We received approval yesterday from our landlord to have chickens!
B's pretty much left this one up to me, so I've decided on getting Silver Laced Wyandottes.
They're big hens, topping out at about 6.5 to 7lbs. They're coloration is BEAUTIFUL (I think). Plus, they will lay LARGE eggs and they will be brown. YUM!
Wyandottes are known for being more friendly than other breeds too. I'm not looking for cuddly pets, but it'd be nice to have something that doesn't try to peck me to death when I gather eggs, clean the coop, and shut them in for the night.
Here's what they should look like when they arrive. They can be shipped because for the first few days of life, chicks can live off what's already in them-- the yolk part of the egg they came from! Here's hoping all arrive safe and sound.
They're going to live in a tub in the laundry room for a while until they get big enough to go in a coop. That gives me some time to build the coop outside.
We wanted to get them started asap, because this time, we're starting from chicks. Chicks don't start laying until they're about 20 weeks old, so if we start asap, we'll have eggs this late spring and summer (prime laying season). Chickens lay based upon the amount of sunlight (14 hours), so we should be reaching that point right as they're getting to be laying age (we reach that point in late April, they'll reach laying age in late May/early June). You can extend the laying time by having a light on in their coop to make the hours of daylight seem longer. But they also lay the best when it's above 45 degrees. So, by doing this now, we're really getting in at a good time.
We decided to go with all one type because we want to try to eventually use them for meat. After about age 2-2.5, a hen's production really slows down. We really don't want to become a hen retirement home. I'm hoping we have the heart to cart them away to the butcher's, but.... hm. I mean, they'd be fabulous roasting hens. I eat chicken all the time, but I don't normally know my meat. They aren't going to have names (they'll be "The Fluffy Ladies"), and they will all look the same (making it more difficult to have a favorite). We'll see. My last chicken died at about age 3.5 of natural causes. I cried, and she had a proper funeral in the backyard and was buried, not eaten. Then again, she was a pet whom I loved dearly. She used to have 3 rooster friends, and I didn't really care about them (they weren't as friendly). Hm.
I'm ordering them today. They should be here next week!