Hey guys, long time no see!
Just checking in with some updates, and update pictures. It's been about a year since I bought my last group of Meyer chicks (Dorking, BLRW, Buff Orp, Black Australorp, Blue Ameraucana, and Cuckoo Marans), and they are all grown up and laying now.
Sadly, we lost our Dorking a couple weeks ago to unknown causes (she was totally healthy and happy the previous day, laying well, getting underfoot--she did not appear injured at all, and I found her laying in a spot in the woods where the girls like to dustbathe). She was our friendliest hen by far, and our only white egg layer, so she is very much missed. :( I also lost one of my two oldest hens (a SLW, 7 years old) to an apparent predator attack several months ago. I decided after these losses that I would try to get another Dorking and a friend or two for her when the opportunity arose. I was starting to despair of doing this anytime soon, because Meyer was sold out of Dorkings for the whole year. However, the Dorkings became available on Meyer's "Available Now" overhatch list last night, along with several other breeds on my wish list. Sooo, based on standard operation of chicken math, I placed an order for 5 new chicks, and I'm so excited!! :) I have ordered one each of:
Silver Gray Dorking
Blue Copper Marans
Buff Laced Polish
I almost got an olive egger, too, but while I was weighing the pros and cons, other people snatched them up and made that decision for me.
I thought I'd add a few pics for an update.
By BLRW and BA in the background (with a photobomb from the dogs). She turned out to be blue after all, even though she was such a dark, dark chick it seemed sure she would be black. I'm pretty happy with her! Although I still want to add a lighter blue BLRW to the flock. And Nigella, the BA, turned out to be so, so pretty. I wouldn't think an all black hen, no flashy colors or anything, could be so striking, but she really is.
Here's another pic of the BLRW--pretty brassy around her head/neck, but a decent red elsewhere, and a nice deep blue color.
And here is Narcissa, the Buff Orp. She's pretty and entirely pleasant, but not quite as "in your pocket" as my old Buff Orp, unfortunately.
Pansy and Petunia, my Barred Rock and Cuckoo Marans. Petunia is laying nice dark eggs for me! Not super dark, but clearly and distinctly several shades darker than any of my brown layers.
Narcissa, Nigella, and Pansy out for a stroll this morning:
A picture of the whole flock a couple months ago, before we lost Mrs. Fig and the Dorking. :(
Here is our Dorking, just a few weeks ago--RIP little girl.... :( She was such a funny chicken, so bold and sassy and sweet and friendly, always underfoot looking for treats, letting the little kids pick her up and hold her and pet her.... I dearly hope our next one will have her character.
And here are a couple pics of Mrs. Fig, the SLW, before we lost her. She lived a very good 7 years, but she had more good life in her, and I was terribly sad to see her go.
(with my younger EE, Tiger Lily)
(old guard checking out the young blood, last summer)
Now I only have one surviving hen from my original batch of 3 hens, 7 years ago--Chamomile, my EE. She is still hanging in there, not at the top of the pecking order, but getting along fine and still laying regularly. She doesn't seem to get picked on, but she hangs out by herself a little more, and hangs out on the fringes when I pass out treats (so I always sneak her a few to enjoy on her own). I think she is such a pretty color, although I have a hard time catching it in pictures--she always looks cranky in close-up photos, but not in real life:
Delphine, the Blue Ameraucana, has gone broody, so I can't get a good picture of her now. But before she went broody she was laying nice eggs, not terribly different in color from my EEs' eggs, but tending to have calcium deposits. I think she's still laying a bit while she's hanging out on the nest 20+ hours day, but not as much as usual. Can't remember if I mentioned here that she survived an encounter with the neighbor's lab mix last fall--Delphine found a hole in the fence and decided to go exploring.... My husband was out working in the yard and mentioned hearing a bunch of squawking and seeing that the dog had caught "a pheasant or something." Of course I ran out--and saw the dog carrying Delphine in her mouth--Delphine was limp and the dog was literally digging a hole to bury her in. I thought she was dead, then I saw Delphine's leg twitch. I yelled, the dog dropped her, Delphine went running off into the bushes, and we found her. She was dazed and battered, a few puncture wounds, and missing a lot of feathers, but nothing truly major. After a trip to the emergency vet and some TLC, she made a full recovery. In this pic below, you can see where her feathers grew back in on the left side of her back and tail lighter than the rest of her body. I wonder if her whole body will turn that color as she molts....
Anyway, that's it for now. I plan to be back to post pics of the new chicks once they arrive!! :)
Edited by hyzenthlay - 6/20/16 at 4:40pm