Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thinking of getting more chickens

For several days I have been giving thought to getting more chickens. Well, not thinking about just chickens because my mind has been full of ideas lately.

After doing a bit of research I do believe the Buff Orpington would make a good choice. The pic above is one from the Internet.

According to what I have read, they make excellent layers, are friendly, get kind of big and if it came down to it, well, they are good meat birds. Not that I would eat them.

Little Inger ( White Silky Bantam) , my absolute fave chicken, is being broody yet once again. Each day when I collect eggs, there she is sitting on eggs she has stolen from the other chickens. And again I must tell her that it is too cold for her to be raising babies. She gives me 'sad' face, which makes me feel bad, but having babies in winter is just not an option. 

Come March I plan on purchasing some Buff chicks.  Well, that is if I decide for sure they will be Buffs. I wonder if placing the Buff chicks with Little Inger and have her raise them is a good idea. That way she has instant babies! Does anyone know if placing already hatched chicks with a broody hen will work? 

And I have already begun to plan the garden! This will be the first real garden I will be planting in 6 years. But there is something I am wondering about. And that is what seeds to plant. Well, what I mean is, purchase the seeds available in just about any store, or plant some heirloom seeds. With all this genetically altered stuff going on, I  question the safety of those seeds. What I understand is the heirloom seeds are not messed with and will produce what used to be in years long gone. Any thoughts on seed choices?

Seems these past few days my mind is filling up with all kinds of projects. Me thinks I am getting back to 'normal'. The other day I was chopping wood and there was one piece that was pretty much getting the better of me. After a few minutes I decided that there was no way that piece of wood was going to win. So, with determination, I finally got it to split. Once it was in pieces I stood back, looked at it, then started doing a 'I won' dance around the pieces! I'm sure the cars driving by think a crazy lady lives here!

Oh, speaking of crazy. Haven't seen Creepy guy for awhile now.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what breed you like for chickens. I am looking for good egg layers. Also your thoughts on the difference between heirloom or regular seeds.

Until next time......................


  1. I purchased an collection of rainbow layers this last March. The Astralops seem to be the ones who are laying best and are nice gentle large birds. But seems I can find a really nice quality in every one of the breeds..all but the goofy polish tophats..They just do not seem to be interested in egg laying. They do however find themselves in some pretty unusual spots and I have had to fetch them from the far away pasture and bring them back home!!?? They wander and would quickly become a snack if they didn't have someone watching over them constantly. The hardiest ones I got were the Gold Stars and they also lay daily and started early! and on the putting newly hatched chicks under a broody hen..well I tried it Once..and I had to rescue all the chicks. She did Not like them at all! Never could of just been her though. Fun to think ahead to spring though and getting chicks anyway!

  2. Howdy! We would love to have chickens and have a ready supply of eggs....we are constantly buying 'free-range' eggs! As to what chickens to buy? Don't have a clue but I'm sure there are people who do.
    As far as seeds go, you are right to stay clear of regular store seeds. Most are genetically modified. When we plant in our very meager 'plot' we always get organic/heirloom seeds either at a 'seed shop' or from a reputable seed company on the internet.
    You ARE back, aren't your. I can feel the energy again. Good for you.
    Have a great New Year.

  3. We had a flock of buffs and Rhode Island Reds; I agree with what you've said about the buffs. I think the Reds might be a little more assertive? I've also decided that I'd like to get some black Australorps if we ever get chickens again. They seem pretty hardy & mellow, with good egg production.

    We bought locally produced heirloom seeds the last couple of years at our local farmers' market and had good luck. We've also saved our own seeds from produce we bought there! If there's no market option for you, I'd see if there are any heirloom producers in Oregon that will sell to you over the internet. I would think locally produced seed would do better.

    ( are in Oregon, right?) :)

  4. I love my Buff Orpingtons and plan to get more in the Spring (predators killed a few of them:-( and I want more. I also really like my Barred Rock hens. A couple years ago I had Sex Links and liked those hens a lot too. No fancy chickens here and all are good layers except when they're broody or molting. I have an Americauna rooster and hatched out a few this year. The cross with him and the hens produced black Sex Links. I wouldn't give new chicks to a broody hen because you just never know.

