Who’d figure it could be so hard to get a chicken?

We started trying to get quail. Wyoming goes out of its way to make it particularly hard for someone to raise a few quail in their garage. Quail, you see, are gamebirds, and gamebirds are “owned” and managed by the state, even if YOU buy them from OUT of state, and they are regulated by the state. Even if they are essentially domesticated Quail that are non-native to the area, the state manages them.

So, quail take time. Lots of time. File for the permit, find a company that will comply with Wyoming’s certification requirements, wait for them to ship, hatch them (wait for that too), brood them, grow them, and finally they start laying. And then you can only have 100 of them. The eggs are so tiny that that is just about enough to keep a family in eggs (about 80 females, 20 males, for fertile eggs).

Quail would not meet our needs completely, for meat and eggs (they could, if we wanted to get a Game Farm License – $130 per year… maybe someday so we can sell quail eggs, but not now). So we were going to need something else. Keeping in mind our requirements:

  1. Has to be able to be cage raised, in a small space.
  2. Has to be productive for both eggs, and meat.
  3. Has to produce small eggs (easier to digest than big ones).
  4. Needs to be domesticated, not considered wild game (leaves out pheasant and some other options).

So we were left with Bantams. The do ok in cages, produce small eggs, and some breeds are good layers.

But it is very hard to find them this time of year. We can’t order chicks (several companies have them available), because they’ll die in the box before they get to the Wilds of Wyoming. So we have to order eggs, or find live animals near enough to go pick up. Both have proven difficult.

Getting chickens is easy. Getting a specific breed, is not so easy. Getting them when you want them, out of season, can be hard too.

I’m getting an education. But I’m also very persistent, so I’ll eventually get it done, in spite of the obstacles.

Because I’m now reacting to one of the ingredients in the B-12 supplements… so I need eggs that I can actually digest. It is causing enough problems to be  a daily reminder that we need chickens. Soon.

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