When we lived near San Diego we ended up with 6 chickens. The first one escaped from a neighbor and ended up staying with us since that neighbor decided to stop keeping chickens. Later we bought two more chickens, then a friend gave us three.
Adding chickens to the homestead helps in many ways outside of eggs.
- They eat garden and household scraps which helps make compost
- Their bedding and manure are the only reason I had a working compost heap before
- They help teach our children responsibility and caring for something other than themselves
My job has me drive all around town working at different people’s houses. I happened to see an Ace Hardware on 22nd Street in Tucson that looked interesting. From the signs and the look of the store it seemed like an old-fashioned type of hardware store. One day I had some time between customers and stopped in the store. Among the many interesting things, I discovered they have chicks.
Note: This is Lynn writing the rest of this post. Josh had to go somewhere so I’m finishing the post for him.
Josh took us there a few weeks ago but we weren’t ready then to buy chicks. Today, Josh unexpectedly had the day off, and the chicken coop was mostly finished, so we went back to ACE Hardware to see what they had for chicks. I was able to see on Facebook what they still had available. They receive new chick deliveries every Thursday right now.
We had originally planned to buy 4 California Whites, 2 Speckled Sussex, and maybe 2 Easter Eggers. We knew to be flexible though since it was possible the ones we wanted would no longer be available.
We came home with 1 California White, 3 Speckled Sussex, 2 Gold Sex Links, and 2 Easter Eggers. They are currently living in our family room in a cardboard box under a heat lamp. The kids, of course, are fascinated by them. We have had chickens but have never had them from chicks.
The chicks’ current home in the corner by the entertainment center
This is Carmen Sandiego, as named by Josh. She is a California White.
California White chickens are a cross between a California Gray and a White Leghorn. They lay about 300 white eggs a year. We wanted more than one of these chicks but there won’t be more coming in until the end of February.
This is Charmander, as named by Ian. She is a Gold Sex Link. The other Gold Sex Link is named Torchic by Thias. These are Pokemon names so as they grow up their names will change.
The Gold Sex Link is a hybrid chicken that is capable of laying up to 300 brown eggs a year.
This is one of our Speckled Sussex chicks. We aren’t able to tell them all apart yet since there are three of them. We do have an itty-bitty one of these though who is the smallest one of all the chicks. The itty-bitty one is named Fluffball, by Gwen. These will probably be our prettiest chickens.
The Speckled Sussex lays about 250 brown eggs a year and also has a good personality. We have to make sure they stay cool during the summer though because they have dense feathers.
This is one of our Easter Eggers. I wasn’t too sure about buying these since I’ve read that they can be temperamental. Hopefully, since these chicks are all growing up together though they will get along well. Easter Eggers lay about 250 blue/green eggs a year. We won’t know the colors of their eggs until they start laying.
The chicks will probably live in the house with us for about 6 weeks. Then, we will move them out to the chicken coop. We are excited to have chickens again!
-Josh and Lynn