Thursday, June 7, 2012
We are on Day Four of the Chicken Adventure. So far, all 29 are still peeping away in my laundry room shower. Yes, somehow we ended up with 29 chicks... which is twice what the the coop will hold when they are grown. Let's just say that the roosters will all be named for chicken dishes. The minimum order for chicks by mail was 25, and I ordered 27 (I know, that wasn't smart), then the hatchery threw in a couple freebies, one of which is a Blue Andalusian rooster and the other is a big question mark... both the breed and the gender. I have 3 Blue Andalusian roosters and 4 hens, 2 Golden Polish Top Hat roosters and 4 hens, 4 straight run Buff Rocks, 7 straight run Partridge Rocks, and 4 straight run Barred Rocks, (so I'm hoping that half of those 15 straight run chicks turn out to be roosters for dinner) and one utter unknown. The Polish Top Hats I ordered strictly because they make me laugh. They will also likely be the Princess' 4H project. The Pirate is mad about this, but she isn't old enough to do it until next year. The Blue Andalusians are for fly-tying feathers (roosters only), and so we have some white eggs from the hens, maybe, for Easter, or some such. The Rock roosters (except for 1 or 2) are for the pot. The Rock hens are for brown eggs. There is a variety of rocks, and I saw no reason to order all the same kind, since they were the same price anyway. Also, since these will be free-ranged eventually, I figured whichever blended in best would survive best. This is not a good scientific experiment though, because there are too many other variables, like the fact that the buffs are the biggest of all the chicks, and also the pushiest, bossiest and most obnoxious. And also the hardest to hold. I think they are all very cute. El Jefe says they are not. The kids keep quoting one of their favorite books, When Fletcher Was Hatched... "She loves chickens....cute, fluffy, peeping, STUPID chickens!" and then cackling with laughter. The Polish Top Hats had fluff growing straight up when they arrived. It makes them look like the have cotton balls on their heads. Or someone let his high-and-tight grow out. The Blue Andalusians come in the widest variety of colors - only 50% are actually "blue" - the others are either white or black or some combination thereof. The Buff Rocks look like the typical fluffy yellow chick. The Partridge Rocks look like chipmunks. Supposedly, they will set eggs, too. I hope so. And the Barred Rocks all look similar, but multicolored, and I can't describe them well. I looked through the hatchery website to see if I could find a chick that looked like the one that doesn't match any of the others, but couldn't find anything even close. Maybe when it's a bit older I'll have better luck matching it to a picture.