"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Monday, January 14, 2013

Adding to the Flock!

Despite the fact we have a little one on the way, we decided we'll also add to our flock this Spring!
However, this time, these chicks will NOT be raised in my spare bathroom. NO WAY JOSE!
Hubby will be making them a nice, warm enclosure within the chicken coop for them.

We already have 6 Golden Buffs and the ladies are wonderful. Still, in the winter with the cold weather and limited sunlight hours, they are laying 5-6 eggs a day. The are nice and very sociable....almost TOO sociable for me ;)

To add to our flock, we have decided on the following breeds.

The Easter Egg'er
This was one of hubby's choices. He wants to get the different colored eggs. *Note - the birds are also all different colors. And sorry, I mean this in the nicest way possible, but dang are they UG-LY!

The Delaware
I am not really sure how we decided on this breed. Hubby wanted a bird that layed white eggs but after going through the breeds offered by our local hatchery for white egg layers, either the availability didn't coincide with our date, or something about the breed was undesirable to us. So, we hopped back over the brown egg laying breeds and ended up with a white hen!

Either way, I have heard god things about this breed and they are cold and heat hardy which is a must for us!

The Barred Rock
This is a breed we both liked. We had it on our original list in last years order, but for reasons I cannot recall, we scratched it and just went with all Golden Buffs. Again, another breed that is supposed to be docile, a good egg layer and cold/heat hardy!

Because we will NOT be raising these chicks in our spare bathroom this year, we decided to order a total of 8, rather than 6, just in case of a casualty. Of course, this is something we'll do whatever we can to ensure it doesn't happen, however, the chances are still there even IF they were going to be raised in the bathroom.

I have come to realize that chickens can be a dime a dozen to take care of, but when you have a small flock and pretty much count on their daily egg output, one passing can be devastating. Because we choose to raise from birth, versus buying an already laying hen, there is precious time involved while that hen matures to laying age. And, heaven forbid, a predator comes in and wipes out your whole flock...or even half of it, well... I just couldn't imagine.

Speaking of predators, hubby keeps tossing around the idea of adding a roo. I am not ready for that yet. If someone could guarantee me he was friendly, docile and acted just like the hens when I was around, I'd say ok. But I am still learning to love these birds and with my luck, I'd have a rooster that wouldn't let me out my back door without fearing for my life!

For those of you Poultry Peeps out there that have roo's, do any of you have any experience with a Golden Buff, Easter Egg'er, Delaware or Barred Rock roo?


Kim said...

I haven't had any Delawares but have Ameraucanas (EEs) and Barred Rocks. I LOVE my Ameraucanas and the green/blue eggs are a favorite! Their temperament is nice too. They really are pretty in person especially the ones that are all white. I didn't care for the Barred Rocks that we had but they were good egg layers.

We have had multiple roos. They are quite nice until they take their job seriously. It's nice to know they will protect. One time we saw a hawk circling above and the roo had gathered all the hens under the coop and was standing out in the yard challenging the hawk to come down. I will probably always keep one because of that. But finding one that is not aggressive is a trick. You have to be ready to get rid of them when they turn on you. Our old roo started with the youngest in our family and worked his way up. My husband didn't believe it until he attacked him! Then he was gone. The prettiest one we have ever had was an EE but the nicest one which we still have is a New Hampshire Red.

katiegirl said...

I think you chose great breeds! I'd get a roo! Out of dozens of roos I've owned, only 2 were mean. One was mean enough to turn into chicken salad, the other stopped bothering me when I decided to pick him up and carry him around when he was rude to me. A couple times of carrying him around and he quit!

My current roo is worth his weight in gold. Super nice to me, gives me my space, but really does a great job protecting his girls. I'd never be without a roo now!