The Chickens are Organizing

Our new batch of laying hens arrived today. Technically they're just day-old chicks, but their career path is pointed toward providing eggs in about 6 months. I ordered 10 "assorted Brahma pullets" (females) and I knew at this time of year, they'd also toss in several rooster chicks (or "packing peanuts" to those of us who toss around jargon) to keep the box warm enough for transport. Five roosters will liven up the place in a few months. The boys' career path? Uncertain just now. We'll see...

I've raised 5 or 6 batches of day-olds in my short career as an egg farmer. There are several stages.

First, they arrive at the post office and the postal workers oooh and aaaah over them when I come to pick them up. I take them home and settle them into their temporary digs. In warm weather they can live on the back porch in a huge black plastic water trough with metal wire mesh over the top. They have a floor of shavings, and a food container and a waterer. I even have a remote thermometer to help me keep track of their temperature - heat provided by a heat lamp.

I tried that for a little while today, but because the weather is forecast to turn sharply overnight, I changed my mind and ensconced them in plastic bins on top of my chest freezer in the utility room. It's easier to control the temperature there, and I don't have to worry about a blue norther getting them wet or too cold. Wet and/or cold will kill new babies. So, I can sleep tonight knowing they're dry and toasty and just a few steps away.

The next stage is where they get big enough to knock their waterer over and ruin all the shavings, or fill their food container with poop and shavings several times a day, no matter how hard I try to prevent it. This is their "high maintenance" stage. Don't like this part. I grit my teeth through this part until they have enough feathers to be able to put up with whatever weather Texas experiences. They also look pretty gangly and goofy at this stage.

At this point they are moved outdoors into some kind of coop arrangement that allows for gentle entry into grown up chickenhood. This will be facilitated by DH's new chicken taj mahal, a little further down the road. Once they're full grown, they get to free range during the day.

They seem to be settling in nicely tonight, in their very darling infancy. They should be fairly easy for DH and DD to take care of while I'm away.

Which brings me to my next bit of personal itinerary. I'm off tomorrow for my church's women's retreat down in Glen Rose. We've used this really cute B&B over several years, and it's become a very familiar place to hang out and relax for us. Check out their site: Country Woods Inn. Sort of an amalgam of a funky roadside antique shop and Little House on the Prairie. Every unique house on the property is decorated in its own style - one "house" is really a box car, settled out in the woods. Very neat place. They even have farm animals! And I don't have to feed them or clean up after them - just enjoy them!!

The upshot is that I won't be answering e-mail or blogging until I get back on Sunday evening. I'll miss visiting with you. I admit I even inquired about the availability of WiFi at the B&B. No go. So I'll be forced to extract myself from the laptop's gravitational pull for a few days.

Y'all behave yourselves and I'll talk to you when I return. And when I return, all life will be about the big storytelling, live music, picnic, hoedown, knitting and spinning day on October 17! Please come and bring a friend. You won't regret it. So far the weather forecast is great for Saturday. We'll just have to try to dry out between now and then.

Adios! Que Dios te bendiga.


  1. Anonymous12:15 AM

    Have fun this weekend. Was glad to see the picture of the box car. I've thought once or twice about building a house out of shipping containers. I know - I've been watching too much Green tv!

  2. Oh, I want to hear more about Country Roads Inn. Might like it for our guild retreat. Talk to you Weds?
    I am so tempted by chickens, but pls, pls, pls. don't let me get anymore animals. One tiny dog makes it silly simple.

  3. Oooh, Glen Rose is great! And I hear the weather is supposed to clear, too, and be nice and cool.

    I can't wait to meet the new chicks!

  4. Anonymous8:56 AM

    Ooh I so want to meet the babies! SO cute! And I love that box car house. Neat. My father is a huge Santa Fe line fan (partially because the line is no longer owned by Santa Fe, it became the Atchison-Topeka-Santa Fe line, and then Burlington Northern-Santa Fe.) When I was a kid - no joke - we used to drive around weekends, following freight trains, and he'd especially try to take pictures of Santa Fe boxcars and if we were lucky, cabooses. Of course, steam engines were the ULTIMATE. Yes, I had a unique childhood. Anyway, have a lot of fun at your retreat, and I'll look forward to meeting the chicks next week!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts