Long story short -> I bought baby chicks!
Trouble is cheap! I was surprised to learn that it only cost $47 to get started with keeping chickens. Here's the breakdown.
Buff Orpington chicks $2.89 each
White Leghorn chicks $1.09 each
25 lbs. bagged food $4
"Scratch" (cracked corn) 32 cents
Heat light bulb $7.50
Wood shavings $6.50
***Two Days Later***
I seemed to have misjudged my experience caring for birds. I've had pet birds since I was 10. Malachi was my little blue parakeet that lived for a long, long time. I also had cockatiels (not my favorite). My grandpa had an African Grey which was the coolest, smartest bird ever and I still tell stories about "Hubert." I got "Ferd" our little green lovebird, when I was in college. She was a piece of work. I'll just leave it at that. And we have a 12-year-old, Hahn's Macaw that we've had since she was a baby and she could live to age sixty. So, I guess you could say that I have an extensive avian history. I just never really thought if it that way. Hopefully, my experience will serve me well.
I can already tell that the plastic box that the birds are in, will be outgrown in a couple days. Even after having the chicks for only two days, they are noticeably bigger. Today, I need to figure out what their next living arrangement will be.
We have all but the two Buff Orpington's named. I'll share the names soon.
It's apparent that I'll have to come up with a system that takes advantage of the chicken compost, and soon, because as I've been warned by... everyone... "chickens poop A LOT."
*** Day Six ***
I've been a "chicken farmer" as my husband calls it, for six days now and I've learned a lot.
Most important fact so far: When the wood shavings get wet with poop-water, the smell gets nasty. Keep the wood chips dry if possible.
The birds were cramped in their plastic crate, so we just added another crate and split them up. The crates are clear, so they can all see their bird friends. And we regularly switch birds/ crates.
The two White Leghorns and Buff Orpingtons look exactly alike at the moment, but we named them all anyway.
White Leghorns (light yellow) "Flip-Flap" and "Princess-Pecks-A Lot"
Buff Orpingtons (darker yellow) "Buffy" and "Stella"
Sicilian Buttercup (speckled) "Buttercup"
Silkie Bantam (white with black skin) "Daisy"
And that concludes Week One with chicks!