The Peeps are in the House!

Last spring we begun our adventures in chickens. We began with 8 and ended with 4 (1 died and 3 were roosters). The current chickens-in-residence are: the Annies (2 Buff Orpingtons, Calypso (White Crested Black Polish) and Thirsty Boots (Easter Egger).

We love them so much and wanted more…more eggs. We love eggs. Plus, I’m rapidly becoming the crazy chicken lady. I really (really, really) like my chickens. We went in on a group order with a family from the Babylady’s school. We ordered 2 Black Australorps, 1 Barred Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Dominique, 1 Rhode Island Red and a Golden Polish.

Getting Ready for the New Girls in Town

Yesterday was the day we had set up to go round-up our babies so the night before I got the repurposed/upcycled brooder set up.  I made a few changes this year and covered the sides with a plastic drop cloth because it is what I had on hand. And I stapled chicken wire on top of two boards to make a lid.

It started like this:

grow and resist repurposed upcycled chicken brooder pack and play

In the beginning...

And became this:

grow and resist repurposed upcycled chicken brooder pack and play

All ready for the new girls!

We didn’t plan and needed new supplies. Feeder. Waterer. Food. Heat lamp.  We needed it all.  The Seattle Farm Coop was the obvious place, but no open warehouse hours when I needed it.  I didn’t want to drive to Burien (Hayes Feed Store) or Issaquah (The Grange) to get supplies.  A little google search turned up a place I hadn’t heard of: Portage Bay Grange & Mercantile. In the University District! Where I am all the fricking time for one reason or another! Where the Ladyfriend works!  This place is cute!  Has all the supplies you will need for getting your chickens started.  They have new baby chicks as well!   I wanted to take them all home!  In fact, if I decide we don’t have 2 Black Australorps I might head back tomorrow to bring home a new little peep.  Plus, they have gorgeous coops and some unique local artist wares.  If you are local, check them out!  I was really excited to discover a feed store that was so convenient for us and so charming to boot!  It is right next to Portage Bay Cafe as an added bonus!

Picking up the Chicks!

The hatchery apparently didn’t send the Dominique for some reason. And picking out our baby chicks from the group order proved more difficult than I imagined. I know we picked the Speckled Sussex, Rhode Island Red, Golden Polish and Silver Wyandotte out. The Australorps and Barred Rock are more of a mystery.

grow and resist repurposed upcycled chicken brooder baby chicks

Cute aren't they?

grow and resist repurposed upcycled chicken brooder baby chicks

peep, peep, peep!

Bonus Round:

grow and resist  baby chicks barred rock black australorp

Barred Rock? Black Australorp? Anyone know?

grow and resist  baby chicks barred rock black australorp

another of the same little one. Identification?

grow and resist  baby chicks barred rock black australorp

How about this chick? Black Australorp? It has a white spot on top of her head.

grow and resist  baby chicks barred rock black australorp

This chick looks exactly the same as the previous chick, but is much smaller and hasn't developed feathers at all. Legs are much smaller.

Any chicken identifiers out there?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

We also are expanding our current chicken coop.  It will fit up to 6. Not 11 or 12.  We need to do it easily and inexpensively. And it needs to still look nice and be functional.

grow and resist chicken coop

The coop that needs to grow

We are (at this point) thinking we will turn the entire coop/tractor run seen here into coop space by siding the whole thing (leaving some ventilation space) and waterproof the roof that is over the run.  We’ll add a new floor.  Raise the whole thing up a few feet off the ground.  And lastly, we are going to enclose a large covered run with planted forage crops around it to a) keep them safe from predators, b) keep them from destroying our garden and c) keep their poop away from the dog because the only thing the dog is interested in these days is eating chicken poop.

So if anyone out there has grand ideas about the coop re-design I’d love to hear that as well!

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15 Responses to The Peeps are in the House!

  1. Lise says:

    Oh, I’m jealous! You’ve picked many of the same chicks I want to get this year, but I have to limit it to three. Darn it. I think I’ve narrowed it down to an Easter Egger, a Silver Laced Wyandotte, and a Rhode Island Red.

    When we got our Black Australorp from a place that had a hundred chickens running around, we went on the tip that australorps have white soles of their feet, rather than yellow. So I’d guess yours aren’t australorps. But I’m no expert.

    I’ll be interested to see what you do with your coop. We’ll have to expand ours a bit, too.

    • I’ll post pictures of whatever we do! It took me forever to make the cut on what kinds to get this year. And now that I remember how cute they are I keep pondering more….I want a welsummer. Next year….

  2. jess s says:

    Aw, babies. So adorable & exciting. I have a question though — on your last batch, so many of them turned out to be roosters. Do you have any idea how that happened? Did you buy straight run chicks? Or was the chicken sexer just wrong? We are getting chicks in a few months, and you have suddenly made me very nervous about this.

    I think your plan for the coop is good. Build sides, build a floor, elevate. It looks sturdy enough to withstand the modifications.

    • I got the last batch at a feed store and I thought they were sexed, but they were actually straight run. The batch this time *should* all be ladies =) We’ll see!

      • jess s says:

        I just let out a huge sigh of relief. I thought that sexed chicks can be wrong, but not THAT wrong. I was very worried that our five sexed chicks would be 50% roo.

        Thanks for the reassurance.

  3. Carbzilla says:

    OMGoodness they are so cute! I’d never heard of the Portage Bay Grange. Good to know.

    Let me know next time you’re coming up this way, and we can have lunch!

  4. I wish I could help you identify your chicks. A lot of hatchery chicks are not purebred (to prevent inbreeding) and don’t always look the way they should. I totally get the crazy chicken lady. THAT’S ME!!! lol.

    We are going to be hatching our first fertile eggs here very soon and I’m very excited.

  5. Katrina says:

    The third and fourth chick pictures look like Barred Rocks…I recently bought two as well along with a Rhode Island Red and a Gold Sex Link. I’m not sure about the first 2. I love chicks!

  6. Stacy Brewer says:

    Congrats on the new babies!! Portage Bay Grange?!?!? Why didn’t I know about that either? I guess we can help with their marketing! 🙂 Love the baby crib brooder idea!

  7. Mikaela says:

    Sounds like you have a good plan! The chicks are so cute. I can’t wait to hear what you name them all.

  8. aastricker says:

    Okay, I’m no expert, but my Dominique looke a LOT like the bottom two with the white spots on their heads so if I had to guess I’d say they were barred rocks. When I ordered my chickens, I went in with a friend; he got two Australorps. I think the top pics might be those. He posted pictures of our chicks when they arrived if you care to peek and compare:

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  12. Australorps have black legs and pink under the feet! i heard that if a chick has a lot of white on its head, it is a male, i’m still looking for the site where i saw that!

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