Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Few Notes On Buying Chicks

It has been a little over six months since my little chicks arrived in the mail.  They were only a few days old.  I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking getting chicks in the fall.  The most fun time to tend to a new flock is not during the rainy season, however, currently all  but one of the ladies have started laying eggs and they are all healthy and happy so of course right now I have no regrets.  If I had not gotten the chicks I would be getting chicks right about now - the local farm store started stocking chicks in February!  I have some thoughts, for your review, on how and when I bought this batch of chicks.

I should not have gotten the chicks until their home was actually finished.  I think everyone does this - buys chicks a little before project completion since they have to stay indoors for a few weeks anyway.  I did it with my previous batch of chicks too.  I spent so much time building the coop/fort and when I nailed the last nail I was ready to buy chicks!  Of course I still had to paint the coop and build and stain fencing for it.  Add to that, it was the end of summer and the beginning of football, soccer and school which effectively took away my "project" time.  It was pretty stressful squeezing in all that last minute stuff and the chickens ended up staying in my house longer than they should have.  Next time I will wait to get chicks until the coop is ready.

I'm a cheap ass and in this case an idiot.  I was too cheap to pay to have my bantam's (the small breeds) sexed.  It is harder to tell the male from female with bantams since they are so tiny and it would have cost $6 per chick to get females only.  I didn't want to shell out the $30 to get hens only so I ordered a strait run of five bantams.  I thought I'd rather just risk getting roosters and give them away or sell the ones that turned out to be roosters.  Well I wasn't really thinking.  By the time the chicks were old enough for me to to figure out they were roosters I had put well more than $30 worth of organic feed into them.  Finding a new home for them was more difficult than I thought it would be.  I practically had to offer a dowry to re-home them, never mind charging actual money for the little roosters.  I would have, should have could have butchered the males but just never worked up the gumption or time.  It just seemed like so much work for what would have been like two pounds of meat per bird and it would have been a real big deal for me.  Next time I will get them sexed, duh.

Finally, I do have a little bit of shame about buying my chicks online from a big company but seriously I'd probably do it again.  I got them from My Pet Chicken.  I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with the company but it would have been ideal to support some local farmers and buy chicks local.  We have a lot of options for local chicks up here.  The appeal of My Pet Chicken was that I could get lots of different and rare breeds in one place and I could get them even at the end of summer - since I was being impatient.

I am really pleased with my chickens and I'm glad I have them. If you are a chick girl or guy you know that when you want chicks you just have to get them even if it's in the fall!  Now that it's spring whenever I am in the feed store or even in the neighborhood I stop in and watch the fluffy little darlings but I am always pleased with the ladies I have back at home!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I just summarized this for my husband so hopefully you've helped us out if/when we get chickens!