I remember dreaming + scheming for years with Chad before the Backwoods Ranch was even a thing about all of the different poultry I would have. I have always had a special place in my heart for all of my feathered friends with special attention given to my very own flock of ducks in my younger years. If you are new here, you probably haven't heard the story of QT my duckling that hatched in late October. QT lived in my childhood bedroom in a playpen for the entire winter, I would let her free-range in the house against my sisters greater wishes. That little muscovy duckling lived a phenomenal life and even raised her own ducklings the following summer.
We also raised many rounds of butcher chickens but the thought of raising laying hens was what always put a sparkle in my eye. I wanted hens that were individuals, that had names, unique personalities and my one wish was for ones with "furry feet"... which I came to learn in my later years were referred to as: Cochins. I finally got to purchase my first chicks the second year we lived at Backwoods after Chad built me a beautiful little coop inside the shop over the winter of 2014. The first hens we purchased were Rhode Island Reds as we wanted to start our new venture with a hearty bird. Years down the road and hundreds of birds later we now have a beautiful barnyard mix and decided we wanted to try our hand at hatching and raising our own birds. We did have a styrofoam incubator that we tried to use multiple times years prior which brought 0 success and sad hearts.
This year I decided that I was going to be successful in hatching my own birds and invested in a Brinsea Mini 2 Advance! While the machine is small it is mighty and has outstanding reviews with very high hatch rates. Now that we have hatched out our first round of chicks we are thinking we should have invested in the big monty of Brinseas but I just couldn't bite the bullet.
So friends with that, if you are unable to find Oakley + I, we are most likely busy taking chick photoshoots and soaking up the promise for spring that their little beings bring to our ranch. If you have wanted to start your own chicks our advice is- do it.