It is so hard to resist adding baby chicks to the flock. We’ve told ourselves, “No.” on so many trips to the farm store, but I finally decided we’ll need a new generation to make up for our increasingly elderly original hens.
Today my husband built me a nice chick box to put out in the run and we brought home a half dozen babies. Two each of: Buff Orpingtons (yellow), Silver Lakenvelders (multi-color), and Barred Rocks (black).
I got pictures from a poultry vender called Stromberg’s to show what they’ll look like when they grow up. The Lakenvelders lay white eggs, so I’ll be able to identify who laid those. The others lay brown eggs like most of the others I already have.
I think it works out well to get your chicks in mid-summer when it’s warm enough out to avoid having to put them under a heat lamp. I have one in case the weather turns, but I think they’ll be fine. We put a roof over half the box for shelter from the weather and they have fresh air and sunshine shining down in the other half.
The older girls and the rooster are all quite curious. When I carried out the box of cheeping chicks, the adults all froze, cocked their heads, and set their beady little eyes on me. As they age, I’ll engineer a way for the chicks to run in and out of their pen but still duck into it through fencing if the hens get mean and chase them.
Over the next week, I’ll watch for those wing feathers to begin popping out and see if a comb becomes more prominent on any of them. That’s how I noticed that Cooper was turning into a rooster, although it is not what real chicken experts use to figure out the sex. Then I’ll come up with names. I may have only three names if I can’t tell them apart, one shared by each pair of “birds of a feather.”