After weeks upon months of dreaming, scheming, planning and prepping, we finally have our very own backyard flock of fabulous chickens!
When I got to the local feed store to choose my pullets, I was like a kid on Christmas. K, who was with me, was far less enthusiastic. She’s a bit scared of chickens, and not thrilled with the prospect of having them living in the back yard.
When the chicken lady led us to the trailers where the pullets were kept, I was blown away by the number of chickens they had to offer, as well as the variety of breeds. I had been firm in my conviction to get three Silver Laced Wyandottes and three Golden Comets (Red Stars). That conviction died a hard, fast death in the face of the plethora of beautiful chickens before me. Even K caught the fever, and eagerly insisted that she got to help choose the chickens we would bring home. I told her we were definitely getting one of the black and white ones (the Silver Laced Wyandottes), and she quickly directed the chicken lady to snag the fattest one roosting on a pole. While she was chasing down our chosen chicken, I noticed that none of the Wyandottes had tails. When I mentioned this to the chicken lady, she said they had been in with nine roosters who had viciously gone after the Wyandottes tails. Poor girls.
K had a bit of a spasm as the chicken lady held our girl upside down by the legs. I assured her it didn’t hurt the chicken, just kept her calm and still while she grabbed our other chickens. She didn’t buy it.
K and I quickly zeroed in on the next chicken together – a lovely brown girl with an interesting feather pattern – the only one of her breed in the trailer. I asked the chicken lady what she was and she told me she was a Welsummer. Even though I had never heard of a Welsummer, I knew I wanted this chicken. She was quickly joined by a White Plymouth Rock who caught my eye by boldly visiting me at the gate, and a gorgeous Black Sex Link.
Trying to recapture a bit of my earlier resolve, I insisted we go to the other trailer and make the last two girls Golden Comets (Red Stars). While the chicken lady scooped up the last two girls, I noticed their beaks looked funny. When I asked about it, the chicken lady told me when they come from large breeders, their beaks are often blunted to keep them from killing each other. Ouchie 🙁
So, in the end, I ended up with five different breeds for my little flock. K immediately said she was going to name half of them, and I got to name the other half. Generous of her, eh? So as of now, our tally is:
- 1 Silver Wyandott – Oreo
- 1 Welsummer – Henny Penny
- 1 White Plymouth Rock – Bean
- 1 Black Sex Link – (TBD)
- 2 Golden Comets (Red Stars) – Ziggy and (TBD)
K is frustrated because I have yet to select names for two of my three chickens. One of them is one of the Golden Comets – she is a nice dark red, and by far the loudest of the girls so far. She needs a name that really gives a nod to how vocal she is. The Black Sex Link also needs a nice regal name – she is a very proud, very beautiful girl. I’m thinking “Duchess” but I haven’t settled on it yet.
Bean and Henny Penny seem to the most dominant of the flock, while the two Comets have endured a tad bit of harassment from the other girls – I think it may be because they were from a different trailer initially. So far the abuse isn’t alarming – very few and far between pecks – but we’re monitoring it.
So far, the chickens are a real joy and I’m just loving them. Can’t wait to see my first egg!