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My family has been wanting chicks for several years!
When we still lived in North Carolina, we had planned on getting them but then discovered that our HOA wouldn’t allow poultry – wahhh! It was definitely depressing because we lived in a subdivision with large, private lots out of city limits. So, when we moved to our old Victorian home IN CITY LIMITS in Wisconsin and found out we could have chickens, my kids and I have been scheming ever since!
Unfortunately, our plans were delayed…by three years!!…due to our insane housing situation (our house was struck by lightning and caught fire three months after we moved in!) With our lives turned completely upside down and our home un-livable, there was just no way to do what we had planned.
However, we are finally on the side of a very tumultuous situation where we are now able to fulfill our dreams of owning chickens!
How To Start A Backyard Chicken Flock
Now that the timing was right, it was time to start researching about chickens. Despite the fact that we have never owned chickens before, we knew that we needed to first verify that we could indeed own chickens in town, learn about the different breeds, noise levels and more.
Check Local Ordinances for Owning Chickens
We verified with our local ordinances and zoning regulations again, to be sure nothing had changed, and we are in the clear to have chickens on our property!
To do this, you can either call your local City Hall or visit your towns website and search under zoning and ordinances.
In the town we live in, there is a limit of five (5) hens per property, and no roosters.
Which Chicken Breed Is Best For Your Family?
There are many things to consider when choosing which chicken breed is best for your family. The main objectives for our backyard chickens were temperament, noise, and egg color.
Egg Laying vs Meat Birds
While we knew we wanted chickens, we truly had no idea about all of the different types of chickens you can own. It’s similar to dogs; there are sooo many different types!
Some chickens are better for laying eggs, while others are better suited as meat chickens. Clearly, our goal is to have egg laying chickens.
Truth be told, this is the part that I was most excited about. Years ago, I had learned about a chicken called an Easter Egger – now this technically isn’t a recognized breed, but I’m not concerned about that. The Easter Eggers lay various colored eggs that range from blue, green to pink. Totally exciting to me!
There are several other breeds that lay blue, green or pink eggs, and I highly suggest researching which breed may be best for you.
Brown egg layers – through my research of speaking with others, I have heard that brown egg laying chickens typically have a better temperament and are easier to interact with.
Since we do not have experience raising chickens, we want to start out with a bird breed that does well with a lot of interaction, especially from kids and does not tend to brood (protect her eggs after laying them). My BFF in Ohio raised Buff Orpington chickens (which through research is a great breed as far as temperament and egg laying) and my kids were able to hold them when they were younger. So our goal was to find a tame bird breed that did well with being held! The only issue with this breed is, my friend said that they were pretty noisy.
Admittedly, a lot of our research came through watching real-life videos on YouTube. Seriously, YouTube is such a great learning channel! Per one of the channels that we gained a lot of information from, we learned that the some breeds are more vocal than others.
Because we do live in town and have neighbors, we don’t want to be a nuisance. Finding a breed that is quiet was definitely a main goal for us.
Meet Our Chicks!
Without further ado, let me introduce you to our new chicks!! We are first time chicken owners, but are so excited about starting our flock of mixed beauties! While we had done a lot of research about different chicken breeds, it came down to what our local Tractor Supply had in stock.
Our store gets deliveries of chicks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and they do not know what type of breed they will get until the arrive.
Unfortunately, this means you have no guarantee of buying the breed you want unless you order them online from their website. However, if this is the route you go, you are required to order 10 chicks! So this option obviously wouldn’t have worked for us since we are only allowed to have 5 in town. So when I went into the store, I chose three different breeds that suited our family the best!
Smokey Pearl Chick
Egg Color: Brown
This sweet little girl is a pale yellow with black spots scattered throughout her fluff! Loves to be held!
Starlight Green Egger Chick
Egg Color: Green
Names: Tootsie and Marshmallow
These two are both Starlight Green Egger chicks, even though they have different coloring. These girls are the most energetic of the bunch.
Asian Black Chick
Egg Color: Brown
A very sweet and docile little ball of fluff with a white spot under her chin.
The chicks are only 1 day old – and have to live inside 4-6 weeks. Because we live in Wisconsin, our temperatures are much colder than in other parts of the country. So, we will move them outside when the temperatures are appropriate for them. (p.s. today is April 26th and it slightly snowed this morning – yes, I feel bad for myself!).
Currently, we have them set up inside our home in an old rabbit cage we had that has an entire wire enclosure over the top. Inside the cage we have a heat plate aka brooder heater (a much safer route than a heat lamp – we eliminate any risk of fire inside our home at all costs, haha!) water feeder and food feeder.
My little chickadees with their new chicks!
We are so excited for this new journey and can’t wait for the chicks to reach the egg laying age – around 18 weeks! … although, we don’t want to rush their cute little chick phase!
I’ll be certain to keep you all updated along our new adventure!
*Update: We have green eggs!
We also did another wild thing…