Introducing the New Girls

Amber-the-Protectress

Three new babies and one toddler came to our house yesterday.  Farmer Nyel picked them up at our neighbor Katee’s where they’ve been ‘decompressing’ after their journey across the country – clear from Hoover Hatchery in Iowa to Jack’s Country Store in Ocean Park!  That’s a mighty long trip for little peeps. As it turned out, the older girl is from the first shipment a few weeks back.  Somehow, the rest of our ‘order’ didn’t make it with that batch, so the babies came with the second group day before yesterday.

The biggest girl is already beginning to feather out.  But, more importantly, she is showing some personality and has all the makings of a prime broody hen.  When Nyel opened the box Katee had placed them in, all we could see was Amber (named by Katee’s young daughters) with wings spread, little bits of black and yellow fluff visible peeping out at the edges.  Even though it was only a five-minute ride in the car, the temperature outdoors is chilly.  Especially compared to early chick life under a heat lamp.  But Amber was at the ready – spreading her little wings and gathering her younger sisters close.

Nyel and a Peep

Presumably, these are all female – two black and two white hens when they are mature.  This is the first time Farmer Nyel has purchased “sex-linked” chickens – offspring of crossbreed chickens whose color is linked to their sex.   Not only did he want to be sure they were all female (remembering the time he got six “for sure female” chicks, four of which turned out to be roosters) but, also, he wanted specific colors.  The black sex-links will stay black; the two amber sex-links will be white.

Over the years, we have purchased chicks because of their reputation as good layers or  because of their exotic looks or because of the color of their eggs.  This time, though, Nyel thought the flock, itself,  needed a little infusion of contrasting colors.  Hence the black and the white.  But it will be some time before these new girls join the older hens out in the coop.  Meanwhile, they are in their own special enclosure – a big cardboard box – and are basking under a heat lamp.  They have a chick-sized water dispenser and a chick-sized food tray full of Start-and-Grow Poultry Mix.

Home is where the heat is.

Best of all, Farmer Nyel and I visit them by turns throughout the day.  “Bonding” some might call it.  Whatever…  We just enjoy getting to know these little fluff-balls and their bigger, protective sister. We hope the feeling is mutual, but it’s always hard to tell with chickens.

One Response to “Introducing the New Girls”

  1. Nancy & Roger says:

    Love the little chicks, good luck with them !!

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