Our flock of hens is down to three and they are four years old now
which means they’re middle aged and though ours are all still laying
very well, we wanted to add to our flock so that as our older hens slow
down their laying we’ll still have plenty of eggs. So we brought our
new flock home and here they are:
We’ve had ameraucanas before and love them. Not just for the colorful eggs they lay but because they’re cool looking and our experience is that they have great personalities. We have never had a pale one, which in some places are referred to as lavender Ameraucanas*.
The naming of new chicks is a very important ritual. You can name your chickens anything you want but there is a strong trend towards giving them antiquated women’s names like Doris, Flora, or Dottie. I like this trend but my son and husband feel no need to name them according to anyone’s tradition. I originally let Max (my son) name two of them and was going to let Philip name two of them as well but had to revoke his naming rights after he named our littlest chick. We originally meant only to get 6 chicks. We ended up with one extra because we almost lost our Speckled Sussex and the farm store suggested a back up bird.
Anyway, the naming frenzy got out of control and here are some of the names brainstormed between my guys: Doo-boy, Carlito, Boo-doy, Leroy, Larry, Carl, Bouffant, Curly, Spikey, Lemon-boy, Turd (what is it with 9 year old boys?!), Jumpy-jump, and Blackie.
I’m willing to bet that no one can guess who named which birds. Naturally if you’re a farmer who has more than a small flock you don’t indulge in the great chick naming event. It’s too bad, I must say it adds some lively fun to family life and my kid is much more interested in chicks he gets to take part in naming than chicks he doesn’t. It becomes more personal to him. Naming is not recommended for those birds being raised for meat. We raise ours for the eggs, the manure, and the pleasure of having them around.
We have a favorite Looney Tunes cartoon which I think is called “The Stranger” and is about a chick who is adopted by a mother duck who tries to raise the chick with her own ducklings. The animators did an amazing job of capturing the distinctive way chicks have of moving. If you haven’t seen that cartoon I suggest trying to get your hands on it. (We have it on a disc of a cartoon collection.)
Bob is difficult to photograph. She’s not very cooperative and her head being so dark adds another challenge. We’ve never had Australorpes so we’re pretty excited to have two of them. Of course, any or all of these chicks could turn out to be a rooster, in which case we’d have to sell them back to the farm store. Hopefully we’ll end up with at least one Black Australorp.
I’m curious to see how different Bob and Drusilla will turn out. Drusilla has a lot more yellow on her but I thought the grown Australorps are all black.
This is Mohawk who had a very stressful weekend during which she very nearly signed off after becoming cooked by the heat lamp. My next chicken post will give some tips about reviving chicks that have collapsed from overheating. It is amazing that she made it. She’s still a little ruffled looking but she’s completely recovered.
Taking pictures of the chicks in their box is hard. The lighting is tough on the pictures. This is Mohawk just after making her full recovery.