Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Impossible to see chicks

My chicks arrived on the homestead yesterday. 5 Black Sex-Linked females and 1 mystery sex Barred Rock. I’ve had great success with the two BSL that are part of my current flock. They are hardy and consistent layers of extra-large brown eggs.

Originally I was going to get all Barred Rock for my replacement flock but since I liked the BSL so much and since the Barred Rocks being offered were straight run (meaning they weren’t sexed) I figured why take the chance I’d end up with roosters. BSL it was.

I did get 1 Barred Rock though and I’m about 50/50 as to whether I hope it’s a rooster. They can be wonderfully helpful in protecting the flock by keeping an eye out for predators. They can also be anti-social shits. Only time will tell which we get.

In case you’re wondering why I need a replacement flock, these are aging out. They were barely productive over the winter and I basically fed them with no return. The two BSL were my only consistent layers and even they were only laying a couple eggs per week each. So I’ll cull the Orpingtons this fall as they are the least productive and the most fragile health-wise. I’m getting excellent production right now and that should continue until they go into molt. Based on last year that will be just in time for an Autumn harvest. And the new flock should be laying by then, so I’ll have plenty of eggs over the winter.

I know many people keep their chickens even as laying slows or even stops altogether, but these are livestock to me, not pets. I care for their physical needs, give them plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and free-ranges, then make the best use of their bodies when I deem it appropriate. These 3 will become nourishing and tasty stock that will help feed us all winter long. I’m comfortable with that.

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