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Let’s Try Chickens for Eggs

There are so many videos online about raising chicks for eggs, and the pros and the cons, and how to do it and how not to do it. The list goes on an on. We have spent over 3 years studying backyard chickens to determine this was an option for meat and eggs in our future.

While the land step didn’t work out as planned (more on that adventure on another day here on the blog), we did feel that getting chicks for eggs would help us be more self-sufficient, learn something new by diving in and just doing it, plus allow us to have some eggs of our own as we watch egg prices continue to rise.

Now, you may be saying, “But, Brandy don’t you know people who have chickens for eggs?”. And the answer would be, “why, yes I do know some people who have chickens for eggs.” Sadly I want to be ‘self-sufficient’ as noted above, plus my tummy is sensitive to certain eggs.

Let’s hope my tummy is not sensitive to my little egg layers when they start laying their eggs. 😏

Okay so my youngest son and I headed to Runnings in Claremont, New Hampshire just to see the baby chicks. You see, the previous weekend his Dad and I ventured in to peek at the chicks and had priced out the supplies.

Little did we know that there would be issues and more supply costs, but that’s shared below.

Continue reading, please.

So, when his Dad and I went into Runnings … we ran numbers and estimates to determine that maybe would start with 4 chicks or up to 6 chicks …

Low and behold, my youngest son and I came home with 9 baby chicks. We didn’t mean to. I simply started saying 2 of this type, then 2 of that type, and then well I really wanted on Lavender Orpington, and my son wanted one Silkie, but then I thought the Silkie would be lonely since they’re so funky looking.

So I grabbed a second silkie, Goldie Hawk is her name …

Because I knew the black silkie would be lonely … so here’s Steve the other silkie. We have no idea if the silkies are hens or Roosters, sadly. They are not sexed.

With that being said, even the chicks that are sold as “sexed”, often can be wrong. This means you need to understand that buying baby chicks isn’t something to do on a whim. It’s extremely difficult to get rid of roosters.

They also can be assholes, to be honest.

My mom’s old neighbor before he passed had a mean rooster years ago. That thing would run over to our yard and try to get my sons with his huge talons.

If you’ve never been chased by a pet rooster or turkey, are you even a country person? 😂

I hear that Silkie roosters are the sweetest guys though, so I will be OK with Steve or Goldie Hawk being a rooster, I think.

What supplies for baby chicks?

Now I am trying to share stories and be useful for Google helpful content bologna, but we will see if I am helpful at all. I will continue to share our backyard chicken journey, or motorhome chicken journey or whatever season of life I happen to be in “chickens” story.

Yes, we have no idea what the future holds, it is true, so for now I am sharing backyard chickens that are inside until their chicken feathers come in so they can be safe in an outdoor coop. This could be around 6 weeks of age, and my little girls are about 1 week old now.

When we brought the chicks home, they stayed the first night in a cardboard box with this heating lamp light. The PVC pipe came from this kit (do not buy it, it has no bottom), and the light came from Runnings, but you can grab this light and light holder for chicks to use for heat, if you’d like.

Other people use this heating ramp pad thing, do your research and always have a temperature gauge to knw what temperature it is inside the brooder for your baby egg laying chicks.

So to sum it up, you will need the following (at a minimum) to get baby chicks home and safely setup:

  • Container for chicks to live in. (we used this)
  • Feed and Water container (OMG please get one that is up a little, ours sucks to be honest I just don’t want to replace it yet)
  • Heating Source
  • Temperature Gauge to track inside brooder temperature
  • Pine Shavings (I saw a huge pack of them at Runnings for $6.49 in the horse section of the store FYI)
  • Baby Chick Starter Food

Some people give supplements for the chicks, and they do have that at most places that sell chicks. Ask the Runnings store associate in that area, they’re pretty knowledgeable on the topic.

I will be honest with you, everything online says that if the chicks are comfortable that they will settle and sleep and be quiet.

I am convinced this is all lies!!

Our chicks have the right temperature range, a clean cage, and ample food and water but they chirp almost non-stop. To the point that I have to find a new space for them in this house because they case keeping EVERYONE awake, especially my youngest son.

I mean they are super cute, but here are some more of the drawbacks and things to consider before you get egg laying chicks:

Baby Chicks are LOUD

The noise becomes this constant chirp in the back of your mind all day long. While I can’t say it’s as noisy as the high pitched bark one of my dogs has, they do get annoying. Again, the internet tells me that they should shut up when comfortable, but I always end up with quirky pets so it makes sense my chicks don’t shut up.

Baby Chicks Need Warmth

As we head towards the warmer season here in New Hampshire, it’s hard to keep the chicks in my sons’ room in this 2 bedroom trailer because he likes it cold. The chicks lamp gets their area up to 95F degrees, but he likes a 60 degrees or less temperature. This means, we may have to navigate a new path of where to house our baby chicks in this small space while they grow.

I have seen some build an outdoor brooder area, maybe Justin will have to do that.

The Costs Are High at First

Mind you, I am still trying to figure out what heating source works, so I’ve spent probably over $200 on these egg laying chick supplies. Now, you don’t have to do that. I did it because they won’t stop chirping and I thought maybe a different form of heat would satisfy them but it didn’t. We also purchased a $120 tank for them to go in like Runnings has them in, which was a costly choice and may not be within your budget.

Some baby chick owners make a chick brooder out of wood, try it by watching some tutorials on YouTube. This may be a cheaper option!

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

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