Monday, October 07, 2013

Cute chicks

I have gone and done a foolish thing. Rather than waste a lot of time and space typing it all out, I'll let the photo fill you in:

barred rock pullets, chicks, chickens, Plymouth Rock

Yeah, that's a baby chicken. A barred rock pullet, which will, in theory at least, grow up to become a barred rock hen. See, I grew up with chickens. At various times we had Rhode Island reds and white leghorns and such. And like most kids I thought they were neat for a while but got tired of the chores associated with them. In any event, during the recent Comal County Fair, the chick hatchery/petting zoo area was the most popular attraction for my kids. They all oohed and aahed over the baby chicks hopping around their little pen area, naturally wanting to take them home.

Now, for some surprising reasons I can't quite fathom, the New Branufels city council passed an ordinance earlier this year allowing urban chickens (with some restrictions). As we have a large, currently unused rabbit hutch I'd built in the back yard, it struck me that it could be repurposed with minimal effort on my part. So I checked around, and discovered New Braunfels Feed and Supply had some new chicks in. Barred rocks--a subset of the Plymouth Rock breed--happened to be one of the types available. This is reputed to be a good small farm/yard chicken, because it's a good layer of brown eggs, hardly and disease-resistant, but mostly because they're reputed to be docile (ie not terribly noisy).

barred rock pullets, chicks, chickens, Plymouth Rock

So we've now got chicks, less than a week old, running around in an indoor rabbit cage, scratching and pecking in the wood shaving bedding like nobody's business. In six weeks or so, we'll start taking them outside to begin the transition to yard birds, depending on the weather. Clipping their flight feathers will pretty much keep them in our back yard, and the beagles will either learn to play nice or be relegated to the dog run. Homegrown eggs taste so much better than store-bought, industrial eggs, and are far more healthier as well. These barred rocks are pretty much like chickens as I remember, funny and flighty and not anywhere close to being smart, but that's okay. The kids are fascinated by them, as are the cats. If this keeps up, we might be able to save on the Netflix bill!

Now Playing: Derek and the Dominoes The Layla Sessions: 20th Anniversary Edition
Chicken Ranch Central

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