By Lori Leigh from LL Farm
When we first embarked on our adventure of having a flock of chickens, we developed a plan. Our primary goal for starting with chickens was the obvious reason: fresh eggs! Our plan to consistently have fresh eggs is flock rotation. We figure every two years we will get baby chicks. Once they start laying eggs, we will process the older ones.
Well, it has been two years and we will be getting baby chicks within the next few months! Because this will be our first flock rotation, we have a lot to do to get ready. Because our current ladies have always been together and we have not had any problems, we do not want to upset them or give them reason to become territorial. For this reason, we will be constructing a smaller coop for the new chicks and a separate fenced in area to go with their new coop.
The work has started on the coop, but because we are DIYers, we work on it when we can. Above is a sneak peak…it starts with a pallet. It will be raised off the ground and have a slanted roof. Mostly made out of re-purposed material, just like our first coop (see it here). I will write (and share pictures) about the coop and fencing once it is complete.
But for now, we have other exciting things to do: we get to decide what type of chickens we want. Although our current coop could accommodate more chickens, we have decided that six works for us and our needs. Our first flock was Golden Comets (with the accidental Buff Orpington). They have been a wonderful addition to LL Farm, providing us with delicious eggs. With the exception of winter months, they have been consistent in laying brown eggs, even during their molting.
For our new flock, we want to be a bit more adventurous. Chickens that look different and produce different colored eggs.
I love the look of the Silver Laced Wyandotte. It appears to be wearing a fine lace gown, all ready to go to a party. A beautiful chicken to look at! My research shows that this breed lays brown eggs. They are famous for their friendly disposition and are good layers, even in cold weather.
Handy Hubby wants Easter Egger chickens. They lay eggs that look like Easter egg colors, mainly blue and green. What fun! The Ameraucana (notice spelling; not to be confused with Americana) breed is known to be non-aggressive and cold hardy.
For a total of six chickens (two of each breed), the last breed of chicken I want to add is White Rocks. They produce brown eggs and quality meat. They are also cold hardy. This breed of chicken is what I remember having as a child. It is also what my maternal grandparents had. I remember those white chickens clucking around as us cousins would be visiting and playing at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Those chickens not only laid tasty eggs, but they themselves graced many Sunday dinner tables as Grandma’s fried chicken. This breed of chicken will bring a bit of nostalgia to our little farm.
The other thing we will do differently this time? We won’t make the two hour trip to the hatchery. I want to have them delivered by mail. I have read, with such fascination, about this process and I look forward to it! I hope it puts a smile on the people working at the small post office too.
So, these are the plans that we have. But, as with anything, plans can change. As we get closer to ordering our baby chicks, much will depend on availability at the hatchery. I hope you frequently check out Community Chickens Pinterest board (see it here). It is full of great information and pictures. I will ‘pin’ pictures of our baby chicks when the time comes. Thanks for following along!
Weigh in on the conversation:
What is your favorite breed of chicken and why?