Just received a batch of chicks from Chicken Scratch this morning. I ordered 4 black copper marans chicks, 4 rumpless Araucanas, and 4 of their proprietary olive egg-laying hybrids (ameraucana x black copper marans). I received an extra baby of each variety, and all seem to be doing well as of moving into the brooder in my sunroom a couple hours ago. Only two of the Araucanas look like they might be duckwing patterned. I had asked if I could get golden duckwing babies, but evidently their breeders are not segregated by colors. Even though the duckwing chicks are pretty distinctively colored, they would not pick 4 out for me. Also, none of their Araucana chicks this season have been hatching with tufts, oddly, even though I was told that their breeders display some tufting. With such high prices for chicks, I was hoping for some stock that I could breed from, but if I can't get tufts to come through, I'm not sure if it is worth the trouble that hatching rumpless Araucanas always presents. Does anyone know if these clean-faced chicks might accidentally be able to pass on a tufted gene, without displaying tufts themselves? If not, I guess I'm going to try to track down a decently tufted rooster for fertilizing the clean-faced hens, and hope for more successful hatches that way. The breeding stock that is called "Wade Jeane" did, after some pointed questions, turn out to be second-hand, so probably the eggs these babies will lay will not be the deep chocolate brown that Jeane strove for, but that other breeders so often allow to fall be the wayside in favor of hatching and SELLING as many "Marans" chicks as possible, regardless of the increasingly pale and red eggs they lay. The olive egger chicks are super cute and fluffy, a couple have Ameraucana bearding evident already. Overall, the shipping was very high, given that I am only a day away from their farm, but the packaging was very sturdy and all the babies arrived in good health. The prices for the chicks themselves really were outrageous, especially given that the "Rumpless, Tufted Araucanas" turned out, after my paypal payment cleared, to not be tufted at all. Even the hybrids were $8 a chick, and while olive eggs are cool, I could very well have bred my own quite easily. 15 chicks ran me $120 or so, after shipping and handling. Hopefully the cost will result in some decently dark Marans eggs, and some decently blue Araucana eggs, but as I said, I am still in the market for a nice tufted rumpless roo. Anyone?