A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I would be publishing a series of posts that invited you to join in by sharing your opinions and comments. I am always interested to learn from the experience of other chicken keepers. I have been sharing my challenges and creative solutions for almost three years here on Community Chickens. Now it’s your turn to do the same.
But where to start? There are innumerable chicken keeping topics to discuss and picking just one to get the ball rolling is quite a daunting task. I have been contemplating this issue for a few days and I keep coming back to the same topic: which came first, the chicken or the egg?
No, I’m not asking you to give your opinion on this age old question, although you can certainly do so. Instead, I’m wondering whether you started your flock with day old chicks or hatching eggs. Do you add to your flock by using chickens or eggs?
I’ll go first. Here at 1840 Farm, we started our flock with day old chicks. We ordered sexed day old chicks from My Pet Chicken and were happy to receive our heritage breed chicks and even happier to know that they were all hens.
We don’t keep roosters here on our farm. While we can legally have roosters, our farm is located in a suburban area and flanked by a subdivision and neighbors. They enjoy stopping by the farm to see the chickens and goats and take a stroll through our extensive gardens. I don’t think that they would enjoy listening to a rooster crow throughout the day.
For the sake of keeping peace in the neighborhood, we chose not to keep a rooster. It has been a good decision for our farm and also good reason to add day old chicks to our flock instead of hatching eggs. We have successfully ordered day old sexed chicks on two occasions, with only hens maturing from the chicks we welcomed to our farm.
I applaud chicken keepers who keep rooster or raise chickens for meat and allow their flocks to reproduce on their own. I can only imagine the self satisfaction of observing your hens sitting on a clutch of fertilized eggs that are destined to become the coop’s next generation of residents.
I’m hoping you’ll share your experience in the comment section of this post so that we can all learn from each other. So, in your flock, which arrives first: day old chicks or hatching eggs?