Sunday, May 10, 2009

Birthday Surprise

My birthday was last Sunday, and I got a fairly unusual birthday present--five unusual birthday presents to be exact: Chickens!

I live in Pensacola, Florida, not exactly big city, but not exactly the country. I have a small two bedroom cottage with a fairly big backyard (to me at least, but a friend who does live in the country thinks my yard is fairly small). I have a small vegetable garden, small lemon and lime trees, four small blueberry bushes and a couple of blackberry vines. Everything is small in my yard. I've lived here for four years and have planted everything that's in the yard myself. I have to say that I like the idea of having my own little homestead and I have thought about getting chickens, but wasn't planning on getting them so soon. I will admit that I am a bit overwhelmed.

All my chicks (they're three weeks old now) are past the cute yellow Easter chick stage and are starting to look a bit more gangly. This is what the breeder said about the chicks: "They were in a mixed pen-the larger white will be a americana or americanamix with a orphington , the small black is barred rock/rhode island red & the 2 smaller orangey ones are rhode island red/orphington mix. They are all great utility breeds that will lay medium to large brown eggs and toleratethe extreme heat & humid cold weather we have here." The fifth one must be a Rhode Island Red, although the breeder didn't mention what it in his e-mail.

My brother Jon made a pen for them, which is fine for right now, but I do think I'll need a coop and a run. My boyfriend Kevin has drawn up some plans, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to build it soon. The chicks eat a lot. They have special feed, but apparently they don't like to eat what falls out of the feeding dish and a lot falls out as well. They don't mind walking around in the food dish, and yesterday, I made the mistake of moving the pen to a place where they got too much sun and they fought over which one got to lay in the food. I guess it was cooler in the food? Anyway, when the pen is ready, I'll get a hanging food dish, and the walking and laying in the food dish will be a thing of the past

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