Michael called a few places on Friday about chickens and when we headed out Saturday morning we were not really sure we'd be coming home with any chickens. Apparently egg layers sell out fast. I suggested we try the Family Farm Center in Harrisonville first. Michael had forgotten about that place and hadn't called there. So we were really excited when we walked into the store and could hear chirping. We followed the sound of chirps and peeps to several water troughs converted into chick corals near the middle of the store.
Right away I noticed they were out of Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons, both breeds that I had been thinking about because I'd read good things about them. Both of these breeds also happen to be very popular for urban backyard chickens. It sounds a little negative to say that we picked from the breeds they had left, but that's what we ended up doing. I couldn't be more pleased with the breeds that we ended up with though. All of them are going to grow into beautiful birds with wonderful colorful eggs. In fact a couple of our chicks were breeds that I had read about and loved, but didn't think I'd have access to locally. I thought these were special order birds and I was really happy to see them at the Family Farm Center.
This is Matilda. Matilda is a Gold Laced Wyandotte and will lay brown eggs. I saw an adult Gold Laced when we took the Cabbage to the pumpkin patch in October last year and was entranced by the beautiful pattern of her feathers. I can't wait for Matilda to grow into a mature chicken. She is going to be dazzling.
Next up is Foghorn. Michael named her. He considered several names, but in the end said that Foghorn is the best name. She's an Austra White and will lay whitish colored eggs. The description for the Austra White, which is a cross between a White Leghorn and Black Australorp, is said to be docile and less flighty than the Leghorn. Foghorn is pretty laid back and very sweet.
Marguerite is our Araucana. This breed is also called Easter Eggers because they lay green or blue eggs. I know I'm not supposed to have a favorite, but Marguerite is my favorite. I love her puffy little cheeks and her squinty eyes. She is so calm and reserved. I think she looks sophisticated, like she should be wearing a fancy hat or scarf or just knows very wise things about how to put on lipstick and eyeliner.
Last but not least, we have Dorothy (like the Wizard of Oz). Dorothy was no name for a few days because we thought we'd save this one for the Cabbage to name. Dorothy is a Black Sex Link and will lay brown eggs. She's a cross between a Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock. This cross makes them sexable by color. All black chicks are hens so that makes it a sure thing you're not getting a rooster. She's really very funny and lively. She's the only one in the bunch that I've seen flap her wings in distress. She did that when I picked her up to take her picture. She stands up tall and I think she may be thinking she's head chicken. We'll see how that plays out.
Several weeks ago Chad posted this picture on Instagram of a basket full of different colored eggs. Naturally colored, not died with Easter egg dyes. It was such a beautiful display of diversity. I am so excited that I am going to have egg cartons filled with a very similar selection of colors. We are all, with maybe the exception of Josephine, in love with the chickens. Josephine has seen them and know they exist. She has not had enough time with them to form an opinion. Right now she's a little leery. I'm sure they'll all be best friends by summer.
Holy Goats you guys. There are chickens in our basement right now. Real live little baby chickens that go "chirp chirp chirp" and "peep peep peep". Michael and I go down and check on them and talk to them. I found out recently that if you sing gently to them, they all get quiet and when I hold Marguerite and sing to her, she sings back. At bedtime we go down and say goodnight to the chickens. I tell them how pretty they are and Michael tells them to hurry up and grow big and strong and lay some eggs.