With a Cackle and a Cluck

DaisyDoo Homestead is growing! Today I took a little day trip to Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, MO. They are a larger hatchery that ships poultry all over the country, 193 varieties! Chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, quail, pheasant, and even peacocks! They were having their HUGE After Memorial Day Sale and there were so many baby birds to choose from. So many!

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Cackle Hatchery in downtown Lebanon, MO.

I’ve wanted bantam Easter Eggers for months, I knew for sure that I was getting them today. Easter Eggers are known for laying colored eggs (they range from blue to green and some even have a pinkish hue). How fun is that! I wanted bantams (or bannies for short) because I want to hatch and sell chicks and the bantams are usually in high demand. Most standard chickens have a bantam version. Some benefits of a banny versus a standard chicken are you can fit more birds in a small coop, they eat less (because they’re smaller), they’re generally known to be more lively than standards, they lay as heavily (in some cases heavier) than their standard counterparts, and they tend to go broody more often than standards. The downside is that their eggs are smaller than a standard chicken, anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 smaller in size. For me all their pluses outweighed the egg size.

An associate at Cackle was helping me put together my chick order, after I told her I wanted 10 bantam Easter Eggers I asked her for recommendations for a standard sized brown egg layer. My parents have all brown egg layers but I wanted something different. She listed several breeds that she thought were good and I chose the Cinnamon Queen, partly because I like the name lol. BUT also because they are heavy layers and lay eggs that are large to extra large in size (to make up for my small banny eggs). So I applied logic to my decision other than just liking the name. 🙂 Also they’re a pretty bird, Cackle has pictures of adult versions of all their breeds so you can see what they’ll look like. I got five Cinnamon Queen pullets (girls) and 1 cockerel (boy).

I wasn’t done yet! I wanted some guineas and they were buy five get one free so I got three Royal Purples and three Lavenders. They’re feisty little buggers! They’re half the size of the Cinnamon Queen chicks but they’re biting feet and pulling on wings, they’re funny little guys! If you’ve never seen a guinea you are missing out! We had them when I was younger and I’ve always been partial to them. They eat more bugs than any other poultry and they’re great watchdogs against predators. They are very loud, which is why some people don’t like them. They also refuse to be contained in a coop and prefer to roost in trees, which means they tend to poop all over stuff (cars, patio furniture, whatever happens to be under the tree they’re in). Despite that, I think they’re pretty awesome little birds. 🙂

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Some of the newly hatched chicks at Cackle.

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Some of the ducklings available at Cackle.

After I got home I had to set up a small brooder box for my new baby birds. I used Daisy’s old dog kennel and I managed to turn it into a nice little brooder box! I could have bought a brooder box but it’s pretty easy to make one; either build one from scratch or modify something you already have. It’s MUCH cheaper than buying one.

To make a brooder box out of Daisy’s kennel I covered the exterior of the kennel with chicken wire (the slats of the kennel were too wide to keep the chicks in). I also used a large piece of cardboard to cover the back panel of the kennel and used shorter pieces of cardboard to make bumpers around the other three panels. This will help hold warmth in and also make the chicks feel closed in (it’s a big world out there for the little guys!). All that was left was to add a heat lamp, a small feeder, and water bottle. Oh, and sawdust on their little floor (the plastic tray that came with the kennel). Ta-da! An inexpensive brooder box made from things we had on hand around the farm.

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All my little guys in their brooder box!

That was my day! Oh, and Samson spent a couple days at the vet’s office having that dreaded operation that boy dogs have. Getting him in for the procedure has been on my “to do” list for a while, with him being a pit bull mix I needed to have it done before he reached maturity. I’d put off taking him as long as I could, he’s just so big and it was a little scary taking him to an unknown place (unknown to him, not me). But it all went well and our vet is a large animal vet who also sees small animals so treating a dog the size of a small horse is no big deal for them! Ha! 🙂  He came home today, he’s still a little subdued and, I’m sure, sore but other than that he’s doing great. We were taking bets on how much he weighed, he’s at a whopping 98 lbs! And he’s still growing, yikes!

I’ll leave you guys with a picture of a bird nest I found the other day.

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If you look close you can see some tiny, very newly hatched baby birds. The night before I took the picture there was only one baby and two unhatched eggs, that’s how new they are!

Cheers,

D

2 thoughts on “With a Cackle and a Cluck

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