I did manage to drag myself out of bed long enough to go to a Chicken 101 workshop put on through our county extension office with WSU. It was led by a man who runs a small, but bountiful egg, meat and chick operation from his small farm. He led us through raising chicks, hatching, feed, egg production, housing, breeding, health care, selling and any thing else you might need to know when starting your own backyard chicken flock (it was a three hour class we learned a lot). I learned a few (or more) new tricks and got an idea for what it is going to take to start selling eggs in the community. It was a very informative workshop where the 20+ participants could ask any question they thought of. Another mother/farmer and I are going in together to sell eggs at small retail grocers and farmers markets, doing this venture together we hope to create a support system and make it a little easier on ourselves. We just ordered chicks for Cackle Hatchery, I have never ordered from here before but they had all the varieties we wanted. Going in on an order together is a great way to get exactly what breeds you want meet the minimum order of chicks which is somewhere between 15-25 chicks. The hatcheries do this so the chick will survive the shipping, their collective body heat keeps them warm until they get to you and boy did we get a whole gaggle of chicks. Marianna is starting her flock with 15 Barred Plymouth Rock pullets, a pullet is a female chicken up to a year old. They are wonderful egg layers and a very beautiful chicken. We have a few in our mixed flock along with some Golden Laced Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons and other breeds.
We are now adding more breeds to our flock; Arauncanas fortheir egg color, the eggs often range from blues to greens, Silver Laced Wyandottes, because their pretty (I know not the best reason) and Splash Cochins, for their broody behavior, that means hens will sit on a clutch of eggs (not just their own) and hatch them out, not many of the breeds have retained that characteristic.
We are also adding ducks and geese to the farm, we had them years ago and miss them. We are getting Khaki Campbells for their egg production and Toulouse Geese because it is what we have always had. We won't be getting our new additions till the end of May, all the hatcheries are having an over load of orders, so if you want chicks order soon the do sell out. Happy Sunday!