First Chicks of The Year!
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One of my jobs here at Polyface is caring for all the baby chicks that come through.  Our first batch of New Hampshire Red pullets arrived on the 12th of January.

 

2 Day Old Baby Chicks

 

Two and Three Week Old Chicks

I love this facet of my job.  I am always in awe of new life and the fact that a baby chick only takes 21  days to grow in an egg before it hatches!  Makes me think of what an awesome God I serve.

Anyone else getting baby chicks this time of year?  I would love to hear about them!

 

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About Leanna Hale

Leanna Barth, born and raised in NC, first came to Polyface in July 2010 to attend one of the Intensive Discovery Seminars. She loved it so much that she applied for an internship position and was accepted for the 2011 season, after which she took the inventory/gardener position. Before coming to Polyface, she sold produce from her family’s market garden, along with homemade baked goods. This venture was mostly inspired by having read “You Can Farm” by Joel Salatin. Having always loved the outdoors, animals, and gardening Leanna is excited about this coming year, all that she will learn, and how the Lord will use this job later on in her life.
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20 Responses to First Chicks of The Year!

  1. Well, we recently went out to pick eggs and discovered that our very broody Silkie had been busy incubating 4 eggs…only one of which was hers. So now we too have a few little cheepers running around. Lots of fun!

  2. Stacy Sharp says:

    Waiting for the Co-op to get new chicks–hope to add another dozen to my flock this year.

  3. Gabrielle says:

    Wednesday, February 8th, I pick up the first batch of chicks. Fortunately, we live 30 minute from a hatchery so they don’t have to be shipped. This time I am trying the Australorps. I have golden comets and easter eggers that are laying now. I have not had so much fun as I am working with these chickens. Before I am done, I am think I might get every breed. Nothing like hands on knowledge!

  4. Sheila Mayberry says:

    Since December, we have hatched 12 chicks so far. I had a broody Bantam Buff Cochin hatch 4 December 4th. For Christmas my husband bought me a dozen Lemon Cuckoo Orpington eggs. Out of those 7 hatched. Now we have a silkie that has been setting. She hatched one little silkie 2 days ago and we have another hatching right now. She has a couple to go and we have another bantam Buff Cochin setting on eggs due to hatch in about a week. We are at present time being over run with chicks but I love it. Seems with the mild winter we are having its confused the chickens or maybe bantams just love to hatch babies 🙂

  5. Louise Ann Routledge says:

    Where do you order your chicks/eggs from? I would like to have a good source to do this. I have been told not to buy them from Orcheln which is really my only local source. Thoughts? Thanks. Louise Ann

    • Leanna Hale says:

      The pullets we order from Ideal Poultry. The broilers we get from Ridgway Hatcheries.

      • HoosierDaddy says:

        Thanks for being so open with information about your birds. I’ve just finished Joel’s book Pastured Poultry Profits and I’m in the process of building a few chicken tractors. What kind of hanging gravity feed water bell do you use? Some that I’ve looked at seem too tall to fit in the tractor.

  6. Agreed Sheila! My wife tells me that our broodie Silkie is at it again and has collected a number of new eggs to warm…along with being Mama-hen to the babies. She’s pretty busy but the other Silkie and the Isa Browns tend to leave her to it, so that is good.

  7. Lisa Hale says:

    You are reminding me that we need to check the calendar and get our broiler order in to process before Jonathan joins you at Polyface! We do have an awesome God and being a Farm Chick you are privileged to see His creation first hand. Enjoy!

  8. Joyce says:

    Where do you order your chicks from?

  9. Maggie Donovan Britton says:

    They look great and I know will be raised in a healthy environment.

  10. Tricia says:

    Do you use Red Hampshire exclusively for laying or do you use other breeds? Today we are having blizzard conditions on the eastern plains of Colorado, so am dreaming over seed and hatchery catalogs and websites. Can’t wait!

    • Leanna Hale says:

      Hi Tricia,

      Yes, we use the Hampshire exclusively for laying until we butcher them for stewing hens.

  11. Sharon says:

    I am trying to figure out which type of chick is best for laying and which ones are best for meat. I am also wondering if you use the Red hampshire just for laying. What breeds do you use for meat chickens. we live on 10 acres in Wisconsin and got our first chicks last year,mostly rhode island reds and black pullets. we only have a dozen because im a fulltime student,mom and work but this is my last year of school and we really want to start using the land that we have for food =)

    • Leanna Hale says:

      Hi Sharon,
      That is awesome that you have your own chickens! Here at Polyface we just use the New Hampshire Reds for laying. Eventually we butcher them and sell them as stewing hens. For our meat birds we use the Cornish cross and butcher them at 8 weeks. Good luck on your farming adventures!

  12. Melissa says:

    I sell my grassfed beef and pastured pork at 3 of our local farmers markets. This winter I went a little crazy. I ordered 50 chicks. 10 Barred Rocks, 10 Rhode Island Reds, 10 Black Australorps, and 20 Silver Lace Wynadottes. The laying chicks will arrive in two weeks. I have ordered 50 Cornish Rock crosses for meat and 30 turkeys to come later this spring. I left my job last year to farm full time. This has been my dream for years. I feel such peace and happiness to see my dreams realized.

  13. Wendy LeBlanc says:

    Read “Folks This Ain’t Normal” and wanted to add a little normalcy back into my life so, my husband built a coop and we got two Barred Rocks and two Rhode Island Reds for laying. Looking forward to the eggs later this spring.

  14. Just had to share this on here. My Eureka Alert which updates continually has this today:

    “Researchers Find Evidence of Banned Antibiotics in Poultry Products”
    Analysis of feather meal suggests continued use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics despite 2005 FDA ban

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/jhub-rfe040512.php

  15. Vivian says:

    We usually get between 25 – 50 chicks each year. We live off grid in the tops of the Rocky Mountains, so we try to wait till the weather is a bit warmer to start the new babies. We use plastic totes with glass lids to take advantage to the solar heat. So far three years with this process. We have few losses.

    I ordered Orpington Buffs this last year from Mcmurray Hatchery and I have been contemplating getting them again this year. They seem to be very hardy through out the winter (We can get 31 degrees below zero up here in the Rockies.) How do the Hampshire breed compare to the Orpington Buffs for production, meat, and survival in the extreme cold?

    Thanks for sharing your blog is delightful.