No More Being Chicken – We Bought Chicks!

by Tammy Taylor

*this post contains an affiliate link

When we purchased our property in 2000 I fell in love with the old 1880′s barn.  When we had the exterior repaired we had the workers leave the coop intact & just repair the exterior walls around it, but alas it sat empty all these years.  We’ve always known we wanted to try to raise chickens some day but it was never a priority.  Well today we quit playing “Chicken” and jumped in with both feet.

Baby chicks - Taylor-Made Ranch

We want to start very slowly so we only purchased 6 straight run chicks.  Of the six, three cheepers are the cutest fuzzy yellow babies called  “Ideal 236” hybrid chicks.  We’ve been told they’ll grow up white and they’re known for their large white eggs.

Ideal 236 chicks - Taylor-Made Ranch

We also bought three “Black Minorca” chicks.  These are supposed to grow to be a larger chicken than the Ideal 236 breed.  I Googled the images of these chickens and they’re very pretty when they’re grown, striking with their shiny black feathers & red comb.

Black Minorca  - Taylor-Made Ranch

They are all the cutest things and we have big plans for them (as do all starter endeavors)  I’m hoping to eventually keep them in a chicken tractor, a mobile coop of sorts that you move to a different place each day.  The benefit here is that the chickens receive fresh grass and they eat the bugs they find there, but they are in that one place for only a day before they’re moved to a clean environment.  I’ve read that this makes their eggs more nutritious with dark yellow yolks and it also makes for healthier chickens.  I’ve also heard about people using chickens in the fall to clean up and fertilize their spent veggie beds, scratching out grubs and weeds, eating the weed seeds, etc.  We’ll keep this in mind when looking at dimensions of any mobile unit we fabricate and try to work these guys into garden workers as well.

Black and yellow chicks - Taylor-Made Ranch

I’ve been told that raising chickens is very rewarding yet very easy.  I’ve been intimidated for years so I’m glad I finally jumped in.  We’re so new to this and are open to any advice anyone wants to give.  So don’t be chicken – speak up!

~TMR~

 

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When you buy something through the affiliate link it’s a great way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket so click often!

05-06 UPDATE:  We bought temporary chicken coop since the chickies are growing so fast they have outgrown their tiny enclosure. Look how awesome our new * chicken coop is!  They will stay protected in this coop until they’re old enough to have grown all their feathers and the weather warms up a bit – it’s currently housed in our garage and the heat lamp is close to keep them warm. They’re loving their new digs! When they’re older we’ll use this coop as a portable chicken tractor to move them from place to place, and when they’re fully grown they’ll call the coop in our 1880′s barn home. Movin’ on UP!

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27 thoughts on “No More Being Chicken – We Bought Chicks!

    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Kim – hopefully they really ARE as easy to raise as everyone says they are. I’m pumped! ~TMR~

      Reply
  1. Leah

    They are so cute! My dad had chickens for a really long time, but they pretty much roamed wherever they wanted. The only problem he had with that was that they would roam into the woods and lay eggs there instead of in the coop. Thanks for linking up to Frugal Fit Family Friday Linky Party! Good luck with your chicks!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’m wondering what kind of hands-on care we’ve signed on for. Do mature chickens have to be tended each and every day, or can they go short spurts of time on their own (like 3-4 days) Just wondering… I’m still excited! ~TMR~

      Reply
      1. Jaci

        We are still fairly new to the chicken endeavor but from our limited experience and what I’ve read. Once they are outside and closer to full grown they can be left to their own devices for a couple of days. We have a large hanging feeder to eliminate the worry of the food spilling over and my husband has rigged up a self re-filling chicken nipple water system so we dont have to worry about their water getting contaminated or empty. If the winter we might have to sink a fish tank heater or something to prevent freezing water but maybe not as I live in Texas! We too have ours in a chicken tractor but we move it 1x week, mainly b/c we allow ours to free range in our backyard during most days. they put themselves to bed back in the coop at night all we have to do is close and lock the door. My 3 yr lets them out each morning!

