Last fall after the county fair, I bought all the pullets (not yet egg laying female birds) that were available. But at least 2 weren’t mature enough to know they were roosters! Thankfully, we knew people who will take and eat them! Can’t have too many roosters in the hen house!
In February, a fellow chicken owning friend asked if I wanted her flock of 20 hens and a rooster as she couldn’t keep them in her new city backyard. Of course I jumped at the chance, especially since she was selling her coop along with the chickens. Good thing we have access to trailers!!! Needed something to transport them. I gifted 4 hens to Grandpa’s hired hand as he is a fellow animal lover. As I’ve driven by his house, I’ve seen him sitting watching his own “chicken t.v.” The new flock in our pasture is so happy running amidst the rock piles and under the Russian olives trees and scratching through straw piles.
In March, we headed to Texas to spend time with my family. My parents live on my mom’s 66 acre ancestral farm. My hubby D had a plan. We were going to get a coop and chickens for my parents!!! How could they NOT have chickens? They lay eggs and eat any food scraps you give them. We got them the cutest red barn hen house from Tractor Supply and searched Craigslist for the oldest pullets we could get them. We did not want to get them the young chicks that are harder to take care of as they have to stay under heat lamps the first 7 weeks. Mimi got to pick out the cutest 5 pullets – 2 Black Australorps, 1 Barred Rock, I Buff Orpington, and 1 New Hampshire. And now they have a “Comedy Central” to watch. Hopefully they’ll start receiving their first eggs by the end of June!
After returning from Texas, I received my order of day old chicks. I have learned I don’t like a uniform flock. If they all look they same, how are you going to tell if a certain hen is doing certain thing – like has become broody or which buff is limping or if one is missing? So I prefer having only 2 – 4 of the same breed. in this order, the kids were able to pick some “pretty” birds (bantam breeds) and I got chicks for egg layers – araucanas (lay green or blue eggs), amber whites and black sex links. Since this ordered was mailed, I had to have a minimum of 25 chicks so I asked others if they wanted to order with me. After doling out the chicks to friends, we weren’t careful with the brooder and one of our mousers got in and had a picnic. At least 3 were enjoyed by the cute kitty. So I had to got to our local feed store to get 5 more to replace the ones we lost.
At the first part of May, I got a call saying my rare lavender orpington day old chicks were shipped!! I can’t tell you were we first saw or heard of this breed but Hubby D was just as intrigued by them as me. They are a unique lavender/grey bird.
I had to google the breed to see where it came from. “Named after the town of Orpington, Kent, in south-east England, the Orpington chicken was created by William Cook in 1886. It was developed by crossing Minorcas, Langshans, and Plymouth Rocks to create a new hybrid. Since their first appearance in Maddison Square Gardens in 1895, they have become instantly popular and well liked on account of their loose-feathered fluffy appearance. Not only is the Orpington a striking exhibition bird, but often prized for its docile nature. They are exceptionally hardy during the winter months and continually lay eggs in cold weather.”
I was so excited to get the early morning call from our post office saying they had arrived. For the first three days of life, chicks can survive without food and water which is how they can be mailed. But I don’t like any animal not having access to food or water, so I was worried about this little fluffy butts! But all 20 arrived safe and sound! The entire family is watching them grow and getting more “lavender-y”!! Cannot wait to see how they grow!
We moved the March babies into the adolescent pen this week as they grew in all their feathers. The first day, they didn’t venture out the pen. They were nervous to be “outside” (pen is completely fenced in with fencing for the roof and sides) but now they have to be gathered up to be locked up at night. They don’t know when to head to bed!!!! And in the morning when I open them up, they all fly out of their coop! Love watching my chicken t.v!!!