One of This and Two of That – Chicks!

A sign of the times...Chick Days.

A sign of the times…Chick Days.

Every year at this time there is a phenomenon going on called chick days.   It is when local tractor/ranch supply stores bring in baby chicks for sale.   Most of the ranch supply stores bring in an assortment of breeds which proves to be a great challenge for me.    I am one of those folks who wants my chickens to be cute, no standard white, red or black for me.   I find myself buying more than I should and it is not because baby chicks are cute.   No I imagine what the feathers on all the breeds will look like and get caught up in the possibilities down the road.   This year I ended up with ten chicks.   I was planning on six….tops eight.   I ended up with gold lace wyandotte, silver lace wyandotte, light Brahma, buff Orpington and barred rocks this year.   Time will tell how they all fare and how I fare with my choices this year.

In the next couple of days I will update my backyard chicken page and get some pictures up here for all you chicken owners and want to be owners

Who Is Staying and Who is going

I have made a decision on who I am keeping and who is going from my flock for the winter.   Here is what I have decided.

Barred Rock – Going because she is from the 2011 flock.   She is getting on the far side for age.  She is a good layer but in the interest of flock rotation it is time for her to go.

Dark Brahma – Going because she is from the 2012 year and she isn’t a great layer.   The dark brahmas have not been as larger as other brahmas in the past.    They have gone broody and molted the first fall.   If she molts again in fall there will be no eggs until spring.   This is a breed I don’t intend to repeat.

Austrolorp – Going   She has never been the kind of performer that you expect from this breed.   I kept on thinking she would get better but hasn’t.  This is a breed I don’t seem be able to get a good one.   I no longer intend to try and get one.

Speckled Sussex (2) – one stays and one goes.   They both will stay if we change our mind on the Jaehorn.   They are good layers.   They lay late and start early. It is just that there are birds from this year so they have a longer rotational life that forces one of these out.

California Leghorn – Going because her comb is too big for a Montana winter in my coop.

Silver Laced Wyandotte – Going because she has severe scoliosis.   Though she is doing well right now but  I would hate to be forced to deal with problems caused by this in the middle of the winter.  Experience with this problem, says don’t take her into the winter.

Buff Orpington – Staying.    She is a large bird from this flock and seems to be laying well.

Buff Brahma – Staying.   A favorite breed for us.   We are going to see what she will do if she stays for the winter

Easter Egger Staying  We  have had mixed results.   We are going to see what happens if we keep her.

Norwegian Jaehorn – Staying – We are torn the most with this one.   She is the lowest on the pecking order, and not sure when they are forced to hang out more together in the winter how this will all play out.   Because she is for Norway and should be winter hearty we so want to keep her.   We may flip on this before butcher day.

Buckeye – Staying.   She has a cushion comb, and seems to be a great layer.  She is a rock star forager and a fairly calm bird.

 

There are a couple of things that could change this.

  • Death of a bird
  • A bird goes broody or into a molt.   In that case the bird would move to the going list.   Either one this late in the season, would mean an egg hiatus until next spring.
  • I waiver on the Jaehorn.   Neither one of us are sure keeping her is the right thing.