  5. I have the Buff Orpingtons, Hon. I started at 15. I'm down to 10 ( 1 Roo and 9 hens. ) Lost 2 when they all went down with Cocci in their 8th week. Had to give 3 Roos away. The 1 Roo left handles all 9 hens just fine. And they chose him over one other Roo when it came down to the fighting beginning between those two.

    I average 4 - 7 eggs per day. They began laying around 4.5 mos. of age, just this past November. I held my first dozen in a carton that were all consistent size - very nice and brown! And we've already had a few double-yolkers!

    If you're good to them - they give it back 10-fold. They follow me around like babies!

  6. No chickens here but I do plant a garden..There is a guy up the road that has a small green house and if you go early in the season he has nice pepper plants, tomotoes that already have small tomotoes growing on the plants. He has cucumbers and a lot of other seeds.. I always go there and get my plants.
    Have a great time dreaming about your garden and thinking about what kind of chickens to raise and have eggs...
    ta ta for now from Iowa

  7. Just got caught up on your blog. We had lots of chickens growing up but I can't remember the types anymore -- too long ago. Glad to hear that everyone is getting settled into the new place. And, yes: your animals are just fine without being in a 'proper' shed. They are just fine:) Happy New Year to everyone at the new place!

  8. I have had good luck with the Buffs in the past--nice mellow birds, lay big light brown eggs. I've also successfully put chicks under a broody hen several times. First have your hen on a nest that is easily accessible by you, make sure she has 'eggs' under her (whether they are fake or just non fertiles). Once you get the chicks, wait until it is dark (or do it very early in the a.m. before daylight). Then quietly take the chicks in a box and put them near the hen. Cup your hand up over a chick (so their head is covered)and gently slide it under the hen--remove one of the eggs as you withdraw your hand. Do this til they are all under her and all eggs removed. If all goes well the hen will 'wake up' and find she hatched some beautiful babies! With Little Inger it should work, but you might have to limit it to the number she could keep covered. The only time this didn't work for me was when I tried to put two/three day old ducks under a hen. She was like--no way!! As for heirloom seeds, I've been trying them the last few years and while they seem to be a little harder for me to grow (mostly the tomatoes) their flavor is hard to beat. I especially like the Cherokee Purples! Some hybrids are still okay and not necessarily GMO, but you can't really save seed and get the same product. The hybrids can be hardier, but I still love the flavor on the heirlooms. Baker Creek Seeds is pretty vigilant about all their seed sources and is where I bought my heirloom seeds. The most important thing is to have lots of fun experimenting! :-) Glad you are feeling more like your old self.

  9. I like my Rhode Island Reds but they do well in the Gulf Coast area. I think Buffs would be a good choice for you if they do good in Oregon. I have placed eggs from another hen with my banty hen Ms. Bea and she raised them as her own. Make sure the eggs you place under Inger were laid within days of each other so they will hatch together. I would not put new chicks with another hen. Although the last set we had hatch one little rir got with another hen's 3 and she didn't notice. I did worry though. I would plant heirloom seeds if possible. Can't wait to see your garden. Love ya sis.

  10. your post inspired me to do some thinking about my own garden plans for next year.

    i have three golden sex links because i live in the city and can't deal with the hassle of a rooster (although i find their crowing to be quite pleasant). they are a lovely, if ordinary, breed. calm, good layers, easy keepers. they did a molt in november and stopped laying, but i'm going to cut them some slack because they're almost four years old.

  11. buffs are good gentle birds
    I have 3 golden, 1 white lace and two partridge and will get a few more golden ones in spring

    they are shite layers though

  12. The nice lady at Isobelle Go Lightly has a buff she just posted about, and of course John at Going Gently is an expert on all things fowl.
    I'm so very glad you are looking forward to spring and ploting projects. Yay!!!

