattle people are bullish? That sheep farmers are followers? Pig people live like they’re in a sty? I’m finding that the first may be true, while I have yet to investigate the others…
After having a few different agreements fall through I was a month into my search and my egg basket remained empty. I went to craigslist. Weeding through a craigslist search can leave much to be desired. However, I did have luck finding my coop there, so why not… (So many reasons why not.)
After searching and having similar local deals fall through via email and text I decided that I WAS GOING TO GET CHICKENS THIS WEEKEND IF IT TOOK ALL MY TIME. This was getting ridiculous.
After searching several surrounding cities for chickens I decided that Kansas City was the closets chicken trading hub. So I drove to my dear friends home in Kansas City and started calling, texting, emailing, and Facebooking chicken adds. When I had started I was bent on getting a variety. I this point I was just hoping to find something with a beak and two legs. By 7 pm Sunday, I had found some chickens ready to pick up an hour South. It’s a good thing I love to drive.
Small Animal Broker
Wait, Charlotte! Did you go on this craigslist find ALONE?
So funny sidebar… I had a first date that night. We will call this gentleman Chad. Going against everything that MFM has taught me I decided not to SSDGM and to invite my date on this chicken run with me.
Once we pulled into the drive, we were met by some friendly farm dogs and could see the large chicken run. I would estimate that it was about 3,000 feet. It had a few separate pens inside the enclosure.
Enter Steve: Chicken Steve was the picture perfect retired farmer. He was wearing overalls, no shirt, and aviator sized bifocals. He lead us over to the chicken pen where he had separated the “current layers” from the other birds. While I was looking at them he grabbed a fishing net and held it out. That’s right I was about to catch my own chickens.
Chad had a good laugh at my expense while I made my first few attempts to “pick my own bird”. Of course, I mastered the art quickly and made quick work of picking the four girls. (I’ll let you decide if that’s true) Chad was on door duty as I collected them.
Before we left, I shook Steve’s hand He gave me a business card that simply said “Chicken Steve – Small Animal Broker.” Steve gave me his pitch. He only sells healthy chickens, he gets them from all over! These girls seem alright, but he had only had them for about a week and didn’t really know anything about them. Steve asked us to let him know if they had issues.
I think Chad had fun on the adventure but was thankful that we used my car for transport.
Once I arrived home it was incredibly late and transferred the girls to their new home. With the light of my cell phone, I added the bedding, food, and water.
In the morning only Sophia was brave enough to check out their new place and true to form she had a lot to say!
We had received two eggs and introduced the girls to Bruce. He was politely interested, so far I am pleased with his temperament towards the girls.
While most of the names stuck, my 3-year-old renamed “Rose,” “Suzy”. Suzy!? Of all the names Suzy? Is this foreshadowing that I may have a neighbor Suzy in my flock!?
After learning so much on the Community Chickens podcast, I let myself get impatient and jumped blindly into these chickens.
I didn’t check if he was reputable.
I didn’t check the chickens over for health issues.
I have no idea how old they are. They could truly be in their golden years.
I know nothing about previous vaccines or ailments that may have been in contact with.
I’m the real neighbor Suzy here…