Currently, Elaine and I are in the midst of a debate on whether we will try to purchase chicks to raise this spring. I told Elaine that the final decision is hers because given that I am away teaching school Monday through Friday, she will be the primary caretaker.
Right now, Elaine is leaning toward us purchasing some heritage Rhode Island Reds. In May of 2011, we bought 10 "industrial" RIR chicks. We only have two birds left from that purchase (Ruby and Little Spotty Hen) as two chicks died not long after the purchase and the other six were roosters.
We bought two young hens in August of that year (they were crosses between Rhode Island Reds and Whites).
The quartet has done a great job of producing eggs up until the last three months or so. But the production that was once three or four eggs per day has dropped to only six or seven eggs a week. Part of the decline has been because our hens are moulting, but part also is that egg production decreases once hens reach two years or so.
We have always been interested in "heritage or traditional" apples, so we thought that we would like to try raising heritage RIRs. The problem is that we don't know where to buy heritage chicks. If anyone can help with this, we would appreciate that individual e-mailing us or leaving a comment.