In the middle of June, I got an idea that raising chickens would be a great way to have fresh organic eggs. My sister and I did our share of research on chickens and just threw ourselves into what we thought would be an easy little project. First, we bought an australorp chick and a brahma chick and kept them under a desk lamp. We really wanted a red star chick due to its high egg laying yield and low aggressiveness.
Fortunately, just the next day, we found an "awesome chicken lady" who had a batch of day old red star chicks. She was really kind and gave us some helpful information on raising chickens. We found out that our brahma chick was not really a good egg layer...and that she had a lifespan of about 2 years. (We plan to make her 2 years the best 2 years of her life).
|Dido, Ddalggi (Strawberry in Korean), Celia|
|Ddalgi and Celia|
At first we wanted to buy our chicks online through hatcheries. Most of these hatcheries were meant for farms or people with relatively large backyards-the minimum chicks we could order were about 30 chicks. Since I live in an urban area, raising 30 chickens is not realistic nor desirable. Additionally, I have an issue with maltreatment of animals and some hatcheries were meant to just produce female chicks. And when the chicks aren't females, the males are disposed of in ways that can be "sad."
|Dido when he was young and we still thought he was a she!|
Another thing about chickens is that it's difficult to tell the difference between a male and female chicken when they're young. Some breeds are "sex-linked" which means that the color of the chick will determine the chicken's gender. Luckily, a red star chicken is "sex-linked" and so males are a yellow color while the females are red.
We had a little crisis with this gender problem in that we found out our australorp was a male! And how did we find her to be a he? Well, one morning we heard a loud cat-like crowing in the chicken coop and low and behold...Dido the australorp's mischievous existence was identified. Sadly, Dido the male australorp couldn't hang out with the girls for long because our city animal regulations has a no rooster policy. But he did find a nice new home and family.
|Dido as an adult rooster.|