        Reply
        1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

          OMGosh Jaci – what great information! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. One of my little chicks is developing something that I’m reading is called “pasty” or something like that – hopefully she’ll be ok. Thanks so much for stopping by! ~TMR~

          Reply
  2. Tammy/Our Neck of the Woods

    Hooray! How exciting. I am absolutely smitten with my chickens, so I think you’ll love yours :) I would agree with what you said about it being very rewarding and not that much work. Seriously it just takes 5 minutes to feed and water them in the morning after they’re out of the coop, then 5 minutes at night to lock them up in the coop. Of course I spend more time with them than needed, but they really are low maintenance. Grass and bugs definitely make the eggs taste better! Our guineas free range exclusively (we only let the chickens out if they are supervised) and their eggs are soooo delicious. The yolks are such a deep orange color and they taste so rich and buttery. The more access your chickens have to grass, the better their eggs will taste! Congrats on your new chicken keeping endeavor! I think you’re going to love it :)

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      OOH Thanks Tammy, that’s encouraging! They’re already growing so fast and they are so darn cute! Thanks for sharing. ~TMR~

      Reply
  3. Summers Acres

    You raise cattle, but thought chickens were intimidating?!? That just makes me laugh. Sorry, I just think the idea of a cow is intimidating much less cattle as in lots of them. But seriously this is our first year with chickens. We are hoping they will start laying in a month or so. It has been easy, but we have made some mistakes initially. Good luck with them. I look forward to more chicken posts. ~Ann

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Oh, thanks for the encouragement Ann. They’re still fuzzy little chicks but growing their feathers already. We’re looking forward to raising them, it’s gonna be a blast! ~TMR~

      Reply
      1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

        Sandy, I’ve heard of the difficulty with chickens & HOA’s. But the winds of change are blowing and many HOA’s are now allowing small backyard flocks as long as they’re hens & not roosters. (fingers crossed for you!) ~TMR~

        Reply
      2. Summers Acres

        They grow so fast! It amazes us how much they can change in just one day! Thanks for sharing with us. I hope you join us again this Thursday at: The HomeAcre Hop ~Ann

        Reply
  4. sandy

    I am truly envious of your chicks.. really! I’ve always wanted to have some chickens for the eggs but my HOA said “No”.. and there is no talking them into it! And a barn with chicken coop, well that is thrilling.. Good luck to you and your new brood! Sandy

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Sandy, I’ve heard of the difficulty with chickens & HOA’s. But the winds of change are blowing and many HOA’s are now allowing small backyard flocks as long as they’re hens & not roosters. (fingers crossed for you!) ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. Shirley Corwin

    I got my 5 chicks, all hens, last spring and have been having so much fun with them. If I would’ve known they were so much fun, I wouldn’t have waited so long to get them! I have 2 buff orpingtons, 2 Easter eggers and 1 silver laced Wyandotte.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I keep seeing the same descriptives over & over again: Easy to raise and FUN. This is so encouraging to me! Thanks for sharing. ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Stephanie, they’re already growing little feathers. This is gonna be so FUN! ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Kathy

    They are not much work, more worrisome as far as protecting them from critters. It’s good if you have friends or neighbors that would care to help if you have to leave or come home late. Make sure you give them straw to peck around in (and poop) then you can use it in your garden. They like bugs too so I throw them everything I can catch that isn’t too awful to pick up. Good luck- we just incubated and had 2 hatch! This is the first hatch for us, we purchased before. They are so cute.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Kathy, that’s my worry – protection from predators. But I think we’ll have them safe & secure by the time they’re old enough to be outside. We have them in a very large bucket right now with straw bedding. When we change it out I’m putting it aside to go into my garden, I’ve always heard it’s the best! I love when you say “I throw them everything I can catch that isn’t too awful to pick up” LOL, I can relate. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Nicci Spencer

    How fun! We would like to try chickens someday, but haven’t gotten brave enough. Hope it all goes well.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made RanchTaylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Nicci, we’re banking on everyone’s statement that they’re EASY to raise. I’m sure there will be more updates as time goes on, they’re already growing their feathers. So far, lots of fun! ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick

    Congratulations on your new additions- enjoy! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! Cheers, Kathy Shea Mormino The Chicken Chick The-Chicken-Chick.com

    Reply

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