A “cheep” thrill

Meet the newest members of our little family.

The yellow chicks are a breed called Delawares, and the patterned ones are Ameraucanas. Delawares are on the American Livestock Breed Conservancy‘s critical list. They are supposed to be very good winter layers. Ameraucanas are also referred to as “Easter Eggers;” the eggs they lay have shells that are tinted blue or green.

I ordered these chicks from Meyer Hatchery in Ohio, which is one of the few hatcheries that has a small order program. Most hatcheries require a minimum order of about 25 chicks. That’s waaayyy too many for my little urban hennery, so I’m very glad that Meyer has this option available.

It is possible to order small numbers of pullets (“teenaged hens”) from most hatcheries, however the selection of breeds is you can get as pullets is very limited. My current 3 hens came to me as pullets, and while they are fine ladies, I wanted to try some different breeds this time. Hence my search for a hatchery that would allow me to order a small number of chicks.

The chicks are growing really fast. Every day they look a little bit larger and a little bit more feathered out. And they are starting to show their personalities, too. One of them required a bit more of my time because she started “pasting up.” This is something that can happen to young chicks and needs to be taken care of right away. Pasting up is basically a euphemism for “getting plugged up with poo.” The way to fix this is to carefully clear away the dried droppings from the vent area, and monitor them to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I never would have imagined that I would be wiping chicken butts at some point in my life.

Anyway, I’ve taken to calling the gal that needed this special attention “Miss Poopy-Butt.” I think I may shorten that to Miss PB, or just plain ‘ol Missy when she gets bigger.

Between these little gals, the garden, work, and general life stuff, I’ve been pretty busy lately. Good thing I’m starting to get some of my energy back!

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