Spring Chicks

Today we’ve had the chicks for four weeks, and today was their first full day outside. I know Tice will miss having them inside, but it was time.

We have a little pen set up for them that’s not too far from Tice’s sand table, so they’ll still get a lot of attention when we’re outside. We have been taking them outside to play for a little bit everyday since we got them, so they are already used to the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. However, they are very spoiled by all the human attention they receive, and they become very vocal when we’re out of sight. That’s one of the reasons it’s time for them to go outside…

The chicks had their first field trip outside and met Ava, the boss, a couple of days after we got them. 4/7/2012

4/16/2012 One of our daily trips outside with the chicks

The last two times I bought chicks, I poured over the catalog from McMurray Hatchery for hours trying to decide which breeds to select. There are so many characteristics to consider–temperament, size, colors, egg colors, broodiness (if they’ll try to sit/hatch eggs). It’s hard to narrow it down, so I ended up getting more than I originally planned both times.

(In case you’re curious, McMurray Hatchery mails the day-old chicks to customers. Their minimum order is 25, so I combined orders with friends or family to meet the minimum. If you want a smaller amount of chicks, I recommend ordering them through your local feed store or MyPetChicken.)

This time, I didn’t know what breeds I was buying. I know they are (supposed to be) pullets (females). I looked for just a few things when I chose them: I really wanted an Americana or Araucana (because I miss the blue-green eggs), I didn’t want any white birds (easier for hawks to spot), and I wanted them to be curious about us when we were peering in the cage (the ones that are skittish and shy as chicks are usually skittish and shy as grown chickens).

Now, I know with certainty that one of the chicks is a Golden Polish.

Her little mohawk is growing more each day. This was taken earlier this week, and now there’s at least another 1/2-inch of black feathers sticking straight up.

I think this one might be an Americana or Araucana. I’m hoping. She’s small but full of energy. She likes to fly and perch someplace high more than the others.

I’m still waiting to see what the black and white chick will be. It looks like her feathers are going to be solid black instead of black and white. She might end up being the same breed as Mary, which is Black Australorp, I think. I’m not sure, because I didn’t order a Black Australorp–I ordered a Dominique and got her instead. I’ve also received a rooster when I ordered a hen. Originally, I was very disappointed about the rooster, but he ended up being one of my favorites. You can see more about Fatty the rooster here, and here.

Fatty, our black Cochin rooster in 2007

I guess there’s always a surprise in the flock, so I figured I just take my chances with these little sweethearts.

As much as Tice and I enjoyed having the chicks inside, I know someone who won’t be missing them tonight…

 

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