Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pickin' Your Chickens!

After making the decision to put together our own little hen house, I had to figure out how to make that happen. I've never been around chickens, so to say I knew even a little would be giving me more credit than I deserved.

Travis' grandparents actually had an egg business for many years. They delivered their farm fresh eggs to restaurants and grocery stores throughout Oconomowoc, Watertown and beyond. Their 4-story barn housed up to 7,000 White Leghorns (pronounced "leggern" by seasoned pros). Leghorns produce the traditional white eggs you see in the grocery store. I was able to briefly pick the 91 year-old brain of sweet Grandma Rose and I've been trying to channel Grandpa's knowledge from beyond. Aside from that, I began Googling for answers.

I had so many questions...
  • How many chickens should I get?
  • What kind of chickens should I get?
  • How many different breeds will happily cohabitate?
  • Are there nice chickens? Mean chickens?
  • Which chickens can tolerate the cold?
  • How many eggs does one chicken produce each day/week/year?
  • What color eggs did I want from my happy hens?

I Googled and Googled and Googled...until, finally, I clicked upon a site called My Pet Chicken and all the confusion and questions slowly started to flutter away. They have the coolest, totally FREE, totally unique Which Chicken Breed Selector Tool on their home page! You answer a few questions, click Find My Chicken and...voila...a list of chickens that fit your criteria appears before your totally relieved eyes. At first I thought finding the right chickens would be easy until I realized there are about a gazillion different breeds of chickens each offering something different. Each chicken description page includes all of the basic info you need to know about each breed. The only kind of chicken I was unable to find was the kind that lay golden eggs-total and complete bummer, I know. The good news... I am happy to say that I found chickens that met all of my needs. I will be sharing my choices in later posts.

So, brush up on your research skills and go out and get yourself some "cock-a-doodle-doos" as my son, Connor, calls them!

1 comment:

  1. 7,000 chickens... WOW they were definitely in it to win it, I'd say! Imagine the chicken poop... good fertilizer, for sure! And, who would have known how to pronounce Leggerns!