Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Get thee to a Chickery!! And supplies needed...

Hi and happy March!

I have some crazyexciting news that I've been waiting to share with you all, and that is that we are officially starting our own Yardbirds Chickery!  :D

...And everyone says, "That's great Khrys!!" 

<blank stare>

"What's a 'chickery'?"

I'm so glad you asked!  Basically it's a nursery for chickens... we needed space to hatch and grow out our own healthy, happy hens (and to quarantine older birds we get from local folks to be sure they're healthy before they go to new homes), and a friend of a friend has graciously agreed to let us set up camp on her property in Milton, MA, just down the street from our home office!

We will primarily be raising breeds that are ideal for our customers' needs, specifically docile, family-friendly birds that lay well, with a few oddball ornamental breeds thrown in for fun.  Being able to raise birds that are from high-quality breeders is a top priority for us, because we believe that will mean a higher likelihood that your birds will live (and lay) longer into their life, without being as susceptible to some of the illnesses or injuries we've seen in hatchery-stock birds as they get older.  And we prefer to be able to support responsible breeders who care about the quality and longevity of the breed, instead of the hatcheries that often have a breed in name but not quality and without any consistency in the characteristics people are looking for in choosing that breed. 

Sourcing eggs and chicks from top breeders also allows us to talk with the breeders directly, and choose ones that are selecting for docile temperaments in addition to appearance and egg quality/color, which means a greater chance of friendly, tame birds that will get along well with each other as well as be more fun for you and your family!

We already have hatching eggs on their way to us (ameraucanas and silkie mixes first!), and we would LOVE your help getting the Chickery all set up and ready for when they hatch at the end of March! 

First on the list is materials and supplies, listed below.  If you are local and have any of this stuff laying around that you'd like to donate to the Yardbirds Chickery (or if you're not local and want to mail something to us), please let me know - we'd be glad to help you clear out some of your clutter! 

If you're not local, or don't have excess stuff you don't want (good job!), or would just like to donate towards the purchase of materials, we would gladly and gratefully accept any monetary donations you'd like to send via paypal to TheChickeness at gmail or by check (email for details).

If you're interested in setting up your own chickery, see below for a list of recommended supplies and materials... (wink, wink)

Breeds on our must-have list are: orpingtons (all colors), ameraucanas (all colors), Plymouth rocks, Rhode Island reds, marans (all colors), modern game (tame dinosaurs), Polish (smooth and frizzled, of course!), Belgian bearded d'Uccles (all colors), and bantam cochins (because we're all in love with little Lucifer).  We have chosen this list because these are the breeds we've found to be most successful in our urban and suburban micro-flocks (less than 10 birds) - the most tame, best at getting along with their flockmates, best personalities, and with fun egg colors too!  If you are interested in a breed you don't see here, send us a note with your request and we'll let you know if we can get it, or why we don't recommend it at this time.

Did I mention we are SO FRIGGIN EXCITED?!  :D
Stay tuned for pictures and updates!

Chickery supplies list (will be updated as donations come in):
shop vac (DONE!)
trash cans (need 2)
recycle bin (need 1)
broom/large dustpan (need 1 of each)
3-4 cu.ft. mini-fridge (need 1)
upholstery fabric to cover unfinished basement walls (natural fibers only for fire safety) OR plywood/sheet rock (need to cover a room that's ~17'x14')
wood for shelves (2x6s or 2x12s at least 4' long)
brackets for shelves (need 6-10)
wood to build out the brooders (can use anything from 1x2s to 2x4s that are at least 2' long)
hardware cloth to build out the brooders (DONE, I think, though we can always use more for the coops!)
hardware (screws, washers, nails, hooks, screw-eyes, etc)
folding tables (need 2)
folding chairs (need 3)
hose + sprayer end (need 100' of hose and one sprayer)
chick feeders (have 1, need 3 more)
chick waterers (have 1, need 3 more)
heat lamps (have 1, need 3 more)
ceramic bulbs (have 1, need 3 more)
daylight bulbs (have 1, need 3 more)
small scale that can do tiny amounts (need 1)

Old towels/t-shirts/rags (we'll take however many you want to give us, and donate extras to the MSPCA) 
Chicken feed
Paper towels
Vaccines (Marek's and Fowl Pox)
Hatching eggs

Grow-out coops supplies list:
coops (will be buying 2 coops from our supplier in NH)
wood (need 4x4s + 2x4s in varying lengths from 5'-15')
hardware cloth (need 83 linear feet of 4' wide HW cloth)
clear roofing panels (need 12 of the 8' panels)
paving stones (need... 12, I think?)
hardware (screws, washers, hooks, screw-eyes, S-hooks, etc)
feeders (have 2, need 3-4 more)
waterers (have 2, need 3-4 more)