What wonderful pictures!
Your birds and son are absolutely gorgeous!
Edited by Lelanae - 12/3/15 at 4:55pm
Cockerel your son is having a great time and doing a wonderful job socializing chickens. What part of Illinois are you in?
Both chicks we kept are pullets & should be laying any day now. (Of course reduced hours of daylight isn't helping.....)
We're from the Chicago area.
I would love to get a pullet from you if you ever have one available and if you are drivable.
We started with chickens since my nine year old wanted a bird he could hold and pet -- I insisted they have to be pretty! Your pictures show my ideal--gorgeous birds who are sweet! I would love to know how they lay for you--keep us updated!
We got our start in chickens b/c of my daughter. When she was 8, I had a sci camp & hatched eggs. My daughter wanted to keep them & joined 4H. I had fun building an incubator from household materials, but she's the one who does all the current hatching experiments. (She has won best in show at the county fair multiple times. This year my DD is working on clicker training a hen. It's hilarious & exciting. ) I prefer the big, docile breeds - like Orpingtons. They do not lay as many eggs as the leghorns or hybrids, but their personalities are amazing. Because they love to eat, they are very easy to train. They come in a variety of colors.
It's doubtful that you would want to drive across the country for a chicken, but if you ask around on a local BYC thread, I bet you can find a breeder or some one nearby who owns a breed you like. I recommend buying from a breeder if you want the BIG, quality birds with fewer health problems. I tend to prefer the English bloodlines because of the extra fluffiness. I was told to avoid buying from hatcheries & feed stores. (Some people claim the hatchery birds fall ill, die, or really drop in production after year 2. If you plan to keep them as pets as well as for eggs, then a longer life is preferred.) If you're into science, there's nothing more fun than hatching your own eggs. Shipped eggs are a big gamble, but local fertile eggs have very good hatch rates.
Anyway, those are just some of the things I have learned along the way.
Oh- Another bit of advice is to beware of "chicken math." You're always going to want one more. There are so many breeds & colors, you may be tempted to collect them all. If you haven't built a coop yet, always make it a little bigger than you think you'll need. Chickens can be addictive. LOL