Monday, January 10, 2011

And Then There Were 16......

Now that the cat's been let out of the bag (here), I want to introduce to you our 13 (!!!) new chickens! We originally planned on purchasing 8 or so standard sized pullets from a list of about 5 breeds. However, for a variety of reasons, we responded to a craigslist ad and ended up sort of last minute driving out to a farm about 45 minutes SE of Dallas. Before we knew it we had 13 part-bantam mixes tucked in various boxes and cages in the back of the minivan. The kids were ecstatic and we all had a great time traipsing around the barn trying to catch our new-to-us hens & chicks.

So here's a rundown of the new members of our flock:

The one on the left and the one on the right are supposed to be about 9 months to a year old. The one in the middle is probably more like 5 or 6 months. We were ecstatic to find two eggs from these ladies only 36 hours after arriving at our home. I'm assuming they're from the two older ones.
Updated picture from 2/20/11 - My how they've grown!
The previous owner swears these two came from the same clutch but the more orange-colored one is almost twice as big as the whiter one (maybe the runt?). They are both young, though, maybe 5-6 weeks? I'm worried a bit about them because they don't have what I would consider a full set of feathers yet. We will bring them in for the next few weeks when the weather gets below freezing. Looks like they have some Serama in them.


And finally, our mama with seven babies. She's a great mother and it's fun to watch her interaction with the chicks. She looks almost exactly like our Brown Leghorn (except for her comb/wattles), but doing some research it appears she may be an Old English Game bantam. The previous owner says she is 1/2 bantam and 1/2 standard. The babies were about 1 week when we got them 5 days ago. They are the cutest little balls of fluff. I swear they have almost doubled in size since we got them. It's amazing. Most certainly we'll end up having a few roosters from this bunch that we won't be able to keep, but I've already found a real home for one of them when the time comes.

Total cost for our haul? A mere $45. The owners were just overrun with poultry and wanted to reduce the size of their flock. And seriously - the kids had such a great time it would still have been worth it if we hadn't left with a single chicken. When we arrived at the farm our two older kids hopped out of the car and about gave me a heart attack with their screams. You see, we ended up going at night because that was the only time the owners' and our schedules could align. Apparently (and very sadly) our kids have never been in the country and seen the dazzling display of stars when there is no light pollution. They were literally jumping up and down at how many stars were in the sky. We clearly need to go camping more often! Hopefully only a few more years and we'll be able to purchase a few acres in the country and they'll be able to stare at the night sky to their hearts content. For now we'll have to settle for the Dallas skyline. Obvious our original coop is not big enough to hold 16 birds, so look for a post in the new few days detailing Jason's awesome coop-making abilities! -Carrie

3 comments:

  1. Love your chicks. As it happens, eggs are my favorite food. Wish I lived closer, I'd buy some from you.
    Love your blog
    Nana

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  2. We have 7 chickens with one being a bantam. She is our favorite out of the bunch. Also ended up with a rooster in the clutch that we weren't expecting, so looks like we will have some babies in the Spring. My daughter is thrilled. Hope to have some eggs soon. Had to dig them out of the snow this morning in their coop. Not something we are used to here in Georgia.
    Blessings
    Diane

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  3. What Pigs Don't KnowJanuary 10, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Nana - I never knew you loved eggs so much! I'd love to be able to give you some. Thanks for the shout-out.

    Diane - We had a light snowfall here this morning - something we're not used to either! They are forecasting temps in the high teens to low twenties for the next three nights and only in the mid-30s during the day. We're going to bring in the mama and babies and the 2 adolescents for the next few days/nights as I just worry about lack of feathers and freezing to death. They would probably be fine but I don't want to risk it. Thanks for visiting! -Carrie

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