By the end of 2012, I knew I was getting chicks in 2013. I had carefully planned my order, placed it as soon as Meyer Hatchery opened up the 2013 hatch dates, and waited (not-so) patiently for May 13 to arrive so that I could pick up my babies. Things happened and a couple chicks were added to the order, but things went smoothly--save for my Dorking not hatching--and I ended up with a brood of 8 beautiful babies, all of different breeds.
Because I have always loved New Zealand and I especially have taken an interest in their native Kakapo parrot, I decided to name these babies in Maori, the native language of New Zealand. Many of them are named after real, living Kakapo parrots as well!
After some difficulty with the Easter-egger bantam, Hika Ma, who had turned out to be a rooster, he was rehomed. This put Te Heihei down to seven; the six pullets and the bantam Cochin who also was a cockerel.
Now, I present Te Heihei:
Rangi is my shoulder-hopping, trouble-making Ancona! When I wrote down the names for these chicks, I had actually written down Roha for my Ancona. At the last minute, upon seeing the chicks, I decided that Rangi fit her better, and so I changed it. Rangi is Maori for 'sky', which was my little shout out to a Budgie I had that passed away last year.
From early on, I could tell Rangi was trouble (just take one look at that face with the little spot under her eye..!), but then she would give me this face and all would be forgiven:
Rangi was always into this or that and as a chick, she was constantly trying to get to new heights.
She soon found her wings and began the morning routine of flying to my bed to wake me up!
As Rangi grew, so did her comb!
Rangi laid her first egg on November 16, 2013, at 26 weeks and 6 days old!
Rangi continues to hop on my shoulder (and my back if I bend over) to this day. It's nice to have a shoulder bird--though sometimes it's rather unexpected!
Roha is the attention hog of the group. As an Exchequer Leghorn, this did come as a surprise to me, but I won't complain!
As a chick, she was a bit shy, but very curious and goofy.
She had a certain derpishness about her. I was constantly receiving funny looks from her.
Growing up, she soon came to adore my affection, and wanted always to be the center of attention.
When the camera came out, Roha always tried to be in the spotlight. Here she is, trying to gain my attention in a video I took:
Roha does not like the snow. She reverts to the shape of an egg when it's cold.
She continues to come to me for attention and love to this day.
Ihi is a wild child of a Golden Campine with a lot to say about it to boot. As a chick, she was quiet and reserved, often with a thoughtful expression on her face.
From early on, Ihi became best friends with Marama and they were like partners in crime through their chickhood. Always into this or that, Marama would lead the way, and Ihi would follow.
Ihi always had the sweetest expressions, though her crazy antics would sometimes distract from that.
Double trouble! I think Ihi learned some of her kookiness from Marama!
Ihi became talkative as she grew, always chattering away about this or that. Around this same time, she also began fanning her tail out big time! Here's a talking fan-tailed Ihi:
When Ihi matured, she became more tolerant of attention from me, but she always chews me out whenever I pick her up! Her voice is so silly and nasaly, and it always sounds like she's going, "hyOORG!"
Ihi is still the talkative little lady she's been since her 'teenage' phase, but also the energetic little loon she was as a chick. She has become quite the beauty and is an unforgettable part of the flock.
Sadly, on February 22, 2016, during free-range, Marama hopped the fence into our dog yard and was 'played' to death by the dogs. I so miss this little sassy bird...
Tiwhiri is such a beautiful hen, but she is the shyest hen I own. If I even look like I'm heading her way, she runs for it!
"I see you, there! Don't even try it!"
Yes, it certainly is just her and her shadow most days!
Whiri grew in her comb very early, like most Leghorns do. I was even told by a few people that she was a rooster because of her big comb--but I definitely knew the truth about her identity by then!
Of course, Tiwhiri was the first of the lot to lay an egg. She's just gorgeous, even when she's sitting on the nest!
Huka is a reserved, quiet hen. She's a bit distant and doesn't often allow me to give her attention.
As a chick, she was a delicate little diva, always working the catwalk and looking her best!
Check out the eyebrows on this girl!
Huka is not a fan of wintertime. Her comb even shrinks when it's cold out!
Though she tends to be distant, she isn't afraid to come right up and prod you in the back if you're crouching. Ouch! Don't trust the innocent look!
Weheruatanga o te Po
Rest in peace, big boy. May 12, 2013 - June 1, 2014
To sum it up...
names: Huka Kairakau, Tiwhiri, Rangi, Roha, Ihi
sex: All girls except Mr. Po
hatch date: May 12, 2013
breeds: Light Brown Leghorn (Whiri), Exchequer Leghorn (Roha), Ancona (Rangi), Silver Lakenvelder (Huka), and Golden Campine (Ihi)
egg color: All of them lay white eggs
Thanks for reading!