back yard chickens
Last year my family added a flock of chickens to our household, purchased from Pickering Valley Feed and Farm in Exton, PA. They hatched on February 22, 2017, and we brought them home when they were two days old. They lived in a cage in our kitchen until they were big enough to go into the coop outside.
We chose seven different breeds of chickens, and got one of each: Buff Orpington, Plymouth Barred Rock, Cochin, Barnevelder, Black Australorp, Ameraucana, and a Production Red. We worked hard on naming them something clever, and decided they should all be different chicken dishes, even though we don't plan on eating our chickens, just their eggs.
We ended up with Honey, Pepper, Poppy, Sriracha, Nugget, Teriyaki, and Noodle. When the chicks were three weeks old, I saw a Blue Andalusian chick at the feed store that was the same age, and I bought her. It was an impulse buy that I justified by saying we needed a hen that lays white eggs, since the others lay brown. And, eight is my favorite number.
I have to admit, I am surprised at how personable and how unique they all are - they are truly all individuals. Honey and Sriracha seem to be the dominant chicks, Poppy and Noodle are the cuddlers, and the other four kind of do their own thing.
I plan on documenting them in photos each week, to show how fast they progress from baby chicks to egg-laying hens. New feathers appear every day, and I think they get a half inch taller each night. My kids just adore them, and each have their favorite ones. I look forward to many years of fresh eggs and silly chicken antics!
In June 2018, we lost some birds to a fox attack, so we added a few new chicks. We replaced our Buff Orpington and Plymouth Barred Rock, and also added a second Ameraucana (a white one this time) and a Welsummer. Their names kept with the food theme and we have Peanut, Fry, Sesame, and Patty. I did not do the weekly documenting for these chicks, but they did get a photo shoot when they arrived. Penelope, the curious and trouble-making Holland Lop rabbit, joined in.
The Chick's new album cover, "Mad Tweets"
Plymouth Barred Rock and Buff Orpington chicks
White Ameraucana Chick
Chickens in an egg carton, so punny.