We failed, somehow, to place the order for chicks back in February, despite poring over a hatchery website and choosing breeds and having credit card in hand. It was close to midnight, so we must’ve missed an important step, like Submit Order.
The week before the chicks we thought we ordered were due to arrive, we began to wonder why we’d heard nothing from the hatchery. A quick phone call confirmed that no chicks were in the mail. We hatched Plan B.
Over the course of ten days, I haunted our town’s feed/hardware stores, and collected five different breeds of chicks that will grow into laying hens. We built them a brooder, which now glows under a heat lamp in our kitchen. To my delight, the brooder is large enough for me to sit cross-legged, slowly reaching out a fingertip to stroke the chicks’ nearly too-soft-to-feel backs, which they tolerate when they’re sleepy.
Plan B created some mismatch in age, but the chicks have surprised me by all getting along, despite the largest being at least ten times bigger than the smallest. Our flock will have mostly large-bodied, cold-hardy, sensible birds, with the exception of two silkie chickens, which I bought on a whim, who will look like walking feather dusters.
Here they were, just a couple of days old, accompanied by photos of each breed in adulthood.
We kept Buff Orpingtons in Georgia and loved their friendly temperaments and exceedingly fluffy butts. They’re good layers of light brown eggs.
Ameraucana chickens lay green and blue eggs and remind me of baby quail, so I couldn’t resist them. They come in various colors, so I have no idea exactly how these will look as adults. Maybe like this one.
Our Silver-laced Wyandotte chicks seem to be the most docile of the bunch so far. They become beautiful adults, lay brown eggs, and might give the Buff Orpingtons considerable competition in the fluffy butt category.
I cannot be held responsible for purchasing these creatures. Anyone could’ve fallen victim to their tiny topknots and feathered legs. I realize that they will be ridiculous, but it just makes me like them more. I am helpless.