I am so super excited to announce the arrival of eight baby chicks to our homestead! I’ve been wanting chickens for quite some time and after we moved to a property with a larger yard, it was starting to become a reality. With spring here, it was finally time. My daughter and I took a rode trip to Dare 2 Dream Farms, a little chicken ranch and farm north of Los Angeles, and we picked up our girls.
Although Dare 2 Dream delivers to our area, we thought it would be fun to take the drive and visit the farm ourselves. So last week, off we went. It was a gorgeous drive about an hour past Santa Barbara, through green hills and farmland. Although our local feed stores have chicks right now, I really wanted to find a small family farm that treated their chicks humanly and offered urban homesteaders like me more breed options that I could purchase in smaller quantities. (As much as I’d like 25 Ameruacanas, that isn’t about to happen!)
The farm emerged through a line of old growth trees and Megan, half of the family run Dare 2 Dream, greeted us and gave us a little tour. Part chicken farm, part CSA, Dare 2 Dream Farms is a great example of figuring out a way to make a living off of the land for Megan and her husband Jeremy. What was once Jeremy’s grandfathers land is now an egg farm and CSA to the local community of Lompoc and surrounding towns. (They also have a Woofer program, incase you’re interested.)
Megan and Jeremy’s chickens free range on open pastures of their 40 acre farm, and the eggs are sold from Santa Maria down to LA at fresh food markets and other CSA’s.
While we couldn’t wait to see the baby chicks, it was fun going into the main chicken house first and seeing the different age layers available. You can buy pullets and older hens, as well, if you didn’t want to go through the baby chick stage.
But these little girls were what we came for…
Their soft downy feathers and cooing sounds are so soothing. About a month ago I was wondering if I should just get pullets since our coop wasn’t ready, but then a good friend reminded me that they needed to be in a brooder in the house for at least four weeks, so we had more time to finish the coop. I’m so glad we got the 1-2 week olds that were available that day. Having this whole experience from the time they are little is fantastic. It’s only been a week but I just love sitting with them and holding them. They do eat a lot though! (Dare 2 Dream does have supplies for you as well, should you need them.)
We haven’t named the girls yet. I’m waiting for their personalities to shine through a little more, but trust me, they are not short on personality at all. I’ve started to work on my laptop out by their cage so I can watch them. I tried to get photos of everyone the day after we got them, to share with you and document their growth. It was hard to get them to stand still long enough for a shot but here they are.
We got two Rhode Island Reds. One of them is the smallest of all the girls and is always falling asleep standing up. It is hilarious to watch!
We got two Easter Eggers. I can’t wait to see their blue/green eggs!
We got two Silver Laced Wyandottes. One seems to be stepping up as the alpha already.
And two Buff Orpingtons. They were going on two weeks old and are the largest of the eight.
And I just had to get a shot of their furry little bodies before the feathers started coming, as well as those stubby little tails! So stinkin’ cute!
Make sure to check back often for our chicken adventures.