Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chick Trip

Last Sunday was a road trip for Chicks.     In many ways.
Myself and a farmer friend went on a long road trip to the far reaches of northern New Hampshire.
It was the first step in our exclusive snail eradication project that I have been talking about since last summer when snails invaded my garden and destroyed the vast majority of my veggies.  I swore it was not going to happen this year.  I have a plan.
On the way to our destination we visited a green house. We saw the Dirty Worm sign on the highway and just had to go see the green house and experience beautiful flowers, warm air and really neat crafts.

We found chicks, lots of them:

 And color!


And many more chicks. 

Some folks have no self control when it comes to chicks.

My copilot fell in love with this metal hen.  She justified her purchase by saying that the hen wouldn't eat much or be bossy OR messy in her coop.

There were so many things to see along our journey that we were 90 minutes late for our very important appointment.  We scrutinized every barn, bird, pond, vintage truck, humane society, diner, chainsaw art, trading post, boat and church.  It was a very long trip.

When we finally arrived at our destination, we were met with some serious "eye candy."

This private hatchery breeds and raises colorful heritage poultry.   There were a few dozen handsome hens roaming around.  This is a splash type blue laced red wyandotte.  A dual purpose type fowl that is calm, beautiful and winter hardy.

Our reasons for this long road trip were the same, but different;

My copilot needs 10 hens to replace her aging brood of egg layers. She sells her fresh eggs and needs hardy, consistant laying birds to fill her egg orders to her many customers.  She buys several different batches of chicks during the spring and summer to ensure egg production during the winter.

She chose black australorps as her main breed here and then picked a few other breeds to "color up" the box she had placed the black chicks in.

My plan is to use hens and ducks as "weapons of mass destruction" to kill snails and nasty bugs in my garden.  I need just enough to cover my 40x40 garden.  

I hope the chicks I pick are hens so that getting eggs will be a bonus. However, if they turn out to be roosters, thats ok too because they will end up in my freezer.

Eventually, I was able to pick out 4 chicks that I thought could perform their future snail killing duties well.

A splash type blue laced red wyandotte was my first pick, since I had met both of the parents and they were foraging well around their yard.
Next, I met 2 English speckled sussex chicks that I knew would enhance my SEP (snail erradication program) and their cameoflaged colors would make them a bit more predator proof.
Finally, I saw a blonde bombshell running amongst all the other chicks in the brooder and thought her spunkiness would be an advantage to the war on pestulance.

It was hard to use self control, because I really wanted 40 chicks.

The ride home was just a bit faster, especially with all the noise of the chicks from the back seat telling us they wanted food, water, entertainment and a heat lamp.

In anticipation of picking up my chicks, I built a very simple brooder last week.     And it welcomed my 4 very special guests when they arrived.

Since it was St Patricks Day weekend I got them an Irish water fount.

As they grow I will train them to forage in the garden area and start eliminating bad bugs, slugs and snails before I start planting.

Next step;   Snail Killing DUCKS!    RARE ones.      Stay tuned.

Wanted:   Chicken coop.    8x8  



  1. Janis....I just love reading your blog. You're something else (in a good way)!!

  2. I hate to burst your bubble, but ducks are best on slugs and snails because THEY won't eat all the plants in your garden, as chickens will. Also they don't scratch things up.

    I do hope your plan goes well, but I know how my birds are about plants...

  3. I love reading your blog and learning more about one of my favorite states in the whole country!
    I do want to tell you a story my FIL told our son when he ended up with too many roosters... It's a recipe for Rooster.... Take a big pot, add the rooster, veggies of choice, spices of choice and a big rock. Bring it to a boil, strain the broth, add new veggies, same rock, same rooster. Repeat a few times. Remove rooster...eat rock...it will be more tender! My FIL was almost 93 when he died and was still cutting and splitting his own firewood almost until the day he died! Someday, I'd like to visit you...maybe on a trip to see our sons... Good luck with your garden, chicken, cows, and everything you want to do this year!!!!