Peep! Peep! Friday

6:45 AM:

It’s here, it’s here! It’s Peep! Peep! Friday. We are expanding our flock of girls and are leaving right now to go pick up our chicks from the feed supply store.

We have the chick area all set up with feeder, waterer and heat lamp and we are excited to welcome the little teeny girls to their new home.

Assuming the feed store is carrying the chicks they say they’ll have, we will be buying one each of the following breeds:

  • Ameraucana
  • Barred Rock
  • Black Australorp
  • Buff Orpington
  • Partridge Rock
  • Speckled Sussex

On Monday Operation Coop 2.0 (aka Bigger Coop) starts, so my the time the girls are ready to go outside, their new pimpin’ home will be waiting for them.

I’ll be updating with more info (and pictures!) when we get back and get the girls settled in. You know, just in case any of my readers find our adoption of baby chicks as exciting as we do….

We’re off to go get them!

UPDATE 10:20 AM: 
We arrived at the feed store at around 7:30. We had a very complicated plan worked out that involved going to a store about 45 minutes from our home, but only 10 minutes from my husband’s work. If everything went according to plan, we would be able to pick up 5 of the 6 breeds we wanted, drop my husband off at work, get back to our neck of the woods and still get my daughter to school on time.

Nothing went according to plan. When we arrived, despite my (possibly erroneous) assumption, the chicks had not yet been delivered. They told us to come back at 10 AM. And 3 of the breeds we were planning on buying weren’t being delivered after all.

Ok…so, alternate plan. We dropped Homebrew Husband off at work, where we also did some research as to other feed stores that might have the breeds we wanted. One breed, Black Australorp, we had already planned on picking up at a different store, so we called them first. At 8:00, they were already  sold out of that day’s delivery of Australorps. Another breed down.

So, we just went with it! We emailed the teacher that Bella would be late or absent to class. We left Nick at the office (someone has to pay for the chicken feed), and I returned with the kids to the original feed store. We picked the best of what was available, and I think it all worked out just fine.

We bought 2 of each of the following:

  • Ameraucana
  • Barred Rock
  • Austra White
Would you like to meet them?
Here’s how we got them home: shoebox wrapped in a blanket in the footwell of the car, heater pumping full blast.

Bella carrying them in.

We got them settled into their new home, a big Rubbermaid rough tote filled with shavings. They seem thrilled with the new digs.

This is one of the Austra Whites. Not one of the original breeds we were gunning for, but so, so cute. They are creamy white with little black spots. They look like ermine fur.

The Ameraucanas already seem really friendly:

The Barred Rocks. They have some spirit! In the car on the ride home, one jumped clear out of the shoebox through the small little air gap I left open. I had to fish her out of the footwell while driving down the freeway at 70 and pop her back in the box. Then I made the air gap even smaller.

Naming is still happening and may remain fluid for awhile….Bella’s in charge of that, and naturally must be properly inspired. Or re-inspired, as it may happen. So far, the Austra Whites are dubbed Cottonball and Snowcone. The Barreds are being called Ruth’s Black and Silent Night. The Ameraucanas are called Bed Time and Lightning Bolt. As I say, names subject to change as they grow and take on more distinct personalities.

UPDATE 11:25 AM:
Bella is now doing a “Chicken Observation Report” of her own devising. She is sketching pictures (“Chicks have FOUR toes, not THREE!”) and writing down notes about the chicks. (“Chicks like scratch.”) Chick TV is in full effect right now. Every parent should get chicks just for the educational value.

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Comments

  1. I think you've become a chicken-addict! Like that potato chip slogan, "I bet you can't keep just one!"

    A question for someone who knows nothing about chicken keeping — what is the difference in the breeds? Do the eggs taste different? Do they grow to different sizes? Different personality? Just trying to figure out the benefits of having different breeds.

    :::Sigh::: I'm in New York and my parents have a quarter acre lot. I see posts lie this, and it's killing me to have to go back to my small balcony in DC. (Though I did build a raised bed for them!)

  2. John, From what I hear the Black Australorps are the best egg layers and lay most days out of the year. The Ameraucanas are smaller, lay smaller greenish eggs and are very tame. The Buff Orpingtons are also quite tame and good egg layers. I'm not sure about the other breeds, but yes, chickens do vary in size and personality. I'm not sure about egg flavor since ours aren't laying yet. We're just beginning our chicken keeping and have 6 of them. I've been amazed how tame they are!

  3. awww peep peep :D i love reading chick blogs … it's a bit like reliving our chicken days…..
    John, the eggs don't taste different IF all the chickens are eating the same thing… its a bit like 'you are what you eat'…the lovely real chickens who are free range will give wonderfully rich orangish coloured yolks and the grain fed will have a lighter colour….

  4. WOW, and I thought you were stoping at the 2 hens! Boy are you ever addicted! I can't wait to see how well your adding to your flock works. I recommend when you put them out, give them a week in a cage next to the adults. You will have major pecking order issues but hopefully it will minmalize the damage.

    Aren't they the cutest! I was just telling my teens that they'll be beautiful again in no time, hehe, they're so gawky and threadbare. hehe. Gotta love them, they're growing so big!

  5. Sharon Miro says:

    Keep them coming—we are doing coop design this weekend and plan on chicks coming home real soon.

  6. Coop 2.0 is going in alongside Coop 1.0 (which is honestly at more of a "Coop 0.7.4 Build 6" level of development). We'll probably take advantage of this to let the new girls bulk up a bit before merging flocks (or perhaps just keep the flocks separate).

  7. I'm glad you got a couple of Barred Rocks. They are just beautiful creatures and dress up the yard so. :)

  8. Love it!

  9. Congrats on entering the chicken world full force! Those little peepers will go at it all night and day, and you will not believe how fast they grow!

    PS, be thankful you didn't go to Monroe Farm and Feed, you would have come home with 60 chicks! They have more itty-bitty's there than anyone could be prepared for…you can hear them peeping out in the parking lot! It's a fun field trip!

  10. Fantastic that you got more than just a couple. Integrating these into your existing hens will shake up the pecking order, so be prepared for them to duke it out a bit in order to re-order themselves.

    I will warn from personal experience against naming something that is food for everything else (though it sounds like it has already happened). It is MUCH tougher to lose "Lavender" than it is to lose the gray chicken.

    Good luck on your adventure!

  11. I must apologize for the previous comment – my husband commandeered my laptop AND posted under my name!

    Congrats on the babies – they are so fun to watch and guess what their personalities and pecking order will be! We've raised three sets of chicks, but only named the first set (as that Debbie-Downer implied). But this current round of three babies we have are sort of getting nick-named despite our efforts to resist. The only ones we were successful in not naming were when we got four of all the same breed and they were tougher to tell apart.
    Our first Araucana was named Mayzie (we wanted a Dr. Seuss's name since she lays green eggs – it's from Daisy-Head Mayzie). If I were to name another easter-egger, it'd be Gertrude McFuzz (from the Yertle the Turtle book). :D

    Congrats again – can't wait to see coop 2.0.

  12. Aw, how wonderful! I can't wait to hear about the new adventures of your expanded flock.

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