When a 360 area code call came up on my cell phone I almost answered, “OMG DO YOU HAVE MY CHICKS???” I decided to go with a nice sane “Hello” instead.
And here they are!
We all find them quite fascinating.
Are you going to eat them?
Despite the fact that they are exactly the same size as a McNugget, no. They’re pets. Pets that produce food (eggs).
What kind did you get?
Where do they live now?
In a brood box that I built from scrap lumber. I call it the Chicken Fortress. Chicks have to be kept warm for the first two months, until their adult feathers grow in.
Then where will they live?
In a chicken tractor. A chicken tractor is basically a mobile coop that you can drag around. This gives them better variety of feed, and helps keep disease and bacteria from building up the way it would in a stay-put chicken yard.
Are you building the tractor yourself?
That’s the plan! Chicken tractors cost about $1500 pre-built.
Are you using plans that I can borrow?
Err, no. Plans cost between $20 and $50. I’ll be drafting up some plans myself, with pen and paper. You’re welcome to a copy, though!
I’ll try to remember to post it online. After I, you know. Draw it up.
Do chickens get sick?
It seems like as long as they’re well-kept, chickens don’t get sick very often. Aside from plumage, humans haven’t messed with chicken biology very much. They’re pretty sturdy creatures.
What happens if they get sick?
I’ll take them to a vet.
I mean, really really sick?
I’ll take them to a vet to be put to sleep. And cry a lot. Seriously, people, I’m not going to eat them. They’re not for eating.
Have you chosen names?
I picked out four names of First Ladies: Martha, Abigail, Dolly, and Harriet. I haven’t decided which chick gets which name.
How long until they can go outside?
They should start getting their adult feathers in about 3 weeks. After that, it’s just a matter of gradually introducing them outside, a little bit more every day. It depends on how quickly their feathers grow in, and what the weather is like.
Where did you get your chicken information?
As with all things where the quality of information matters, I relied on books (instead of the internet). I read several, but Chickens In Your Backyard: A Beginner’s Guide has been my favorite so far.