Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My children never understood my passion for raising chickens. So last weekend when we stopped by our local feed store and noticed a sign that read, "chicks in". I could tell my sixteen year old daughter was thinking, here we go again. My husband is just as bad as I am. First he wanted four, then six and finally we left with a box full of eight small chicks. It's a sad but common fact that you need to have several of each variety in case of casualties. We purchased four Rhode Island Reds and four Sex Links, which are a cross between a Rhode Island Red cock and a White Leghorn hen. Both breeds lay medium sized brown eggs. In a few weeks we will work on integrating our baby chicks in with the adult chickens. Chickens are social animals. Every group of chickens establishes a "peck" order. The pecking order reduces stress by ensuring that every chicken knows how to relate to each of the other chickens. One suggested way to introduce new chickens to the old gang is the "sneak them in while the others are asleep" method.Which of course, tricks the original chickens into thinking the new ones were there all along. This is done in the dark of night. We haven't tried it yet, we will let you know how it works out.

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