Friday, February 14, 2014

Chicken Talk

So you've made the decision to get chickens. You've secured a place for them to call home, the next step is to bring some home. Some folks may decide to bring home hens already laying and skip the chick process. But I think most people decide to bring home chicks. Those oh-so-cute little balls of fluff. You could order them from a hatchery and have them shipped to you or you could wait until your local farm supply brings in their spring supply of chicks. This is what we have done. We wait until the end of February. That is when the first shipments of these sweet little chicks begin arriving. There is a new shipment each week through the month of May for us at our farm supply. Many different breeds.  Now here you are looking at these little chicks sold as pullets and straight run. If you are a first-timer then you might be thinking what on earth does that mean? Is a straight run like a home run? And what is a pullet? These terms are chicken talk. A straight run is the term given to a group of chicks that have not been sexed. In this group of chicks are both male and female. No body knows what they may end up with. If you were to bring 5 of these little chicks home from a straight run group of chicks you will end up with some little soon-to-be roosters. Most likely more of those little chicks will be roosters then future egg layers. Usually these are less expensive as well. Now if you want egg layers this is where the term pullet comes in. These little chicks have been sexed. The term pullet refers to the female chick or egg layer. (Keep in mind there is a 10% chance that in the 5 or so pullets you bring home, you may end up with 1 of these pullets being a rooster.) In the total group of chicks that we have purchased as pullets 3 out of 19 of the chicks (pullets) ended up being roosters. This is also over two seasons of purchasing. Our first season we purchased 11 pullets and 2 ended up being roosters and in the second season we purchased 8 pullets with 1 of these ending up being a rooster. If you have large open space for your pullets, soon to be full grown chickens, a rooster or two would be ok. You should have a minimum of 10 hens per rooster as a general rule. We have a rooster here and kept him with our hens but over time we have decided that it is better for our hens to keep the rooster in his own space. If it is eggs you want then you should be looking to purchase pullets. You spend a bit more but in the end it is worth it.

Friday, February 7, 2014


     Here we are in February already. Month 2 of this year well on it's way to being history. Man, why does time seem to go by so fast? Seems the older we get the faster time goes. Do you remember as a kid how time couldn't move fast enough. How it seemed to stand still at times. But now you blink and you've missed something. The school year nearly half over and the prospect of junior high for my son after summer-which never lasts long enough and goes by way too fast. Another year older, moving closer to an age that seemed unattainable when I was younger -shoot even now seems that way. How did this happen? I certainly thought I would have it together by now. Maybe I do a little more so then I did when I was say, 20 but geez I sure don't have things all figured out. I'm still learning and gaining wisdom everyday. I look at things a lot differently then I used to - but that's because of the experiences life has thrown at me over time. You live and learn. Shame on you if you don't live. One time through is all you get. That's why I wish time wouldn't move so quickly. I'd like to savor the good times a little longer. I guess that is where you finally come to when reach the plateau of life when you have lived enough years to actually have a small bit of that so hard to obtain wisdom. When you are smart enough to learn from your mistakes and you aren't afraid to live life. Some folks never realize that part of living life until it's too late. Until that point in time when too much time has passed them by. So in the ever increasing passage of time one must reach the point at when it's time to slow down and notice the details, see the small things, smell the coffee, sit and be still for a moment or two or three or more, study your children and tuck away in your heart all of the sweet things about them when they are small but even more so those special qualities about them that make them who they are as they grow up. Hug them and continue to do so as they grow into adults. Take a moment to tell someone they are cherished and how much you love them. Before you know it, in the blink of an eye, time has gone by so quickly.  

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