|The cat will not be present when the chicks arrive!|
I also threw two extra birds into the order at the last minute: a Buff Orpington pullet and a black Australorp pullet. My favorite chicken of all times was a giant black Australorp named BK. I once saw her snatch an entire sandwich out of a child's hand. I also saw her take a nap with a Great Dane. She was gentle and funny and a good layer. She was caught and injured by a coyote in our driveway and died in my arms. I think I'm still a little sad about that.
Buff Orpingtons are a very popular breed and are known to be good layers. Surprisingly, I've never had any so I thought I'd try one out. I ordered these birds back in January when my hens weren't laying. It was a really sad winter for egg production. I have EIGHTEEN chickens and was getting 1-2 eggs a day. (Of the eighteen, one is a rooster and one is of indeterminate sex, but still...) As soon as February began the ladies began to ramp up production and now we are getting 9-10 eggs a day. You would think that with all those eggs I'd have a huge surplus but so far we are keeping up. There is at least a dozen eggs in the refrigerator at any given time and that's the way I like it.
|Plastic tote bin set up as a chick brooder|
I have the guest room all set up to receive the new chicks. I am using the long plastic tote I scavenged in the trash last month as their home. I filled the bottom with pine shavings and then covered the pine shavings with old pillow cases so that the new chicks don't eat the shavings. Then I added the water bottle, a thermometer, the heat lamp, and sprinkled food crumbles on top of the pillow cases. After a few days I can remove the pillow cases and the chicks can be in direct contact with the pine shavings. I put a big tub of fresh shavings nearby for the daily cleaning that will need to be done.
|Pine shavings for chick bedding|