How Many Chickens??
I didn’t mean to. We have 52 baby chicks coming this week. I didn’t exactly mean not to, either, truth be told. We have 27 chickens already, and I told Brian I thought we’d be up to maybe 65 with this new bunch. Which was sort of the case. I ordered them from our two usual places, MyPetChicken.com and Greenfire Farms. What also happened was that I had intended all along to get baby chicks now, in the late Spring. That was the plan because that way, the weather is getting nice and warm, and pretty soon they can start going outdoors, and it’s great. But then we started having hawk problems, so I got the Liege Fighters in February from Greenfire (plus a couple Cream Legbar hens and a 55 Flowery Hen). And then there were some blue and green egg layers it was really hard to get, who came available in April from MyPetChicken. That’s how we got to 27 already. And Brian turned one of our horse stalls into a fabulous coop with room for LOTS of birds. And I had already placed orders for late May with both places, which I then modified because of the birds we were getting early, and then I modified them a few more times along the way because of other breeds that became available, or because of other great ideas I had about the composition of our flock, and plus there was that one time when Brian imprudently said wouldn’t it be great if we could have enough blue and green egg layers to fill whole dozen cartons with each color, and besides every time you make a change they send you the confirmation of only the change but not of the total list, and if you modify your orders often enough you can start to lose exact track of exactly how many chicks are in each order. Right?
You cannot believe how many amazing chicken breeds there are out there. Isbars! They lay moss green eggs, with speckles. Marans – Black Copper Marans, Blue Birchen Marans, so many Marans – and some lay eggs that are actually dark chocolate brown, reddish brown, crazy blackish brown, maybe speckled. Appenzeller Spitzhaubens. We have to have that breed, to go with our Entlebucher dogs, from the neighboring area of Switzerland. And they’re black-and-white polka dotted, with crests like little hats! Polish hens, with feather headdresses. Buff-laced, gold-laced, black with white heads. Swedish Black Hens are black inside and out – black feathers, black skin, black flesh and bones. Buff Orpingtons “like eye candy on a green lawn”, Lavender Orpingtons (Lavender? Seriously?), Barnevelders with their stencil-precise silver chevrons, White Sultans with their fluffy heads and feet “like a cockatiel on steroids”. Egyptian Fayoumis just look cool. Salmon Faverolles just look cute. Black Sumatra roosters can have a four-foot long tail!
To be fair, I didn’t actually order 52 chicks. Greenfire sent me 8 extras, and MyPetChicken sent me 1 extra. So, I ordered 43. Which on top of our existing 27 doesn’t exactly equal 65, but it’s not that far off. Right?