Thursday, February 27, 2020

Chicken Math

  We bought new chicks today!  Because 40-something chickens isn't enough, already...?  The lady at Tractor Supply says I have chicken-hoarding issues.  But, really, I can explain!

   A few months ago, one of our two roosters escaped from the chicken run and never came back. While we do still have one rooster remaining, if something should happen to him, we wouldn't be able to hear that glorious crowing in the mornings. 

  Of course, that's not the only reason we keep roosters.  They are very good at protecting their flock and alerting the hens to danger. If a rooster senses a threat, he will crow (even if that threat is just a rogue feed bag blowing across the yard or the bathroom light coming on at 3 in the morning).  More importantly, he fertilizes the eggs. Should we ever want or need to hatch our own chicks, we'd need a rooster to do it. Just having one doesn't feel like very much security, so Colton and I planned to purchase some chicks this spring. 

A-tisket, a-tasket, I put my chicks in a basket

  My favorite breed of chicken is the Buff Orpington.  They are so gentle and friendly, even the roosters.  Having had some very aggressive roosters in the past, it is very important for me to have one that I feel comfortable with, especially with a toddler running around.  I knew I would be buying straight run (male and female mixed, as opposed to just female) chicks, so I decided before we ever went to the store, I was going to buy six.  That would give me a really good chance at getting a rooster.  Enter: chicken math.

  "Six straight run Orpingtons, please, " I told the lady.

  "Is that all?"

  "Yes," I said, so proud of myself.

  Then Colton chimed in, "Are you sure?"


  "But, Kelsey, they have Barred Rock chicks, too.  You know you want some of those."

   Yes.  Yes, I did want some of those last year and I wasn't able to get any.

  "Colton!  We agreed to get six and that we already have enough chickens at home," I said as John continued his excited squealing.

  "But you really want Barred Rocks.  And a few more won't hurt.  We could get four of those."

  I tried, y'all.  I really did.  But Colton knows my weaknesses and he's just as bad as I am when it comes to this chicken-hoarding chicken-buying business!  We ended up buying two Barred Rock pullets (females), giving us a total of eight new chicks.  It was an early birthday present to me, Colton decided.  I think I can go with that.  Chickens are practical, after all.  And aren't they cute?!  

The yellow chicks are my Buff Orpingtons.  

The black chicks are Barred Rocks. When they mature, they'll have what
 looks like black and white stripes.  "Zebra chickens," my sister-in-law
 called them when she was little.

  Have you ever fallen victim to chicken math?


  1. Kelsey, I chuckled at yours and your hubby's conversation!!! My hubby and I have the same kind of conversations every time we purchase baby chicks. Last year we raised our own but this year we will buy as we need to get a rooster that is not a brother to our hens. Baby chicks are just so cute!!

    1. Colton and I are terrible accountability partners when it comes to this sort of thing, Patsy! I'd love to hatch our own, and I usually have broody hen every year, but like you we needed a particular rooster this time. Did you use an incubator last year, or did you have a broody hen?


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