Our new babies were supposed to get here Monday or Tuesday. So of course no harm in us having plans last night, right? In the middle of dinner at a friend’s house, Neil got a call from a cranky postal worker asking if we were planning on coming to get these birds because they were closing in 10 minutes. Oh. Well. Alright then, Yes yes we are on our way. When I say we I really mean Neil because why pack up everyone and miss dessert? (By the way, Snickers ice cream and Oreo ice cream…mmmmm). Anyways, Neil raced off, got chicks, got chicks settled then came back for ice cream. Luckily we had resisted the urge to procrastinate another day and had moved Mrs. Bennet (my mom’s leghorn) in with the other big girl chickens. We had cleaned her cage and it was all set for the chicks. They hatched Friday afternoon, and so as of this blog post they are less than 2 days old. AWWWW! they are soooo cute!
These are all the babies. We ordered 10 ameracana pullets (girls) and 2 cockerels (non-girls) to go with the 2 we already have. So between the 12 of them we should get some awesome colored eggs (blue, green, pink, etc). We also got 12 Austalorp pullets and 2 cockerels (more on them in a bit). The hatchery we got them from threw in a free ameracana boy and an unspecified rare exotic chick.
Here is an ameracana baby. They are sweet birds and the egg we hatched ourselves was this breed. Rose is friendly and curious and just beautiful. Plus they lay Easter Eggs! We knew for sure we wanted more of this breed. We will raise the Roosters up until we know which one is our favorite and then the other 2 will become dinner. Sorry, but I can’t handle more than 2 and even that I’m not sure about. But it will be great to be able to hatch our own pure bred eggs for each breed.
This is an Australorp. They were a dual purpose breed (meat and eggs) developed in Australia. I say were dual purpose, because anymore people use a specific breed for meat that are kind of freakish, but not getting on a soap box here. These birds are supposed to be super sweet and lay big beautiful brown eggs. Neil just did some math and we should get 3 thousand eggs from them a year. 5 dozen a week. Holy cow! And they look like penguins…Win Win!
Here is our “exotic – we don’t know what she is or if she is even a she” chick. She will go in with our miscellanious flock (which includes, 1 ameracana, 2 leghorns, and a barred rock) which are all pets. I don’t think I could eat our 5 chickens that I actually know their personalities. The rest aren’t going to be named (I wouldn’t know how to keep track anyways) and so I think I can handle them leaving as chickens and coming home as meat. Meh. We’ll see.
We have moved things around a bit so that our chickens have free access to the goat pen. This should be brilliant for a few reasons. 1) The chickens can scratch and eat bugs that are in the goat poo and thus keep down the pest problem. The extra protein makes them healthier and the eggs much healthier. 2) They can also eat all the left over grass that the goats won’t eat which is much better for them than grain based chicken food (They still have that, but in the coop so Pippin can’t steal it…the little thief). 3) more room for them to walk around pecking, doing chicken stuff. Chickens technically don’t need a ton of space, but why not? I think they like the extra room to explore and play. The new chicks will be seperated into two distinct flocks based on breed, with about 12 hens and one rooster. We are still trying to figure out how we will get them access to the goat pen, but we’ve got some time.