We got our first batch of chicks this week!
It's been dramatic, because we didn't expect them quite so soon. We didn't have mulch, or chick starter, or even the water trough we raise them in.
We made do with a smaller container, inferior organic chick crumbles from Tractor Supply, and whatever mulch we could scrap off the bottom of the old mulch pile.
Despite that, they are doing well. So far we've only lost one, and it was the fancy extra male they like to throw in, so no loss really. These are a new batch of Barred Rocks. We made it through last year with only five laying hens, but we did miss the eggs. And the Barred Rocks are such great chickens. They are always so smart and good foragers. Our two in-town backyard pet chickens my parents have are both Americaunas and are like feathered bricks. There used to be a Barred Rock with them, and she really helped them out. She also helped them escape the back yard and run amok among the neighbors, so there are advantages to dumb chickens.
This year we decided to not get meat birds or turkeys until after we return from our trip to France in late May. My mom is going to be farm-sitting for us, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for her. It really seems like spring now with all the peeping!