Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spring Things

Spring is about new things and new growth. It's also the time of year when in nature, babies of all kinds are born. It's amazing how nature has timed most species to become fertile just at the right time of year. It's just so darn practical because all the babies have a better chance of survival when it is warm.

I always order new chicks in the spring since I'm never sure my hens will hatch their own. This year, instead of ordering 25 which is the minimum order from Murray McMurray, I ordered them from the local grain store. Their minimum is six which is more sensible for me this year. Julia and I went to pick them up late last week. We got seven Aracauna chicks which will lay those beautiful green and blue eggs.

Over the next two weeks we are getting four more chicks. The girls at the grain store have told me that the demand for chicks this year was overwhelming and that the hatcheries are having a difficult time filling orders - hence our chicks arriving on different days. Interesting, isn't it? With all the uncertainty in the world and the high cost of transportation, maybe people are starting to think more about self-sufficiency. I think that's a good thing for the modern world in general - to think more about their food, where it comes from and how it gets on your plate. This is definitely one of the growing trends in the USA today and one to watch out for.


Julie said...

I am hoping to get 3 pullets (at least one Aracauna!) to keep in my urban backyard...there is a whole group of us in my city who have formed the Rochester Chicken Club, to support keeping chickens in the city! I definitely think it's a trend.

Patricia said...

I moved from City living to country living. The neighbor and hubby have established a really big garden this year. I have in my small little garden strawberries and broccoli.

I thought about having chickens but I don't eat eggs, and the neighbor said it is tough to have chickens here due to foxes, and hawks. Also my father-in-law a former farm boy said chickens were a lot of work. So no chickens for me.

I am trying to be more self sufficient. With the price of everything it makes a lot of sense.


Kate G. said...

What are those two chicks saying to each other? Are they discussing pastel egg formulas like a couple of art students? Aracaunas are such chat-monsters.

P.S. I love the shot with Julia. Three Chicks on the Farm.

ellen said...

What a sweet picture of Julia and her little chicks!
I can well believe the increase in the orders for chicks. I'm a firm believer in knowing where your food comes from and having as big a hand as possible in nurturing the growth of your own food, be is animal or vegetable. I just hope that those who are buying chicks for the first time have spent time making the decision with thoughtfulness and the awareness that these creatures will need a lot of attention and care. (I'm thinking about the number of people who dash out to get that cute kitten or puppy, only to take it to the pound later, because it's no longer cute and does require care.) Sorry to sound so negative here! Happy spring to all of you there on your beautiful farm.

helenw said...

I've had chickens for several years now - but I've noticed more and more people interested and getting them. I heard that at the local livestock auction (in GA) laying hens were selling for more than some horses! (Hens are in demand and horses are getting dumped because the high price of hay.)

Great pictures as always!

Anonymous said...

I was having the same trouble getting chicks this year and still don't know if I will get my order. I ordered at a local farm store. Through a friend of a friend I was able to get some older chicks, white rocks and golden comets. This man had hatched them out and they are about 10-12 weeks old. They were $1.50 a piece but I took all 10 in case the others don't come through. Yea for me, after years of not having chickens due to neighbor concerns I am back in business. We have now fenced the back yard in somewhat so hopefully they won't escape to much. To bad some city folks moving to the country don't want to know where there food comes from, are only concerned that chickens might give their children diseases.
You can tell Julia is growing up and turning into a beauty.

evie said...

We've got ten chicks hatched so far and they're darting around our urban Berkeley garden with momma, auntie hens and Sauron the crazy rooster watching their every move.

Willow said...

I live in a place where chicken raising isn't allowed. The best I can hope for is eggs from a friend's chickens. But I do grow my own lettuce, tomatoes and herbs.

The photo of Julia with the chicks is truly precious.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

The photos are wonderful. How fascinating that there is such demand for chicks.

Personally, I am VERY glad that other people raise my food for me. I do not take this for granted, and I buy at farm markets when I can.

Today we went to the huge city appliance/home store to look at refrigerators (yawn). I bought four packets of seeds, two flowers and two food (chard and pole beans). Of the four, I've succeeded with three of these plants before.

Beans are the new experiment. I will grow them in containers on the back step landing. Some years I have better luck than others, and I've never been a very good gardener. However, the back step gets much use so it's harder to forget to water there!

Thanks again for the wonderful stories. I would never have imagined blue-green eggs from chickens without you!

bernie said...

What a great picture. Julia looks so sweet just admiring her new little chicks! The one with the black markings is so adorable.