We wanted to upgrade our flock of chickens with some fresh blood, so we decided to buy some chicks. Specifically we wanted some Americaunas, some Golden-laced Wyondottes, some Buff Orpingtons, and some Cornish Crosses (for butchering). Except for the Cornish Crosses, these other breeds are commonly available, decent egg-layers, and just durned pretty. I like a lot of variety in our flock.
But buying chicks, much less these specific breeds, turned out to be surprisingly difficult. I called a number of feed stores (locally, as well as Coeur d'Alene) and inquired as to the availability of these particular breeds. What I learned is that chicks are being snapped up like crazy. Also, prices were fairly high, ranging from $2 each for Cornish Crosses to $5 each for Americaunas.
Well, despite the scarcity and high prices, it sounds like a lot of people are getting backyard chickens and discovering the fun of producing some of their own food. This is a wonderful trend I applaud to the highest magnitude.
So I had to readjust my expectations. While in Coeur d'Alene, we swung by a feed store to see what breeds were available. We found they had Silver-laced Wyondottes (not as handsome as the Golden-laced, but still pretty) as well as Buffs. We bought five of each.
They're so irresistible at this age. Holding them is like "chick therapy."
Meanwhile we ordered ten Americaunas from our local feed store, and they came in a week later.
When chicks sleep, they group together like puppies. Very cute.
We'll keep the chicks in the house until (a) they feather out a bit, and (b) the weather warms up enough that they won't get chilled out in the coop. The house is beginning to get that "chick" smell, but it won't be for long.
We have 15 Cornish Crosses on order from our local feed store, but they won't be here until some time in June. They'll be ready to butcher by the end of summer, at which time we'll also cull our flock of the older and/or less productive ladies.
Meanwhile it's nice to indulge in a little "chick therapy" whenever we wish.