(Yes, I know this will confuse some of you – this post is back dated, meaning I wrote it and then set it to publish on a day and time previous to the writing)
Chris and I have been talking, about chickens. All kinds of chickens. Until about two weeks ago I had NO idea there were SO MANY different breads/kinds of chickens. I knew there were several – after all my mother in law has a book about them in her kitchen with pictures of several different kinds, and I had been to the domestic foul barn at the fair growing up. I knew they came in differant colors, and like most any bird the male is prettier than the female. What I didn’t realize is that today there are about 175 varieties of chicken. They make up 12 classes and 60 different breeds. I think I’ve looked at almost all of those over the past two weeks, and in the past 24 hours I’ve looked at a lot of them OVER and OVER and OVER again.
We decided that it would be a great idea (and totally legal here in San Antonio) to buy and raise chickens in our backyard to have our own fresh eggs (especially after I told him what I’m paying for a dozen of eggs these days – when I first moved to San Antonio, they were 89¢ a dozen, now they are almost $1.50 – that price jump is almost as bad as bananas, but don’t get me started on that! That’s just the basic, large white, generic HEB/Hill Country Fair eggs mind you, not brown (which I’m now totally convinced are the biggest scam in the world since about 85% of chickens lay brown eggs, not white) or organic, or the fresh ones like I bought at the farmers market yesterday – just your basic massively produced under inhumane circumstances egg.
Chris had had this idea in his head for quite some time, but he never thought I’d go for it – and a year ago, I probably wouldn’t have – but my buying and spending habits have changed, along with my priority in how I spend my money, and paying $5 a dozen for eggs (especially at the rate we go through them) is just crazy for me. So, I jumped in with both feet, and learned a ton in two weeks (much to his surprise) and then we finally spent most of the evening, and into the wee hours of the morning looking at, designing, and making plans for a hen house and play run, as well as debating different breeds (over and over and over again) trying to find the right egg layers that will do well in the heat of san antonio, hopefully without being TOO noisy for our neighbors (since we have no HOA, they really can’t do anything about it if they are noisy, but since we already have two dogs that bark at the world passing the fence we figured loud squawks at daybreak till sundown wouldn’t sit well – well, Chris was more concerned with this, since they have an annoying little yappy fluff ball I was a little less particular about the noise level).
Finally around 2am, we agreed, and put in an order for three live day old baby chicks. The week of June 6, these cute little fluff balls will be sent via USPS Express Mail to us.
After 4 or 5 weeks they will be big enough to start living in the hen house.
Then after another 4 to 5 weeks they will be considered “adolescents” and no longer need the special care and attention of babies.
Then, hopefully, around 20 weeks of age, they will reach maturity to be these three pretty ladies.
What you see there (left to right, which is also the same breed of chicks, top to bottom as pictured above) is a Red Star, Light Brown Leghorn, and Barred Plymouth Rock. I’m so excited to watch them grow and see them strutting around their enclosure in the backyard, and to finally be able to reach in the egg box and pick out that first fresh egg!
Stay tuned for the whole journey to follow!