Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011 Chicken Order

Yesterday I ordered my chickens for June delivery.  We've always had them sent earlier, but then it would be too cold to put them under the lights out in the chicken coop.  They would have to be put down in the basement until the weather eased up a bit and let me tell you, chickens are dirty.  They generate a ton of dust and it gets into every single nook and cranny!

When I get my chicks, I put them in two plastic round kiddy pools with some nice straw in the bottom (thick enough to discourage spraddled legs) and wire fencing around it so they can't fly out.  There's no corners for them to get piled up and crush one another.

When you order chickens, you can get pullets, which are females (egg layers), males, or straight run (which is a mix of male and female chicks).  I have two good-natured male roosters (trust me a good-natured rooster is hard to find!) and I'm not raising chicks, so other than my cornish rocks (who are for meat), I get all pullets.

Here was my order from Ideal Poultry (the pictures are borrowed from their website).  I just hope the pictures stay and I don't end up with the question mark thing:

5 - Americauna pullets (Easter eggers - green or blue tinted eggs)

5 - Speckled Sussex pullets (so darn pretty, and lay a speckled egg)

5- Rhode Island Red pullets (good layers, brown eggs)

25 - Cornish Rock straight run (meat birds)

10 - Buff Orpington pullets (a really nice temperament, good laying chicken, brown eggs)

5 - Golden Lakenvelder pullets (white eggs, hardy, rare, and they're Pittsburgh Steeler colors!)

5 - Welsummer pullets (fairly rare, hardy, lay a dark, terra-cotta brown egg)

The Welsummers are back ordered and, if they're not available in June, I'll get 10 of the Golden Lakenvelders instead.

This seems like a large order, but you generally lose a few of the chicks due to the stress of shipping, and because my chickens free-range, I have some loss to predators.  I have a number of old chickens in the coop this year who are not laying and a couple of meat chickens from last year that are about the size of small ostriches who will all be culled.  It's time to move in some fresh layers!


  1. I can't wait to hear how the introduction process works? Do they all just accept each other when new ones move in?

  2. I'll raise the new ones until they're a pretty good size, and then put them in the coop with the larger ones. There are a few days of the older ones pecking at the little ones when they get too close and shuffling of "pecking order" and then they start getting along.