Raising Backyard Chickens Update 4/26

Take a look below at how big my chickens are getting! The top pictures are the newest. They have been with us for about 7 weeks and are headed outside soon!

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Happy Easter + Updates!

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I hope you all had a lovely Easter! The Savvy Student Shopper has been so busy around here with chickens, gardening, cooking, homework, classes, and internship searching that there has been zero time to blog! I hope that things will get less busy soon, but gardening season has started, chickens are growing and I have exams in just over a month. Crazy! Summer will be here before we know it 🙂

I’ll be posting a chicken update, a garden update, thrifty finds, and my latest CVS trip in the near future so don’t go too far!

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Chicken Update: 3/25

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I thought you’d like to see a few more chickadee pictures! 🙂 The girls are growing like weeds. The Rhode Island Reds (Ginger and Biscuit) must be older or develop faster than my Barred Rocks (Bonnie and Luna) because they have bigger wings and are starting to get tail and shoulder feathers! My fluff balls are growing up just way too fast.

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Ginger

They are all “flying” now and by flying, I mean leaping across the cage with their wings sprawled out causing a ruckus each time. Very graceful little fellas. As of 3/21 they were all roosting on the stick (actually it’s an arrow without a point) inside the cage. Little Luna was the last to figure it out. She’s still the smallest of the bunch.

Bonnie stretching - it's so cute!

Bonnie stretching – it’s so cute!

In order to save on food costs, I scoop up all their dropped food, pick out their droppings, and then fill the dish back up. Reusing all their spilled food cuts my food cost by almost 50%! I really can’t get over how much they poop.

Bonnie roosting

Bonnie roosting

I’m certainly enjoying my new bundles of joy and now that I’m back at school I miss them dearly. By the time I get home the following weekend for Easter, they are going to look all grown up! I am going to miss their soft fluff, but this brings them one step closer to their egg laying age. I cannot wait to make french toast!

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The gang

So do you think I should pick up 2 more chickadees this week when the store gets their green/blue egg layers in? Do I really need 6 chickens?! I can’t decide. What’s another 2, right? But having 6 total was never my plan for this year. But having 6 this year means I won’t necessarily need more chicks the following year which is good because they are a lot of work… but they are so darn cute. But they eat and poop a ton. What a dilemma! So let me know if I should be planning to pick up two more babies this week. I need advice! 🙂

Meet the Chickens

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I told you I have been very, very busy these past few days. Not only did Nerdboy and I make two birthday cakes, but we picked up chicks! I’ve been planning for these babies since last year and I have had this day on the calendar for months (two weeks before Easter)! They actually came in a few days early and I wasn’t able to pick up until Sunday, so they aren’t a “fresh” and baby-like as I planned, but they are still adorable. Right now I have 4 chicks but I may be picking up 2 more when they get the other breed in. This is our first time having chickens so it’ll be a learning experience for all of us! I wanted chickens because I like to do stuff on my own. And when I get a crazy idea, you better believe I’m going all out with it. Why buy eggs when you can raise chickens? Why buy tomatoes when you can grow them? Why buy can beans when you can can them yourself? See what I mean? I’m really not that crazy. I planned to get 4, but then reconsidered and figured I’d get 5 in case one turned out to be a rooster or something happened to one. The farmer’s co-op sells 3 breeds. I bought 2 of each that they got in last week and I guess I’ll pick up 2 more of the other breed next week. I’ll be sure to post about the new babies if/when I pick them up.

Right now, babies are living in my bathroom. Sorry, no guests are allowed to pee in my house for the next 5-6 weeks, I hope you understand. My mom loves them living in the house, wouldn’t you? After they get bigger and stronger they’ll be moved outside to the coop we are in the process of building. Getting them out of the bathroom is a great motivation to build the coop. We’re reusing my old wooden playhouse – there will be more on the coop later.

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See that cutie? That’s Ginger. She’s a Rhode Island Red and is a fantastic sleeper. I think she’s the shyest of the bunch.

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And here’s her sister, Biscuit (name is still pending, she’s too hyper to be a Biscuit). She’s a fire cracker! She recently found out that she has wings so she’ll “fly” all around the cage and freak her friends out. She’s also a Rhode Island Red. They lay brown eggs.

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Here’s Bonnie (short for Bonquisha, thanks to Nerdboy). Bonnie is the largest and as expected eats like a pig. She is also a talented pooper and can aim right for the food and water dish. She’s also the photo bomber of the group. Somehow she ends up in front of the lens 75% off the time. Bonnie is a Barred Rock.

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And lastly, we have my sister’s chick who is also still nameless (I wouldn’t let her name her Kesha). She’s the smallest of the crew and is very sweet. Bonny knows she’s in charge of her. She’s also a Barred Rock and will lay brown eggs.

2013-03-17 17.46.18Squirt also loves to lay around and watch the babies.

Welcome to my zoo! 🙂