I had never really considered having chickens. I grew up on horses and I've had cats, dogs, a wide variety of rodents, parakeets, parrots, fish and reptiles... but I had never considered having chickens.
Two things happened in quick succession - the first was finding out that I have serious allergies to wheat & corn. The second was the necessity to move closer to my husband's work... and finding the most perfect farm to rent!
Since finding out about my allergies, I've been eating A LOT of eggs. And, hey - since we're about to move to a farm, why keep buying dozens and dozens of eggs each week when we can have CHICKENS?
Once I started researching chickens, I was instantly hooked! I joined BYC and started learning all I could. I met people through BYC who have acted as mentors (and perhaps enablers - LOL) to perpetuate my new chicken fancy.
Planning ahead, I placed an order with a hatchery for 15 chicks of a variety of egg-laying breeds. At the same time, my family decided we'd like 2 - 3 guinea fowl to help keep bugs and ticks in check on the farm (but the hatchery we ordered the chicks from didn't have guineas). I found a person (and fellow BYC-er) locally who could hatch guinea eggs for us.
Then... a big wind storm hit and our future landlord called to say that the tree standing over the chicken coop on the property went down, taking out the beautiful, large coop.
I called the hatchery and cancelled the order for the chicks. I was devastated, but then turned to the wonderful lady who was already caring for our guinea eggs and asked her to hatch some chicks for us too.
Of course the guineas hatched first.
And when we went to pick up the guineas, we ended up bringing home a 2.5 week-old Buff Columbian Cochin chick - dang impulse buy! LOL!
Of course as luck would have it, that little impulse-buy chick changed our home and my autistic daughter forever. My daughter was instantly attached to the chick and showered it with love and affection - the likes of which she had never before expressed toward anything or anyone.
After waiting a few more weeks, our next batch of eggs hatched...
Three lovely Swedish Flower Hens!
And the Buff Columbian boy...
And here are some updated photos from 9/19/2012:
Frida & Inga
Oh... and Chicken Math??
Yeah - it's real!
Astrid & Ginger
Astrid & Ellinor
And two Lavender English Orpingtons:
...aaaaaand a Mille Fleur Cochin (because the Buff boy needs a "friend").
Yeah - you know I'll be doing more updates in the future
Well crud! Look at the FAT content of those little buggers!