Friday April 9, 2010
After considering for several months and reading a great deal of information, I decided chickens would be a fine alternative for my family's next pets. My wife nor I are interested in getting (although we're both sure our kids will eventually wear us down) a dog just now. Small laying flocks seem to be growing in popularity in our area and the kids seem to be very interested in some down the street. So, with a minimum of fuss, I cobbled together bare-bones brooder.

Then it was off to the feed store to pick up the small flock I called to reserve. In the picture below there are two Easter Eggers, Easter Egger (4-year daughter's name) on the top left and Jane on the top right. The Barred Rock in middle to the left is Jelly Bean. The Red to Jelly Bean's right is Sonny. The Red on the lower left is Gurty, while the Barred Rock on the lower right is Pinky.

Jane got her name due to her temperment during her first few hours with us. The girls grabbed a quick bite and a drink when we got home from the feed store. Then everybody settled in for a nap. Everybody except Jane that is, she spent the afternoon pecking at and waking the rest of the flock each time they tried to nod off. Thus, I named her "Calamity" Jane. As it turns out, Jane seems to be the calmest of the group when held during "people" time. Here she is below.

Saturday April 10, 2010
Everybody made it through the first night at home. Today the girls spent a little time outside the brooder. They got to explore the kitchen a little. Gurty rather enjoyed pecking at the cabinets.

Gurty really likes kitchen time. Here she is leading Sonny on the expedition.

Sunday April 11, 2010
When we let the girls out in the kitchen, they like to test their wings a little. They do a sort of fast run with wing flapping while chasing each other around. The funniest thing is that they can't get themselves stop on the tile and tumble into one another.

Pinky seemed to be ahead of the pack from the beginning. She was the largest and seems to be trying to fly a little more than the others. She also likes to be up high (relative) on something. She likes "roost" on top of the thermometer, so I built them a little perch that has bar at 3/4" and another about 2" high. My five-year-old son calls it the chicken couch. Anyway, Pinky seemed to take to the perch right away. I had the lid off cleaning something and Pinky decided to jump/fly up to the top of the waterer. Once she got up there, she had no idea what to do. After a few moments, she jumped to the edge of the box and out into the kitchen.

April 14, 2010
When I first decided that I'd like to keep a few chicken, I really wanted Welsumers for some reason. I looked for them locally, but I could not find them. I was a little leery about mail order for our first foray into chickens, so I decided to get our girls from the feed store. Of course, the day after ordering our feed store chicks I was an ad on Craigslist for Wellies that was only about an hour's drive. Needles to say I we're now up to 12 chicks.

In our half-of-dozen Wellies, there were two 3-to-4 week old birds.


And, of course there were four week-olds as well.