Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Talk about Chicks, Man

For you city folk, the term "Chick Days" doesn't bring up the same mental image that it does for anyone who routinely shops at the TSC. And anyone who lives in a somewhat rural community doesn't need to spell out Tractor Supply Company - we just call it the TSC or the "tractor store." Now I don't live all the way out in the country, but we're rural enough that our neighbors have horses, and we're city enough that I have 6 large shopping malls within 40 minutes.

"Chick Days" is a big deal at the TSC. Farmer B was initially disappointed that it didn't relate to Spring Break, but it does relate to Spring. Every Spring, the TSC is over-run with chicks and ducklings sitting in large feed troughs under red heat lamps. I can't help but think of how fast food is kept warm under the same red light that’s keeping these little birds warm - it's a little too close to the #34 General Tso's Chicken that's drying out under the lamp at the local Chinese restaurant.

We've bought ducklings from the TSC before, but we've never bought chicks. We're getting ours from a local feed store in the first week in April since they have them segregated by breed. Also the TSC requires you to buy chicks in multiples of 6 and we only want three. I was annoyed by this until I realized that it's probably their attempt to stop people from buying one chick to shove in a kid's Easter basket and then discard after Easter.

But chick days is big entertainment around here. We stare at the chicks. We touch the chicks. We listen to their non-stop peeping, but we leave the store empty-handed. And like a moth to a flame, about 2 seconds after this picture was taken, Jace reached out to touch the pretty red light. Yes, his fingers are still sore and a bit swollen.

Speaking of chicks, I'm ready to come out of the chicken breed closet and announce what we'll be getting for our new coop. When you research chicken breeds, you realize that you want about 100 chickens, but we were forced to pick three. We're getting:

Barred Rock- For non-chicken-folk, that's a Plymouth Rock who is "barred" in coloration. I'm getting this breed because it's the first chicken-type I fell in love with when I was reading the "Backyard Farming" blog. It's one of my favorite blogs and they have a Barred Rock that is just so beautiful. You can see the pic from the link in this paragraph.

Americauna- I've read that true Americaunas are somewhat rare and that hatcheries and feed stores often sell generic "Easter Eggers" under the name Americauna. These Americaunas and Easter Eggers are special because they lay blue eggs. I'm sure mine will be a generic Easter Egger, but the idea of blue-green eggs is nice.

Buff Orpington- This is actually an Orpington who is "buff" in coloration. I decided on this breed because I read they were developed in Orpington, Kent, in the UK, and I'm from Kent so I felt instantly bonded to this breed. Plus they're known as very sweet docile birds. She'll have to have a very British name.

So there you have it. You've been a part of "Chick Days" and you know the three breeds of birds we'll soon be getting. The boys are giddy with anticipation, especially after their chickstravaganza today.


Cheryl said...

Fast foot chicks. Too funny. LOL

I'm a city girl, and my ex is raising few chickens. I think it's kinda cool.

Darla said...

they are the cutest...

Kathryn said...

Hi, Kate! Oh boy, you are finally getting your chicks. Must say, I'm a little bit jealous. But I have been wanting to tell you that I was in the local seed and feed picking up some stuff for my Dixie's itching, and there was a couple there picking up chicken feed. I started babbling about the Gulfport couple winning their chicken case and the lady came up to me and said "I'm her"!!! So I met Jen and her husband and we talked about her chickens and chicken coops and I told them about my blog and about you and your coop and they invited me over to visit with their chickens and them. Haven't yet, but plan to very soon. I'm at work so I can't see your pictures - will look again when I get home. This is soooo cool. Oh yeah, she said the Barred Rocks are the best, very calm and good layers. Take care. K

Dani said...

Our Laverne is an Easter Egger. She lays a very pale baby blue egg, good size too.

Can't wait to see your new babies in April!

whiterice said...

My gosh...we haven't been to TSC for chick days....yet! Dangerous stuff...all those little birds! I Can't wait to follow this story! Funny, we just received our birds last week, including a buff orpington, barred rock, and americauna (a black australorpe as well). I can't wait to see your pics to see what ours looked like as chicks.

Worknprogress said...

How eggs-citing?!?! It must be like the week before Christmas around your house (without all the tinsel and shopping left to do) :o)

You'll love your buff...i hope the others turn out to be as tamed personality-wise too. Our buffs follow our daughter around like little pups--even when she's skipping thru the yard like a mad woman, they'll chicken-fly to catch up with her.

I am sooo happy for you! You're excitement flows through your posts, and you are reminding me of the adventures we had last year raising chicks. Thanks for sharing with us!

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