With spring just a few weeks away, it's time for our family to be thinking about increasing our laying hen population. Last week, we placed a chick order with Murray McMurray Hatchery. They had already sold out of several of the breeds we were looking for and we had to settle for what they had left. So I called several Tractor Supply Co. stores in our area to find out what kinds of chicks they had.
One store had Silkies for sale. Now, we had never raised Silkies before, and I am not one to just go out and buy chickens without knowing what they're good for...as in meat or eggs.
So I did some research on them: they aren't the best layers, but they are excellent setters and will hatch just about any type of egg: goose, turkey, or duck. And since our sweet little Banty got taken by some devilish critter recently, we are in dire need of a hatching hen. They are also considered the friendliest of all chicken breeds and easily tamed. From everything I read about Silkies, they fit the bill perfectly.
But being friendly and good setters wasn't all that sold me on the Silkies; I read about their history and, according to Wikipedia (I also read other sources that confirm this info), "The earliest surviving written account of Silkies comes from Marco Polo, who wrote of a furry chicken in the 13th century, during his travels in Asia." And Mimi is studying Marco Polo this year in Term 3 of AO! A chicken breed that was probably first documented by Marco Polo?? I couldn't resist. And you can imagine her excitement when I told her. I love it when we makes connections like this. :) Off we went to Tractor Supply!
Now for some photos of the adorable little ones...
According to Mimi, we simply can't have baby chicks without a Lincoln Log house for them to play in. ;)
Oh, and chicks we ordered from the hatchery? They arrived this morning. So that makes a total of 35 baby chicks in our den. We have them right beside the wood stove to keep them warm. Needless to say, it's a bit loud in the house right now. ;)
Have a great day, friends! :)