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Friday, March 27, 2015

Chick Files #1

Latest Ruby Lane Farm additions, Light Brahma chicks.


Chickens, the gateway farm animal.  The gateway farm animal because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain and keep. Once you have your own chickens you will never go back to store bought eggs (if you can help it) and if you keep chickens for meat you most certainly won’t want to touch traditional supermarket chicken ever again! They will also give you the confidence (for better or worse) that you CAN keep livestock which will almost always lead to some other kind of livestock for your homestead. That's another topic for another day.


Anyway, as I mentioned before, we have started on our journey into heritage breed chickens, and livestock, starting with the Light Brahma.  Why a “Heritage” breed, you might ask.  Well, let’s start with the definition of a Heritage Chicken:


We have committed to raising animals in alignment with this definition of “Heritage Breeds” in an effort to promote and preserve the legacy of our farming forefathers.  I specifically chose the Light Brahma because they are known to be very friendly, large birds laying a respectable number of eggs annually, thus are considered to be a dual-purpose bird.  What is a dual-purpose chicken?  That is a breed of chicken that can be considered of good enough size for quality meat and one that produces a significant number of eggs every year.  They may not be as big as conventional meat birds, like the Cornish Cross.  They also may not lay quite as many eggs like conventional egg laying breeds such as the White Leghorn or Red Sexlink breeds of birds.  However, you can have birds of good size that lay a good amount of eggs and that is what I found in the Light Brahma. The Light Brahma Rooster can be as big as 12 lbs. and the Hen can weigh in at around 9 lbs., now that's a hefty bird.  They can also lay as many as 180-240 eggs a year, not bad considering conventional egg birds lay, on average, 240-250 eggs per year.  


https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/images/global/li/light_brahmas_thumb_large_popup.jpg
http://albc-usa.etapwss.com/images/uploads/abstracts/brahma.jpg


We love the chickens we currently have, a mix of Buff Orpingtons, Ameraucanas, NH Reds, and one Silver Lace Wyandotte.  However, to be honest, while they tolerate our harsh winters, from what I understand of the Brahmas, they should be able to handle our climate even better.  Most every winter we've had a bit of an issue with frostbite as well as a lack of egg production, which really is typical among most breeds.  The Brahmas do the bulk of their laying from October-May.  If anything, they seemingly may have a harder time with our summers than winters, we shall see.

Stay tuned for details about our chick set up and of course chick pics...

Some basic chick care supplies


Believe it or not this will be our chick's new temporary home.
 




WEEKLY LOOK AT THE HOMESTEAD


View from my desk on 3/26/2015
We can just see the tops of the bee hive in the orchard in the distance, YAY!


2 comments:

  1. Curious as to how the chicks handled the trip. Ours are due next week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the USPS is not my favorite entity at the moment. We ordered 15 chicks and received them all. However, only 8 were alive! The 7 we lost will be replaced but, of course I'm wondering how many of those will make it. I think you may have better luck with a much larger order than ours.

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