5/23/14

Friday Farm Fotos: Spring chicks


It's just part of having chickens. They get old. And stop laying.
And die.
Of course, around here they always die of natural causes....
Once a hen's laying days are over on the Fraker Farm, they get put "out to pasture" so to speak. In other words, I turn them out every morning and let them spend their days roaming and foraging to their hearts content, and I figure if they become a meal for a predator at least they died happy, since most chickens think it's heaven to get to free-range at all, let alone all day long.
I usually don't keep more than 4 or 5 laying hens at a time anymore simply because I stopped selling (and giving away) eggs and the feed is too expensive to justify keeping more hens than we need to in order to have enough eggs for two people.
I bought four Red Star chicks a few years ago, after having only Rhode Island Reds as my primary layers for many years. I fell in love with these calm, beautiful girls right away. Even as chicks they were so sweet and curious... I could stick my hand down in their box and instead of freaking out like most breeds do, they would come to my hand and peck at my wedding band along with any mole or freckle they thought might need inspecting.
The Four Hens of the Apocalypse (as they came to be known after what they would do to the mulch in my flower beds) lived the good life... they were almost five and their egg-laying parts had slowed down considerably so they started spending their days outside the coop. Unfortunately, one fell victim to a predator, and I lost two more to some mystery chicken illness soon after. I only have the one remaining hen, and she prefers to spend her days hanging out in the sheep barn, but occasionally she comes to the back door and waits for a treat.
Ah, the golden years. :)


I knew this would probably be the year I would need to get some new egg-layers, and I'd already made up my mind to get more Red Stars. Besides, the feed store where I always bought chicks never has a big selection of large breeds to choose from.
Wouldn't you know, this was the year they decided to carry some of my "dream" chickens... Buff Orpingtons. I've always wanted some of these big beautiful birds... sometimes just saying the regal name "Orpington" would make me smile and sigh over the dream of one day having a few for my very own.
I know this sounds hard to believe coming from me, but, well... I went a little overboard at the feed store.
*snicker snort*
I came out of there with six Red Stars and three Buff Orpingtons, which I held in my lap on the way home and all the while Hubby had that look on his face... you know the one~ the "guess I'll be building a bigger coop" kinda look. Poor thing.
Men just can't say no to a woman who loves chickens.

*Sigh* 


I'm happy to report that not only are these Red Stars as sweet as the last batch, 
but the Buffs are just as sweet if not more.
They're going through that awkward "teenage" stage right now, where they're all legs and feet. 
Love their hearts.



Their favorite thing in the whole world is just to perch and watch the world go by.


And my favorite thing in the whole world (other than baby chicks) is waiting for the day those fresh brown eggs start rolling off the assembly line. *squeee*

Happy Friday!!!

23 comments:

  1. Awww,,,don't you love life in the country? You have a beautiful nest yourself. Happy memorial day to yall

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  2. Sigh...one day I will have a farm and chickens!

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  3. Yes the Red Stars are good chickens I agree! One of my Red Stars just hatched out a baby chick :O) and I have had more fun watching her care for it! She is such a good Mom. I did a post on her a couple days ago. I don't much care for the Rhode Island Reds. I won't get them again. Mine are a bit aggressive. The Black Stars are not as calm and sweet at the Red Stars. I have some of them as well. I love the chicks and chickens. I ummmm have wayyyyyyyyyyy to many right now. As you said the feed is expensive. I try to feed as much as I can to them that isn't store bought food. During the spring and summer its easier for sure. Grass clippings, garden stuff etc. Winter is tough the feed bill goes way up. But I do love my girls. My long term goal is to get down to about a dozen. LOL...

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  4. Do you have a buff too, Paula? Look at that one there in the back with a good comb already! Can you tell yet? Love my Red Stars, I'd love some buffs - maybe next time...

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  5. awesome,love those baby chicks, I do miss mine

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  6. Great first photo and that's one reason why I don't have chickens...just don't want to deal with more, eventual, death. It's enough knowing there are horses, dogs and cats to deal with when their time comes. I'm hoping their time comes before mine 'cause I don't know who would take them all.

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  8. Aww... so sweet.
    Love those chicks!!

    I'm so glad that you are sharing your chicken stories with us; as I am chicken free right now.
    I don't know if we'll ever have chickens again.
    Rowdy just might be an only 'child' from here on out~~~**heehee*.

    Smiles :)
    K.

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  9. Awww!! I Love chickens and would Love to have some...sigh...but Yours are adorable!
    hughugs

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  10. Just had to chuckle over you not being able to pass up getting so many new chicks, especially in adding the Buff Orpingtons to your brood. Candy of Lazy J Bar C Farm has Buff Orpingtons. We hope to take the grandson to see her animals soon. She has goats and horses and cats, of course, also.

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  11. I too needed a new batch of chicks. I promised myself only 5 Rhode Island reds this year. My mistake was bringing my two grand girls with me. We came home with 7 Rhode Islands, 2 Buffs, 2 Polish, 2 Bantys, 4 turkeys, and a DUCK! It is just me and my husband so I can definitely identify with what you are saying. Next spring we will be giving eggs away again. Patty Mc

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  12. excelente blog traduje todo y cada una de las palabras me gusta la produccion de pollos

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  13. excelente blog traduje todo y cada una de las palabras me gusta la produccion de pollos

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  14. Love those chicks...keep doing...zarah from bizbilla.com

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  15. ♥ Way too cute I would love to own some chickens again some day, sorry for the loss of your senior chickens!

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