This chick doesn’t know it yet, but it is going to be one of the best educated chicks in the USA.
I didn’t intend to raise chickens this year.
Actually, I didn’t plan on getting any more chicks until our old layers had all passed on. I have discovered that while I love all of my chickens, those big layer hens that are touted for being able to lay sooooo many eggs are easily surpassed by my silkies in terms of consistent egg production. The silkies also eat less, don’t damage the lawn when they scratch about, and are sweet and gentle to handle.
My plan was to wait for the big hens to pass on, move the silkies into their bigger, more luxurious coop, and then get more beautiful show line chicks to begin my great experiment clicking for socialization. Well 3 weeks ago I ended up seeing a picture on craigslist that abruptly changed all my plans.
Advertised for sale in the agriculture section (a place I’m always browsing for mini-farm loot) was one of the most magnificent silkie roosters I have ever seen. He sat proudly for the photo, his conformation perfect, his stance beautiful, his feathers and coloration stunningly perfect. I could see equally beautiful hens strutting about in the background.
Before I knew what I was doing, I popped off an e-mail asking if he had hatching eggs for sale, and when the answer came back yes I drove two hours to claim my prize before someone else did.
You never know with hatching eggs what you are going to get, but with a nearly 100% hatch rate I am very satisfied with the results of my purchase. I’ll be sharing with you occasional updates about the chicks and how they respond to clicker training, so if you’re interested in the potential intelligence of chickens—this is the topic for you!