It had been years since I had chickens, and I said for the past three to four years that, “This year I’ll get chicks”, but something always intervened in my plans. Well, no more! I now have a new little chicken coop (a bit flimsy, but it will do), half a dozen pullets, and one bantam laying hen, and one bantam rooster.
We ordered “pullets” and I was always under the impression that this would mean laying hens (I always had baby chicks, previously). I wanted to start out with hens that were laying since in the past it was always a good five months before we got eggs. That would be in the fall, then went without during the winter months until the following spring. (I didn’t have lights in my henhouse.)
What I didn’t know and then found out, after being surprised that my order consisted of chicks, is that you have to designate starter pullets. I was disappointed. Raising chicks is more work initially: keeping them warm in the house, safe from the cats, etc. Not a big deal, but I was looking forward to bypassing that stage.
Anyway, my grown up kids are delighted since the chicks are cute. That ought to be good for a little help (a weeks worth, anyway) in taking care of them.
But eggs. Yes, I wanted some eggs in the meantime.
My neighbor lady raises bantams and sells them, so I drove past there and enquired.
She had a laying hen, and I wanted a rooster, (they help protect the hens and I think make the flock happier), which she gladly sold me. She said she usually butchers the extra roosters but this one was so nice, she hadn’t wanted to, so spared him. This was good for me, and I now have a full bred bantam rooster ( I think the hen is a mixed one). I’ll have to get the name of the rooster- he is a “grey…” something or other.
I think I found the type : “Gray Japanese Bantam”.
Chickens In The Garden
I like have chickens for several reasons. #1 of course is for fresh eggs. You don’t save money, but you get the best tasting eggs ever, very conveniently. #2 reason: bug control. It is nice to have free foraging chickens on the place to cut down on insects in the garden. #3 reason is that poultry manure is wonderful fertilizer. Too hot to put right on the garden, but rot down the litter for awhile and it is excellent!
The down side is when they start scratching and eating a bit too many of your desired plantings. For years I didn’t have problems with that, but I know it does happen sometimes. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Right now I am happy to have a nice little flock shaping up.