Do you know what is exciting to think about? Spring and warmer weather. I have enjoyed the winter things, the cozy days at home, baking, playing in the snow with the little ones, but when we get close to February, I get excited for Spring/Summer! This year that means new chicks are coming to the farm!
This spring we have baby chicks coming! Our current hens are from 2020 and have slowed down on laying eggs so we want to get a new batch growing.
I enjoy the chickens on the farm. It gives more life to the yard and helps the kids to learn about animals. Also, with the crazy egg prices it is easier to justify the practicality of having them. I would have to run numbers to see if we break even with the cost of having them. If I was to guess it would probably be close right now.
Let’s look at what breeds we started with in 2020.
- Buff Orpingtons
- Black Australorps
- Easter Eggers
So, with what we learned from having those 4 breeds over the past few years we have decided this year we would like to get more Buff Orpingtons and Easter Eggers. The Welsummers laid a very pretty egg but had a more active temperament. They liked to peck at the other chickens. They also are quite a bit smaller of a bird than the other breeds we have. The Black Australorps seemed to lay fairly well but they went through hard molting and seemed to be missing more feathers than the rest of our chicken and for longer periods of time. The one summer they even got sunburned because they molted for so long!
Here’s a look at the new chicks coming to the farm this spring.
Like I said above, we wanted to get buffs again. They are such docile chickens. They are quintessential hens (like my husband likes to say). Fluffy full feathered, good layers, and pretty cold hardy too!
Easter Eggers are a breed we hadn’t heard much about but when researching them they seemed like a good fit for our North Dakota farm. Very cold hardy, and a seemingly calm chicken. They are all so different too and make for pretty variation in the flock. I also loved that they brought some color to the egg basket with their blue/green eggs. We ordered them again this year and I’m excited to see the variation in their plumage. The last Easter Eggers we got were all different colors.
If they are anything like the Easter Eggers, we will love this breed too. They lay an olive green egg, like their name suggests. Their temperament is supposed to be like Easter Eggers. The Olive Eggers that we purchased through Cackle Hatchery are a Cream Legbar/ Welsummer mix.
The last breed I decided to order were Barnevelders. They are known to lay dark brown eggs. They are a pretty breed and known to be calm chickens, and hardy. I thought it was interesting that their country of origin is Holland. Named after the Barneveld region.
If you are looking for a great place to get baby chicks try out Cackle Hatchery. They are based out of MO. We had great success with their chicks.
Pictured above are the eggs that we have gotten from our hens. The blue/green eggs are from the Easter Eggers. The light brown eggs are from the Buff Orpingtions. The darker brown eggs are from the Australorps. The speckled brown eggs are from the Welsummers.
Have you ever had laying hens? What was your favorite part? Favorite breed?
…how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Matthew 23:37