The Chicks From Hico
Recently I went on a trip out West to pick up some chicks. What I found were a dozen beautiful chicks all clamoring for my attention and affection. They were all so attractive I was confused and unsure what to do. I had driven almost 2 1/2 hours to get to this chicken ranch, and didn’t want to leave without something to show for this excursion. What was a poor boy to do? This poor boy decided to take on all 12, even after discovering that some of these chicks were most likely gonna be males. They were all just too gorgeous to leave behind (once you see their photos, I’m sure you will agree), so we caged them all and loaded ‘em into the backseat of my truck and beat a hasty path back to our home on the range. We arrived home with our beauties just in time to catch the last act of a deer play, unfortunately we missed the antelope.
In the past I wondered what kind of dork would drive hundreds of miles just to acquire a specific breed of cat or dog or any kind of animal for that matter, now I know – me.
It all started a while back, when I was reading some information that piqued my interest about a type of chicken known as an Iowa Blue. They were a dual-purpose breed, layers of brown eggs and very alert, all characteristics that fit nicely with the Plan (the Plan is the well-thought-out course of action that I intend to follow in order to get rich farming). Included in the information I was reading was a list of IBC breeders, one of which happened to be near me (2 1/2 hours is not considered to a long drive in Texas, it can take longer than that to get from one side of Houston to the other, a trans-Houston drive can make you lose your religion, but that’s a topic for another day).
One of the reasons that farm living is the life for me is the awesome people you get to meet and the interesting experiences you get to…experience. This trip was a perfect example, my wife and I met an amazing woman and her son who are working hard to help preserve this uncommon bird, the Iowa Blue! We consumed some of the best hamburgers ever at a small hamburger joint in Meridian, Texas! We got to see miles and miles of Texas! We got a dozen new chicks (eight IBC and four Silkie/Silkie crosses)! My truck got to drive through some slicker than snot mud!
Life on the farm is kinda laid back … gotta go, got some manure displacement exercises out in the garden to tend to … until next time ….
Read this editor’s letter about her new chickens and their lively personalities.
Backyard Chicken Tools
What tools do you need to raise and process meat chickens? Killing cones are humane, and promote a complete bleed, scalding tanks, plucking machines facilitate easy feather removal.
Integrating Chickens, Dogs and Cats
Introducing the pets to the chickens has been a little more challenging than originally anticipated.