If you’ve been following Green Thumb White Apron on Facebook and Instagram, you know we picked up the chickens last week. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a hop, skip, and a jump from here but traveling through the Amish countryside is like stepping back in time. Clotheslines heavy with work clothes drying in the spring breeze. Horse drawn plows tilling fertile soil. Ladies in gingham dresses riding bicycles in traffic. It’s most definitely a sight to behold.
I decided on juvenile pullets because I thought it would be safer bet since this was my first time as a chicken keeper. While I’m missing out on the excitement and anticipation of raising newly hatched chicks, I have peace of mind that they are all healthy and thriving. And all hens! When you purchase newly hatched chicks, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll end up with a few roosters. Some breeds can be positively sexed at birth, while many others cannot. I don’t have anything against roosters, mind you, but I’m raising the chickens for their eggs and don’t need them to be fertile.
Before I decided to make this commitment, I did a lot of research. As I scoured the internet what I found was a lot of opinions and a lot of contradictory information. Some chicken keepers out there almost scared me away from even entertaining the idea of keeping chickens. Luckily, I was able to figure a few things out for myself by asking friends I trust who have had chickens for years. And also, asking questions to experts like Lisa over at Fresh Eggs Daily who has been an excellent resource.
paternity leave the week off from work to get get to know them and let them get used to me. I never thought I would be so enamored by them and I must admit they it’s tough to pull myself away from them and get work done around here because they are so much fun to observe. Here are a few things I learned since these lovely girls moved in last week:
- They don’t smell. Well, they do but almost sweet like a newborn child.
- Their feet are incredibly soft.
- There is definitely a pecking order. After a few days of ruffled feathers, it’s been sorted out.
- They poop. A lot. Indiscriminately. All the time. I actually thought I was going to be grossed out by this but after a few times on poop patrol, I’m okay with it. I’m now thinking of the poop as little nuggets of fertilizer that will eventually end up in the garden.
- They take forever to get settled in for the night. It’s the pecking order thing again. Those at the top want the best spot and nobody is going to sleep a wink until that happens.
- They have a language that I’m quickly figuring out. Look, a delicious bug! Oh no, the sky is falling! I’m happy and content now please stop staring at me!
In the coming weeks I’ll properly introduce the girls and keep you up-to-date on my experiences. Also, soon you’ll be able to follow along on the Chicken Cam that I’ve installed just for you!
In the meantime, here are a few random shots of a few of the girls. They’re like teenagers now — between 8 and 12 weeks old — growing fast!
Silver Penciled Plymouth Rock
Cream Crested Legbar
Golden Laced Wyandotte
Easter Egger (but looks like a hawk!)
Rhodebar and Easter Egger (Blue Isbar in background).