Sunday, April 15, 2012
Today we bought three "city" chicks. For the past few years, I have wanted to have city chickens, but, unfortunately, our city had not become progressive enough to allow it. Last year the city finally did a study due to the public's requests and, in December, 2011, changed the zoning laws. We live on a lot that is slightly larger than 10,000 square feet, so we are allowed to have up to six chickens. Smaller lots of 6,000 square feet can have up to four chickens.
We almost didn't go through with the purchase this year, even though I recently read two books on raising chickens and had attended a class. It was fun to read about, but making that leap into unknown territory still felt a little daunting. Today, we went to the feed store and I fell in love with the little Rhode Island Red. She was the last Rhode Island Red, and was chirping up a storm because she didn't like being left alone. After that, we picked out the other two with the help of the store personnel.
I came home, set their box, food, water and light up. Then I was "blessed" with the experience of bathing our little Americauna who came home with a pretty serious case of "pasty butt". She was pretty messy on the backside and was squawking and jumping around. The other two kept nipping at her little vent. Shortly after I got her cleaned up, she was able to pass a lot of poop and now seems to be just fine. I'll be keeping an eye out for any more pasty butts!
I still find myself wondering if we should have have purchased more than three chicks, considering chicks are flock birds. When my husband and I discussed it, he only wanted two because he didn't think we would eat through the eggs fast enough. I didn't want to start with two, so I purchased three. I'm tempted to go back and get a fourth to prevent "odd man out" behavior. I'll think about it this evening.
The light yellow chick is a Light Brahma. The black and reddish chick is an Americauna and the reddish chick is a Rhode Island Red. They are all 3-4 days old. Now that they are settled in their box, they seem to be very content and chirping softly.
Now I need to settle on a coop design. There are two that I like. I think I'll need to price the wood and supplies and let the price help me make that decision.