If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Hubby and I got chickens! Turquoise egg laying chickens (are you surprised?) – plus a pair of silkies.
I am so obsessed, I actually made the photo above my new Instagram profile picture. Aaaand I’ll probably make it the profile photo for Dans le Lakehouse too. I very quickly became what’s called a #crazychickenlady.
Here’s how it happened.
Our friends, who also live in the country, have 12 hens and we started buying eggs from them. The eggs are delicious and fresh – and dense. Store bought eggs just don’t taste as good anymore. We thought it might be nice to have our own eggs (you know, for the apocalypse, lol), so we were a little curious but also apprehensive. The poop, the work – our friends didn’t make it sound fun. We got to “meet” the chickens and see the coop this winter – and it was really eye opening.
We walked into the coop and the chickens greeted us happily. I picked one up and it wanted to snuggle. I was pooped on a lot but it wasn’t that bad! They’re cute and curious – and generously share (“share”) their delicious eggs. It definitely looked like quite a bit of work, but I was smitten. I’m reluctant to share this totally awful photo Hubby snapped of me, but look at how fondly I’m gazing at this chicken.
It’s hilarious, but for some reason chickens and I “clicked”. I’ve heard you either get chickens and quickly get rid of them, or you become a crazy chicken lady – there is no in between.
After “meeting” our friends’ chickens, we decided to get our own. If I’m being honest, we is probably mostly me. I asked Hubby if he was pro-chicken or anti-chicken. He said he was ambi-chicken, but I have photos of him snuggling our chicks for hours so I think he might just be playing it cool. He had chickens growing up, so maybe it’s not quite the novelty for him as it is for a former city girl like me. Because he’s ambi-chicken, I’ve been doing all of the chick work (the butt cleaning, the poopy brooder cleaning) and I don’t mind one bit. We plan to build the coop together next week (which Hubby is actually pretty excited about), before the chicks outgrow their current brooder set up. The brooder is set up in my office right now, which everyone thinks is totally bizarre, but I wanted them close and safe and warm. They’re chattering away as I type! Probably talking about how weird I am.
After we decided to get chickens, but before we decided what kind, I mentioned it on Instagram and some IG friends told me about chickens who lay turquoise eggs. Excuse me, what? HOW did I not know this? I was pumped about chickens before I found out about turquoise eggs! Finding out about aqua eggs was just an amazing bonus. I looked into the Arcaunas, Americauanas and Cream Legbars – all breeds that lay aqua eggs. I also learned about “easter eggers” – a mixed breed of chicken which can also lay aqua eggs (or pink or green). Now, don’t laugh at me, but the Americauana became my favorite because it is a good looking chicken. The chicks are all cute, but adult Americaunas are very ‘gram worthy, as our friends called them. They have adorable muffs on their faces. Plus they’re fairly winter hardy and pretty good layers.
I found a great hatchery in Quebec and ordered 10 Americaunas (the minimum order to have them shipped). It was so bizarre to go to the post office to pick up a squirming, peeping box of live chicks. They are straight run, which means we don’t yet know who is a hen or a rooster. I could have 0-10 of either, although it’s usually a 50/50 split. But I could definitely be raising all roosters here (I have that kind of luck).
Before the chicks arrived in the mail, I went to a hobby farm store to pick up some shavings and starter chick food. And they had chicks for sale there. Did I mention that chicks are so cute? Like, irresistibly cute? While I was there, I impulse bought two Silkies – but I can’t tell yet if they are hens or roos either.
Please be hens.
We’ve had the Silkies for two weeks and the Ameraucanas for one week and so far raising chicks has been quite the adventure! They grow SO quickly. If I watch them for awhile, I swear I can see their feathers sprout right before my eyes. And it turns out chickens are really smart! I am so, so excited to see them grow up and lay their first eggs – although I will miss an office full of chicks. They are the best coworkers I have had to date. I promise I’ll share more about these chicks, like how we set up the brooder (with tips and tricks) and how we build our modern chicken coop. I have dozens and dozens of adorable photos too. And in 4-6 months, get ready for a ton of egg recipes, haha! But for now, I just wanted you to meet the flock…
But don’t get too attached, because we won’t be able to keep the roosters. If you have chicken raising tips for me (or name suggestions!), leave them in the comments or come chat chickens with me on Instagram.