Posts Tagged ‘bantam chickens’

Yep. We are in full- on baby mode, baby!! But don’t tell anyone, k? :mrgreen:

Now, don’t go all lecturing me. I mean, I was really good last time, wasn’t I? 😛

This wasn’t entirely what I had planned, but I think it’s going to be ok.

These are all bantams (which means they are small), so I figure it’s a 2-for-1 deal. And, since they were straight run (as in, not sexed) they could all be boys, in which case they will then be rehomed somewhere not here.  😉

Chicken math strikes again!

They laugh at me down there.  😆  I had her go digging and counting chicken toes.

Yep. Toes. Not all chickens have the same amount of toes. I know you are shocked to learn this. 😀  The ones I wanted had to have 5 feathered toes.

She counted toes and put the ones that had enough into a separate little box. Then, I picked the ones I wanted and home we went. It only took us about 30 minutes or so. 😆

The original plan was to get 3 more full-size girls; one more Production Red (so Roxy won’t be alone any more) and two more Easter Eggers (to balance out the ratio of blue/green to brown eggs), and get 3 Silkies. That would be my 6.

Because I am Kobayashi Maru Option 3 Girl, I called the other livestock store and they said that I could tack on my Silkies after chick days. Every year, they run out of chicks. They order around 2,000 chicks and last year, they were completely sold out by 10 am of the first actual day. When I got down there the day before, over 300 chicks were already gone. So I wasn’t surprised to learn the following afternoon that they had sold out in the morning.

When that happens, as it does every year, they put in a huge order for those that missed out, and that allows folks to get smaller numbers of chicks. Hatcheries have a standard number for orders, depending on the size and the kind of chicks. Some numbers also vary depending on where they are shipping.

Most places, though, have a standard order of 25 chicks. And, as a rule, bantams require more because they are smaller, and chicks need higher heat to survive, particularly when shipped.

Now, my dilemma was this: chick days are nearing an end. Even though the livestock store said I could order a few bantams, chances are good that they would place the order and get a call back from the hatchery telling them they couldn’t ship that few bantams.

That would leave me with Tractor Supply getting a single remaining shipment of chicks, which might not include Silkies.  😥

I really had settled on white and blue Silkies, but given that there was a chance I might not be able to get any at all, you can easily see why I ended up with the ones I did, right?  😆

At this point, the best guess is that I ended up with two different breeds;

Buff Silkie:

And then the two that are the lighter are probably Sultans: 

Nope, that is not a Silkie. Can you see the difference?

Silkies have dark skin, while Sultans are yellow-skinned. Silkies can also be bearded and/or muffed whereas Sultans are both bearded and muffed. They basically have all the throw off traits of all the other breeds of chickens, which, while they may not be breed standards, are just fine by me! 😀 They also have a standard size, and aren’t broody like Silkies can often be.

I figured they are close enough, which made it worth the risk. I figure if half of them are female, I’ll be really happy. I’ll be a bit annoyed if they all turn out to be boys, but that could very well be the way it goes.

But, for the time being, I’m very happy to have babies again! Squeee!  :mrgreen:

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Yep. Almost. And I was surrounded by peer pressure. With urgency. And pleading.

Y’all know it’s spring, right? And who knows what spring means (besides a lot of wind here)?


Ok, how about a hint. I’ll give a single hint.

Tractor Supply.

Oh come on, now, really?  No one knows the answer to this?

Sheesh, people!  😆

Ok, how about this…. during the spring at Tractor Supply, certain, um, “things” are available for 3 months………..

Yes, you in back there? What’s that? Chicks, you say?

Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

Chick days are here!!!  SQUEEEEE!!!!!!!! 

We went there because my parents were visiting and had never seen chicks.

We (me and the girls) were drooling (hence the peer pressure). The girls had a solid plan to sweet-talk Daddy into more chicks. He actually agreed, with a few conditions.

1) Get rid of Butternut if she’s not laying.

2) Get rid of Daisy if she won’t behave.

Well hum. Oh the dilemma!

When I first started learning about chicken breeds years ago, I fell madly in love with ***silkies.  Can you see why?  😆

The thing with silkies is that they are bantams, or a small breed. Most chicken breeds have bantam counterparts. Silkies, however, are true bantams in that they don’t have a full-size counterpart. This makes them ideal for first time chickens or pets.

Besides having feathers on their feet, they also have 5 toes, which is not a “standard” chicken trait (the norm is 4 toes). Because they don’t have traditional wing structure, it’s harder to sex them as day-old chicks. There is only a single place I know of where you can buy day old female silkie chicks, and it’s not Tractor Supply…………….

And there are other bantams that are fun in addition to other full-size breeds. For example, frizzles.

Frizzle actually refers to the feathers, as they are curly. You can have full size frizzles in addition to bantam frizzles. Because the frizzle is a gene mutation, you can get all kinds of breeds in the “frizzle” variety.


But here’s the thing……….

Bantams lay smaller eggs, as in, not full size eggs. It’s more of a two-to-one ratio, more or less. I definitely could not count on them as being “real” egg layers, if you get my drift. They really would be more like pets.

And that means, it’s hard for me to justify giving up a good egg layer, even if she’s currently got a bad habit.

But, because they take up considerably less space than regular chickens, I could get more of them……… if I was willing to give up my two buff orpingtons (and that would leave me with only our adopted BO, Sunny).

I don’t know if I need to say this or not, but I’m kinda attached to all of my girls.  😀

Another factor is cost. Unless I want to pay $10 a chick with a minimum order of 9 bantams, I have to get them locally, in which case, they are all going to be straight run. Straight run means they haven’t been sexed, which is a guarantee you are going to get boys.

In a perfect world, hunny would offer to build me a bantam coop and run, and I’d fill it; finding homes if need be for the roos that we ended up with. His project list is pretty big right now, though, so I’m not sure I feel right about asking him to do that.

Now, it could be that if I was actually IN the country, I wouldn’t care about having boys, and would start breeding them myself.

But I’m not. So I can’t.  😥

And that, my friends, is the only reason I almost did something bad, but in the end- didn’t. 😦

Fortunately, chick days don’t end until May, so there is still time for chicken math to strike again!

***Some of these pictures are courtesy of My Pet Chicken

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