Friday, March 8, 2013

Little Peeps

For at least a year, Becky has been lobbying for chickens. Even though we live in town, she was convinced that a small backyard flock of laying hens would be the very thing. Over many months she has carefully done her research and never once gave up on the idea. I've always enjoyed watching chickens and I'm definitely in favor of fresh eggs, so eventually I jumped on the bandwagon with her. Finally, last night we decided the time had come.

Off to the farm store we went. While Lyle folded down the seats in the car to make room for the chicken coop kit, I went on in the store to see what breeds of baby chicks they had in stock. Sadness! All they had were turkey chicks... (or wait, what do you call baby turkeys? Had to stop and google it... apparently they are technically calls poults!) They were very cute, but I sure didn't want to end up with turkeys gobbling in my backyard. Then we discovered that the box the chicken coop came in wouldn't fit in the car.

Time for Plan B? What was Plan B anyway?

We decided that Lyle could come back another day to get the coop. It will be on sale until the 17th. We called the farm store in Spokane to see if they had actual chicken chicks in stock. They did. So we took off over there. Becky had given me a list of breeds she thought would be the best. We decided that four would be a good number. Our city allows up to 10 hens in a backyard (no roosters!), but I knew we didn't want that many. The coop we are looking at is roomy enough for up to four, so four it is.

And here they are...

The yellow chicken in back is a White Leghorn. Her name is Daisy. I'm taking it on faith that she will be white as an adult. In the middle is the sweet little Rhode Island Red. We've named her Marigold. The gray-and-black striped one is a Silver-Laced Wyandotte. Her name is Peony. And the black one... Wait! Where's the black one?
Oh, yes... here she is. She's a Black Sex Link named Violet.
So far we have found them to be endlessly fascinating to watch. For example, their feeder has 8 holes. Plenty of room for four little chicken heads to go foraging. But no, they think they all need to be in the same hole.
Now, then. That's better. That's the idea.
But then, Peony decides it would be a good idea to climb on top of the feeder.
(That's probably how that splat of chickie droppings ended up there! They do poop all over everything. Still, I've heard it's great garden fertilizer. So it's all good.)

It's also funny to watch them fall asleep. They doze off before they lie down. First their eyes close and then their head starts bobbing.
And pretty soon they are plopped down snoozing away. Daisy was tucked back in that corner for the longest time last night. It didn't seem like a natural position for a chicken, so I was a little concerned that she might be sick, though she seemed to be breathing normally.
But this morning she's alert and cheeping around with the other girls, so I guess that's just how the chickies sleep. Eventually I guess they'll learn to roost.
Cookie is enchanted and would dearly love a chance to mother them... but in fear that she might inadvertently love them too much, we have been very careful to keep them out of her reach.

And so the adventure begins. Have no doubt that I'll keep you posted.

What fun!


Natasha Marie said...

Oh, how fun! Chicks are so adorable! Love the names:)

pse said...

Happy times! I'm so glad you were able to get chickens at last. They are adorable. I must learn which name goes to which chick!

Karla Cook @ Ramblin' Roads said...

Mother, here's how to remember the names... Daisy is the yellow one that will turn white. (Daisies are white and yellow.) Marigold is the orangey one (Rhode Island Red) like the orange flowers. Violet is black... like a very dark purple violet. Peony is striped like some peonies. Got it?

Denise said...

Oh, Becky! I am so glad you got chicks! I have always wanted chickens ~ it's still on my bucket list of things to do in life. ;) So, how did you decide which kinds? I will look forward to watching them grow up and can't wait to hear that they have laid their first eggs! Karla, I love the scriptures you have on your sidebar ~ such encouraging reminders.

Farrah said...

Hooray! And such a fun thing to do in spring. I can't wait to hear all about it from Rebecca. She must be so excited!!!

Kara said...

They are adorable! And thanks for the laugh. Hope everything turns out well just as you plan! :D

Aliene said...

You all will enjoy them as they grow.
But watch one may be a rooster. We have 4 white ? and one rooster. Have raised them from peeps. they should be laying any day now. Look on facebook under Royce McLin. He makes and sells the chicken coops and seems they are flying off the shelf. He is Stephanie's x. There are 2 sizes.
May give you ideas. He and Silas made our pen almost two years ago.
This is our second litter to raise.

Catherine said...

Your new chicks are so cute, and I love the names! :)
We really enjoy having hens at our place. They're so entertaining.
All the best with your new venture!