1 After appearing on my television show, Traci Torres from My Pet Chicken, drove with this peeping box of chicks from New York City to my farm.
2 This beautiful flock of chicks was one-week old upon delivery.
3 Traci brought a brand new breed that My Pet Chicken will be carrying next year called Cream Legbar - It is a blue egg laying variety originally from England.
4 The Cream Legbar is an autosexing type of chicken, which means that it's fairly easy to determine the sex of the chick at birth. The males have a pale dot on their heads, while the females have a brown stripe, like this one.
5 Cream Legbars were developed in the 1930s, but because there are so few people breeding them, these chicks are presently hard to come by - a real rare chick!
6 This little one is a Black Copper Maran, a rare and fascinating breed producing one of the darkest chocolate-brown eggs known.
7 This sweet little chick is a Blue Splash Maran, which also lays dark brown eggs.
8 An adorable White Silkie chick, a white egg layer.
9 Chickens are relatively easy pets to own, but they do require regular care and commitment.
10 Baby chicks can be purchased from My Pet Chicken, your local feed store, or other online resources. The chicks will be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, just as they have been for more than 100 years.
11 Raising chickens has become extremely popular. Traci explained that when she started her business 6 years ago, the most popular breeds would have a 5-week waiting list, and now her most popular breeds are sold out for the entire year by January!
12 Chickens are fun to raise and when people see their neighbors having success, they feel compelled to have their own flock.
13 Plus, there's nothing like eating your own fresh, organic eggs. Backyard eggs taste better than commercial eggs and they're much more nutritious, too. They're lower in cholesterol and saturated fat and are up to 7 times higher in Vitamin A, E, D and beta carotene!
14 Chhiring carried the box of chicks into a specially prepared hen house. This is one of four chicken coops in the chicken yard.
15 The floor was lined with newspaper, the chick feeders filled with organic feed, the water feeders filled, and heat lamps in place.
16 One-by-one, Chhiring very gently dipped the chicks' beaks into the water so that they would know where to find a drink.
17 After their initiation at the watering hole, the chicks quickly found their food. They were hungry after a long day on television and being on the road!
18 These little chicks will eat, drink, and run around for 4 to 6 months before they start laying eggs. When they do start laying, the eggs are small and grow larger as the pullet, or young chicken, grows larger.
19 There's so much joy in growing your own food and so much satisfaction in knowing where your food comes from.
20 If you think you may be interested in raising chickens, research your town’s zoning regulations first. You wouldn't want to fall in love with a new flock only to find out afterwards that your town won't allow it.
21 And spend some time reading about what's involved in raising chickens to make sure it's a good fit for you and your family.
22 You'll also need a predator-proof coop to protect your chickens at night. The coop will be your biggest investment. Traci tells her customers to plan on about $500 to get started.
23 A visit to the chicks three days later
24 Some very curious hens were sitting on the stoop right outside the house where the chicks are.
25 The chicks seem very happy in their cardboard surround. These interlocking double-walled cardboard panels protect the flock from drafts and are tall enough, making it difficult for the chicks to jump out.
26 The red heat lamps are important for heat, of course, but they also cast a red glow. Chickens are drawn to red and will peck a chicken raw if it's bleeding at all. The red glow makes it difficult for them to see blood.
27 The chicks are eating well and seem strong and healthy.
28 There are more than 400 breeds and varieties of chickens, from tiny to quite large.
29 Some breeds are geared toward cold climates, some toward hot climates, and some are meant to be just pets!
30 At My Pet Chicken, http://www.mypetchicken.com/ you can find a chicken breed calculator to help beginners determine which breed is best for them.