Backyard Flock: meet the new chicks

| 10 Comments
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:

Anna portrait 2.jpgWe'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*. 


Bungie portrait 2.jpgThe 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. 


Curly-sue portrait 2.jpgI'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.

Dimity-Jane second p 2.jpgWe 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 portrait2.jpgBob 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. 

Drusilla portrait 2 .jpgI'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.

Mohawk portrait 2.jpgThis 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. 

Mo 2.jpgTaking 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. 

Unceremonious 2.jpg
Drusilla being manhandled by me.  Chicks don't naturally like being picked up.  Unfortunately for them there isn't an animal on earth that wouldn't like to sink its teeth into a baby chick, humans being no exception other than their willingness to plump them up first.  The birds know their position and are therefore suitably skittish around anything not them.  We make a practice of handling our chicks a great deal.  They run, they scuffle, they peep, but in the end they will be forced to suffer our gentle assaults.  Over time they become used to our voices; learn that we are the strange beings who bring treats like snails and greens and best of all in the entire world...watermelon, and will come running when they hear us. 









*Only pure bred Ameraucanas are called "Araucanas".  Ours are not pure bred.  The kind we got is an Ameraucana or sometimes they're referred to as "Easter Eggers". 


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

10 Comments

Those chicks are so cute! Maybe someday I can have my own flock.
~Angela :-)

They really are awfully cute- if you even decide to start a flock I'll be right here to advise should you need it. Not that you will. You can borrow our chick rearin' equipment.

I got your FB questions. I wanted to know how long before they begin to lay and how long do chickens typically live? I wouldn't thought a thing about it and I know you wouldn't dis me. :)

Hens start laying between 5 to 6 months of age. Rarely sooner. They typically live between 6 to 8 years though I've heard of them living to be 12. I'm glad you know I wouldn't dis you but I thought it was better to let you know for sure!

"Mohawk" is by far the best name. "Dimity Jane" is second, then "Bob."
You should step up your naming game. Whoever named Mohawk should name ALL the chicks next time!

Nice try Philip! I'll give you this: you don't name them all George.

awww, baby chicks are the cutest! i can almost here them peeping. love, love the names!!

Thank you Riana! I have been thinking of you a lot lately, by the way. Must check back in to Flickr to see what you're up to. I really love baby chicks. Apparently I have quite an affinity for birds though if you'd asked me at any given time in the past if I really liked birds I would have looked at you like you like you were stoned or something.

Glad to know we aren't the only ones who name our chicks- We have had a Speckle, Spock, Buttercup, John Luke,and my favorite Mouse-- Really like your site

Leave a comment

Recent Comments

  • Angelina: I think the only people who don't name their chicks read more
  • Gretchen: Glad to know we aren't the only ones who read more
  • angelina: Thank you Riana! I have been thinking of you a read more
  • riana: awww, baby chicks are the cutest! i can almost here read more
  • angelina: Nice try Philip! I'll give you this: you don't name read more
  • Philip: "Mohawk" is by far the best name. "Dimity Jane" is read more
  • angelina: Hens start laying between 5 to 6 months of age. read more
  • robin: I got your FB questions. I wanted to know how read more
  • angelina: They really are awfully cute- if you even decide to read more
  • Angela: Those chicks are so cute! Maybe someday I can have read more