Late last week we stopped by our local Grange Coop and picked up a cardboard box containing 30 chicks (chicken chicks, that is!). Spring is absolutely the time to start chickens, and we’re trying to time it so that they’ll still be laying in winter.
We decided to go with an assortment of breeds, so that we can have multicolored eggs and a good variety of genetics and traits within the flock. For example, a heavier, more densely feathered bird might continue laying in cold weather, while a less bulky bird might lay better in hot weather. We also like to have a colorful flock with lots of personality.
Because they are only days old, we’ve got the chicks sealed tightly in a small, well-insulated, waterproof coop. They’ve got two red heat lamps to keep them warm, and constant water and feed. While they are small like this, we check on them several times a day, watching especially close to make sure they are healthy and active.