Eggs are essential for baking. We are happy to soon be able to use eggs produced right here on our little farm by our very lucky, happy, spoiled chickens. Our chickens are always treated like family (well, family that sleeps outside, because, man, they are stinky!) We love watching them grow from chicks to full grown layers, and we want to share this journey with our customers!
March 26, 2020
We picked up our chicks at the local feed store. We estimated them to be between one and two weeks old. They were nervous on the drive home.
April 2, 2020
As the chicks grew a little and we were able to tell them apart better, we began naming each of them. Some were names submitted by customers as part of an online contest, some were Green Acres characters, others were named by close friends.
April 7, 2020
As the chicks really started getting comfortable in their new home, they got more and more active. They ate, played, slept and pooped all day and night.
May 7, 2020
It's been a while since an update on our girls! With an unusually cold spring this year, the girls didn't get to be loose outside until the beginning of May. They were scared at first and stayed huddled together. We set up a small enclosure (a chicken "play pen") to keep them safe and took them outside as often as possible.
May 12, 2020
After a few days, they were running, playing and stretching their wings. They couldn't wait to get outside each day!
June 10, 2020
After much deliberation, we determined that we have TWO roosters. We did order all girls, but sexing baby chicks is notoriously difficult and obviously some mistakes were made at the hatchery. Bey (now Sue) and Billie Jo (now Billy Jo) developed large, bright red combs and waddles and started developing spurs on their feet. Their quick growth and more aggressive behavior make a lot of sense now. It's pretty common for the chickens to really start exhibiting sex-specific traits around this age.
One of the hardest things we have had to deal with lately is watching the flock establish their "pecking order." Billy Jo, who came on strong at first, was put in his place by the much larger and much more intimidating Sue. Sue would stare Billy Jo down; we were terrified a cockfight would ensue and one of our birds would be killed! We kept a close eye on them over the coming days. Billy Jo always backed down and ran away to hide. He is now the loner of the group and spends most of his time laying in the grass by himself. It is sad to see, but the best thing we can do right now is let nature run its course. We have had no more potential cockfights as long as Billy Jo "knows his place." If fighting would begin again, we would have to re-home one of our roosters, and we would hate to see either of them go. Sue and Billy Jo often actually sleep curled up together at night. It is an interesting dynamic to witness.
Sue is taking his job as the king of the coop very seriously. When the flock is free ranging and starts heading too close to the road, Sue will herd them back toward the coop. We hated to see Billy Jo getting "bullied," but the flock's protector has been chosen and is doing a great job.
Get to know a few of our girls (and boys!)
Each chicken really has her own personality. Some of our girls are particularly unique!
Bey is the queen. From early on, she enjoyed being above all the other chickens - the first to use the perch in the brooder, soon graduating to perching on top of the waterer. She is a Brahma, so she is large and in charge and does not put up with any monkey business from the other chicks. She is the most likely to let out a big squawk when another chick gets in her personal space.
UPDATE 6/10: Bey is a ROOSTER! We are now calling him Sue and he is at the top of the pecking order in our flock.
Henrietta, a Buff Orpington, thinks she is a pet, and we are completely okay with that. She runs to us when we open the brooder and expects to be petted and held multiple times a day. She began as the runt and always let the other girls scare her away from the food and water. We had to work closely with her to make sure she thrived, so I think we share a special connection. She is our secret favorite.
Billie Jo, a White Plymouth Rock, grew VERY quickly. Unfortunately, she also became the bully of the group. We have to keep a close eye on her as she likes to pick fights with the other chickens, sizing them up by stretching her neck as long as it can go and puffing out her feathers.
UPDATE 6/10: Billie Jo is almost definitely a ROOSTER! Sexing fail! Oh well. We will just spell his name "Billy Jo" now. After some close calls with Bey/Sue, Billy Jo is now the loner of the group, at the bottom of the "pecking order."
Arnold, one of our Easter Eggers, absolutely hates being held, but her beard makes her look so distinguished! She runs and hides under all the other chicks in the brooder when she sees us coming. Once she is outside though, man does she have a blast! Her favorite activity is dancing in the grit pan.