By the time we got them home to the farm, it was evident I was going to lose one of my Orps as she was extremely lethargic, couldn't eat or drink and just wanted to lay down. She was such a sweetheart so for that reason I called her "Sweetie" and I snuggled with her til she took her last breath before bedtime. My heart broke that she didn't make it..so young and cute but I was so impressed with myself for handling it the way I did. Last year when I lost my first baby, you would have thought the world was ending. I was so sad for days! But, with everything thats happened in my life as of late..I knew it was a sign that I've grown up in many, many ways. I texted my mom and told her my Daddio had a new baby chicks to take care of now in heaven..and I'm sure he's just tickled pink to have her ;)
Once I contacted the breeder about my chick she offered to replace her and so that Sunday, I went back and picked up 1 Buff Orpington, 6 Wyandottes and 1 "mystery" bird. I picked up 2 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes and 4 Gold Laced Wyandottes and my gosh - they are cute :) I had 2 from last year, both of which turned out to be roosters so I'm really hoping to get some hens out of these ones. I left my babies for 3 days to pick up the tiles for my inlaws and I was so nervous in doing so. I kept telling Adam I shouldn't go because they were so little, but I went anyway. And I came home to another loss. This time a sweet little gold laced Wyandotte was lying in the soft pine shavings, waiting for me. And now there are 15
To me, its very important that my chicks are handled every day to ensure they get comfortable around people and don't get scared. Not enough handling creates an environment that I don't want. chickens that are afraid of people are rarely good with children and I don't want that at all! My Orps and Australorps are quite comfortable with me since I had them close by that first week but now I'm working on my Wyandottes. They are still pretty afraid..just this morning a blue laced red wyandotte tried to bite me when I picked her up (it doesn't hurt a bit) so I carried her around, petting her and allowed her to fall asleep in my hands...don't worry, I'll get them all to love me soon enough ;)
Without further delay..I'd like to introduce you to the breeds of my 2013 flock:
In my flock are now 6 Buff Orpingtons. They are new to me as last year, although I really wanted them, the breeder was completely out! They are a big, beautiful tan colored hen that is easily one of the largest birds in the chicken world. Most hens weigh, on average, 10lbs and its already easy to see the truth in that as my 2 week old babes are quite a bit heavier than any other breed!
Next I added 3 more Australorp hens to my flock. I currently have 4 pullets in the coop outside that I adore for their friendly and docile personalities and I knew I wanted more. Love these ladies..and, as a side note, my current Australorps have been laying thru the winter like crazy. Of the 7 hens I easily get 4-5/day still..even when the temps dip way below freezing!
Next up, my 3 new Gold Laced Wyandottes. Aren't they beautiful? I had one last year that grew up to be a rooster (Lance) so I'm really hoping these turn out to be hens so I can finally get some Wyandotte eggs! These are gorgeous, gorgeous birds and so, so quiet!
Also new to me this year, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. Really, really excited to see these 2 grow. From pictures, adult birds have the most gorgeous plummage..I can't wait!
Last but not least is Purdy, my mystery bird. The breeder gave her to me because she knew out of everyone she knows, I would be the one that would raise it up to be a healthy bird and let it grow so we can see what it turns out to be. The breeder figures its a mix of Orpington and possibly a Wyandotte but all I care is that she is such a sweetheart and I am so excited to have her here with us
And there is my new flock!! They are currently 2 weeks old (most of them) and are living it up in the brand new brooder my farmer built for me. This is where they will reside for at least another 6 weeks til they are big enough to move to the coop. And then thats when things get interesting. As this is only my 2nd year keeping chickens, I have yet to introduce chicks to a coop and I've been doing some research so stay tuned..I'm sure some funny stories are about to unfold..