With the promise of Spring, comes the exciting prospect of new chicks on the farm!
I like to restock my flock with new birds at least once every two years. I am able to find buyers for some of my “old” girls quite quickly. Everyone is always looking for laying hens, and I’m happy to make a little extra feed money with the cash.
This year, I sold all but 5 of my best hens and one Turken rooster, named Chimp.
After making room, the fun part begins!
Usually, my daughter and I spend hours looking over the catalog, picking out our favorites. This year, however, we decided to try something different! To replenish my flock, I ordered an assortment of pullets from Hoover’s Hatchery. The chicks are all females, but could be from any number of breeds!
Assorted marans, dual purpose, and colored layers were all possibilities in the clutch.
- Have an indoor brooder and an outdoor brooder.
Here in Alabama, we usually have mild, short winters. However, a couple unexpected cold snaps had me bringing the brooder back inside. You may have your usual brooder setup in a garden shed or garage. Normally, with a heat lamp, this will suffice. If you expect a severe cold snap, bringing a small brooder inside, like in a mudroom or laundry room, will keep the cold at bay.
Remember: 95 F for week 1, and 90 F for week 2!
- Wash your hands.
No one can resist holding fluffy, adorable baby chicks. This is fine for short periods of time. The chicks don’t need to spend too many minutes away from the brooder lamp. Holding them gently with warm hands is a great way to bond with your chicks. That being said, ALWAYS wash your hands very well after each time doing so. This also goes for when you clean their water, shavings, and food.
- Offer green table scraps at week 2.
Life inside the brooder box can be safe and warm. It can also be very boring! Chicks that are raised by mother hens immediately are taught to scratch around and hunt for morsels. Throwing some finely chopped arugula, spinach, or freshly plucked henbit from the yard, will keep them entertained for hours!
- Use the Hoover’s Chick ID!
Ordering mystery chicks has been so much fun! Hoover’s now has an online log of ALL the types of chicks they offer. Each breed has example photos so you can better narrow down what you’ve got! It’s a great tool that really comes in handy!
Our chicks are a true rainbow of colors and types! I’ve picked 4 that really stand out so you can follow their progress. I can’t wait to find out what they will be together with you!
Check back in 2 weeks from now to see how they’ve changed!
Missy- White; something large 😂
Starling- Mystic Onyx?
Dotty- Barred Rock?
Rose- Welsummer or Starlight Green Egger?