  13. I am no expert on anything, so I am of little help, I did find the Rhode Island Reds to be quite the characters though, some so sweet and some very nasty birds. Were good layers though.

    I don't know about the seeds - common sense would tell you that the heirloom are probably better for you, but again, I don't know.

    Nice that you are again thinking positive and making springtime plans! You might consider asking the county extension agent what grows the best there and having the garden soil tested now, to remedy any problems before planting season.

  14. Firstly I hope you had a nice Christmas and a better New Year.
    I got 9 hens and 1 black rooster orpingtons and 3 young ones. They are lovely birds even the rooster Harry. The hens are very protective of their eggs when they broody and their young chicks.They lay a good sized egg daily and sometimes even a double yocker every now and again. Mine come running even when we pull in the backyard with feed. Very spoilt. I keep my silkies, frizzle and leghorn seperate cause Clyde and Harry won't get on together.

    Veggie garden try get heirloom seeds if possible but if you can't just plant the others. Start saving all you animal poop and and spent bedding for the critters for the garden. Might be an idea to "design the garden" and make the compost area for your composting stuff. Advice on planting in USA. I have noticed that seeds get planted indoors and then germinate, as soon as it warms up and the soil warms up, they just transplant the seeds.
    Hope that helps How's the quince going have you make anything with it yet.?

  15. The "geneticly altered" seeds would be more likely to give you a better yeild per plant. But if you're not selling the produce or raising your own feed for the animals, then more yeild meens more to can or throw out. A larger factor though is how you raise the plants (what kind of fertilizer and amount of water/ type of soil).
    I have great luck with milogranite as a slow release fert. mixed into the soil when planting. It's all natural ,won't burn the plants and conditions the soil for next time.

    All natural is always good, but I don't mind if science and all natural hang out together.

  16. I'm so happy to hear that things are well and returning to normal. :D I also am no expert on anything, but do plan to plant almost all heirloom seeds this year. I can't wait!!!

  17. I agree with the heirloom seeds idea and suggest starting things like tomatoes and peppers indoors first. Baker Creek Seeds and Seeds Trust have good heirloom varieties. There is also a group called Seed Savers ( that carries organic and heirloom seeds, but I don't have any personal experience with them.

    As for chickens, our Ginger is a Buff Orpington and she has quite the personality. She is also the only one who has laid fairly consistently during the cold weather. I would highly recommend the breed.

  18. like your idea of getting more chickens! can't answer your chicken question, though. sorry. i do vote for heirloom seeds - my favorite place to purchase seeds is from baker creek heirloom seeds. and, their catalog (free) is sooo beautiful you want to keep it! you can order from online also.

  19. I had a Polish, 2 aracaunas and a few black sex-linked hens. They gave us more eggs than we knew what to do with. Our neighbors loved us! Evidently the black sex-linked chckens are reliable layers. However, I never did any research and only had the hens as a result of a 4-H project. I'm also looking at getting more hens the spring, so I'll be tuning in to see what folks have to say and to see what you decide
    We buy seed from Thompson-Morgan and Pinetree Garden seed catalogs. Looking through the catalogs and dreaming about warmer days is a favorite winter activity.

  20. My absolute favorites are Barred Rocks. But I have had a flock of Buff Os and they are wonderful. The girls are very friendly and good layers. I don't eat my birds so don't know about meat chickens. I still have a few of my Buffs, but they are so old they no longer give me eggs, I depend on the Banties for eggs.

  21. Hey Cindy, I would most definitely recommend the Buffs. I have one of mine left out of a few (the predators have taken the others) and she is a gentle, wonderful hen and a most wonderful mother. She hatched out another hens baby 3 months ago and is still being a mother to that little hen today. The two of them are inseparable. Most hens abandon their youngun's by a couple of months, but the Buffs are great Mom's and stay with their babies a lot longer. She isn't giving me any eggs now since she is being a Mom, but I always got eggs from her daily before she became broody.
    As for the seeds, I would go heirloom too. I'm starting to order my seeds now as I'm going to attempt a garden this coming year too! We will have to compare notes! Good Luck!


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