In Austin, Texas, Vital Farms sells pasture-raised, organic eggs from Araucana hens (a heritage breed) that lay blue-shelled, extra-rich tasting eggs. We call them Austin Blues and we just received a flock of these adorable baby chicks last Friday. Right now they are so small, you can fit three in your hands! They are happy in their new home at Onion Creek Farm in South Austin.
Once received, we immediately moved them to a nesting roost that is converted to a brooder. The temperature has to remain a constant 95 degrees, so there are 2 large heat lamps and foil lining the walls to keep the heat inside on chilly nights. Seeing these chicks get warm in their new home was hilarious to say the least. Not only are they extremely cute, but when we asked Bob, the farm manager, how they were doing he simply said, “They are just tearing it up in there.” And they were. After the temperature is set, the next step is to give the chicks water to keep their energy up after the long journey. The water gives them so much energy- picture about 300 tiny balls of fluff, darting across the lengths of a 10 x 8ft trailer.
These chicks wont lay an egg for another 5 months. The commitment involved with raising this many chicks (we are expecting 2,000 total!) is a little stressful, but exciting. Aracuana is a more aggressive breed, and because of this we cannot have them around other breeds of chickens. (All of our flocks are always divided by age and breed, since “pecking order” is a real phenomenon. Believe us, look it up). Things are getting very busy at Onion Creek, and we are very excited to bring back the Austin Blue eggs in the summer!