Saturday, May 05, 2007

Chick Update

Remember the quandary we had about the three mothers and one set of chicks. The outcomes so far are surprisingly good. We have had 10 chicks which I gave to the chicken sitting the longest. We started with five bitties and each day we had another. Now things have slowed. In fact, we haven't had a new chick for a few days, but the other two hens are still sitting and still stealing each other's eggs.

The hen I chose to nurture the bitties is being a fantastic mother. She is teaching, protecting, and doting. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get a picture with all the chicks together. They are roaming the orchard and front yard with their mother searching for bugs, dusting, and keeping an ever watchful eye out for the very curious yellow dog. He has been good, but has had much encouragement to be good from the mama hen. Protective does not even begin to describe the bristly attack mode she dons at the first sight of The Yellow Dog.

Pink Panther's chicks don't have that fierce protection, but they too are learning to stay well away from the curious mouth of the yellow dog. The Domilana didn't turn out very beautiful, but she is Pink Pan's favorite. He sold the young Buff Catalina for $10. He was so proud. The Dominecker appears to be a male, so selling him is doubtful. I doubt he will be able to sell the Domilana either, unless a beautifying fairy visits and invokes powerful magic.


Doc said...

At the local feed store, they have sex link chicks for .75, and broiler chicks 3 for a $1, get 3 free with a sack of chick starter. I never considered chicks a money maker, considering how cheap they are to buy, and how easily my hens seem to pop them out (I have three broodies under the barn floor, probably doing the same as your hens). Now I see on the local craigslist that people are marketing crossbred, unsexed chicks for $10 each by calling them free range, cage free, naturally born, or farm born. I just laugh. $10 for a day old chick? That's expensive soup.

wisteria said...

I thought $10 was outrageous, too. His chick wasn't a day old chick (almost 3 weeks), though and they buyer wanted to buy some of my hens and I wouldn't sell. Pink Panther is more business minded than I and he started at $25. I think the buyer was having a lark bargaining with a 10 year old.

However, I get people stopping by to buy hens all the time. They always offer $10 or more. My chickens look great in the front yard. That brings the value up considerably.

BTW, I can't give a rooster away no matter how pretty he looks.

wisteria said...

Oh, one more thing. Did you see that article in Mother Earth News about the standards for "free range," "cage free," etc.

That should encourage more people to seek out real yard bird eggs instead of commercial substitutes. You could sell your chicks for $20 and the eggs for $10.

Susan said...

hey, Wisteria. That's a great picture of the hen.

One of my son's favorite TV shows is "How It's Made" on Discovery, and a couple of times they've featured big-business egg and chick production. It shocked me to see all those chickens so close together and the chicks' (and eggs) getting "sorted" by big machines. I've had to talk to Jr. about it. I like your version so much better.

Do you think chickens would work in the suburbs? (without roosters--My friend in Kentucky who has a rooster gets attacked by him all the time.)

Angela, MotherCrone said...

Your hen is gorgeous! My kids are laughing at me, but wanted me to tell you that I am abnormal. More women covet another woman's car or clothes. Me, I covet your hens.

We better move to the country soon...I've got it bad!

wisteria said...

Susan, It would be fitting for you to have a couple of chickens and they would work well in the suburbs if you forget about the noisy roosters. Our roosters are friendly, especially if you have something to eat, but they are a bit too noisy for a suburban situation.

You would need a safe roosting place for night.

Angela, you get a couple of chickens, too. No one would notice and you could have a few eggs.