Springtime is definitely the best time of year to get new chicks; and for us getting them in early May is probably optimal. Many breeders and hatcheries have sold out of birds early in recent years, so now it the time to get chicks on order if you want to be sure of getting your picks. I was trying to compare options from several hatcheries but couldn’t find a condensed listing of them, so came up with this one for easy reference.
These are all larger, reliable hatcheries that also have catalogs you can request or view on-line; but, this isn’t a listing of breeders. It depends on what you want the chickens for to determine whether to get [...]
Continue reading Time for Chicks – Free Hatchery Catalogs/Links!
As we go into the New Year, it’s nice to remember what’s occurred over the past year:
Surprising many who thought I had no technical computer ability, I created Better Hens and Gardens to share back-to-basics information on food, sustainability, and self reliance. Randy put up a chicken cam, and I added that link to the blog so we could watch the chickens. Surprising me, blog readership grew:
We learned a painful lesson about the need to quarantine new birds before adding them to a flock (see Painful Chicken Lesson), and eventually had to cull our original flock of chickens. Despite [...]
Continue reading 2010 – A Very Good Year
After successfully raising the six Red Comet chicks to laying age and twenty eight Buckeye chicks through the first twelve weeks this year, we thought it was going to be smooth sailing. But no, things never go quite as planned…..
As the Buckeye’s were moving into week 13, they abruptly started picking the feathers off of each other’s back and eating them. Within two days, some of them were beginning to show bare backs where all the feathers had been picked away. Naturally, we were anxious about this behavior (a form of cannibalism) and wanted to get it stopped ASAP.
After posting [...]
Continue reading Feather Picking Chickens
One of the Red Comet pullets laid her first egg, so we can’t be far from having good eggs again. It’s amazing how a few chickens change your perception of grocery store eggs. They don’t taste right, they’re watery, and they look anemic too. The eggs from backyard chickens are sooo much better.
The combs and wattles on all of the pullets are starting to turn red, but we think it was this girl’s egg because she’s redder than her sisters. If these chicks were six weeks old when they arrived, then the first egg appeared at a little over seventeen weeks. It was a little sooner than expected, so we’re quickly switching over to layer [...]
Continue reading First Egg!