The BeginningIn 2011, we ordered four chicks; one Columbian Wyandotte, one Silver-laced Wyandotte, one Rhode Island Red, and and Easter Egger from Murray McMurray Hatchery. We split an order with some other people, so the order did not arrive at our house. All of the chicks arrived healthy and happy, so we took our four home and put them into their prepared brooder. Soon, we grew to love the chicks, as each one had her own personality and quirks.
This was our Silver-laced Wyandotte as a chick. We named her "Silver"
Our Columbian Wyandotte chick was named "Columbie".
"Easter" was our Easter Egger.
"Red" became the name of our Rhode Island red.
Silver was a serene chick that never caused too much trouble. Columbie, though, had an inquisitive personality that often got her into trouble. She was never very agile, and was the last to learn how to roost. Red was even more stately than Silver; she never did anything wrong, and was quite cute. Easter was a fluffy, sweet chick that was lowest in the pecking order.
When the chicks were a few weeks old, we let them outside for the first time. At first, they were frightened, and huddled together in a group. Soon, they began to enjoy the outdoors, especially Columbie, who though that it was fun run away from the other chicks. However, she was silly in that she was frightened of sticks, whether they were on the ground or waving in the air.
These were the chicks on one of their first excursions outside.
Columbie is exploring something on the left side of the picture on her own(she never did care for the other chickens--she's quite selfish!).
As the chicks became older, they became even more fun. Soon, we could tell that Easter was good flier. Columbie was a clumsy trouble maker (but extremely cute), Red was the leader, and Silver was second-in-command. We continued to let them go outside every few days or so. Easter and Red feathered quickly, but the Wyandottes, especially Columbie, took a long time to grow in their feathers.
Columbie outside sunbathing.
Silver outside at 3 and 1/2 weeks old.
Easter sunbathing.(So cute!)
Silver and Red as five week olds.
The chicks investigating their new coop
Easter, the lovable chicken
Easter when she was full grown. She is a good layer, giving about six greenish eggs a week. She is lowest in the pecking order, but very sweet and lovable. Easter is quiet (except after laying), but does not like the other chickens, as they sometimes pick on her. She spends much of her time slinking around pretending to not exist. This includes hiding her head behind another chicken, closing her eyes when they look at her (if she can't see them, they must not see her, right?!), and going off on foraging expeditions on her own. Easter enjoys human company, but isn't as sociable as Columbie. Easter makes different noises than our other chickens. Most of her noises are soft and warbling in nature, though she makes quite noisy cackling sounds after laying an egg.
A close look at Easter's head.
Columbie as an adult. She is a wonderful layer, having laid 299 eggs in her first year. She is sweet, and the funniest chicken we have. Columbie loves bread, and will do some tricks to get it. She acts like a dog, and knows how to come when called and jump onto a chair when told to. She likes stealing raspberries from our raspberry plants, and eating mealworms and moistened feed. Columbie is third in the pecking order, and often exercises her rank by pecking Easter. She is arrogant, strutting around most of the time with her tail and head up. She's loves to dust bathe (often turning her feathers brownish-grey instead of white), but isn't a good preener. Columbie is a pig, gobbling down as much food as possible, sometimes nearly choking herself. She really likes swallowing cicadas whole, or bolting down large pieces of tomato. She makes unique cooing noises, which change in intensity depending on her feelings. Often, her noises sound like questions, or like demands. Columbie does not like sticks, and runs from falling leaves and butterflies.
Columbie doing what she does best: acting pretty and strutting
The leader, Red
Red is a dependable leader. She keeps order in the coop, and lays a good number of eggs (260 in her first year). Red is a calm leader that can assert her dominance with a hard glare or a "guulll, gullll" noise. She doesn't make a lot of noise, but has a deep cackle that she makes after laying. Red takes care of herself very well, unlike Columbie. She doesn't enjoy bread as much as the other chickens, but loves tomatoes!
And, finally, this is Silver. Silver doesn't usually cause much trouble, but can be mean to Easter. She rudely asserts her place while eating with sharp pecks, but will not peck Columbie or Red. Silver has the same stuck-up temperament as Columbie (I guess Wyandottes just think a lot of themselves). Silver complains loudly if another chicken steals her piece of bread, but isn't very good at getting the food back. Her most common noises are "Gulllk, gulllk", earning her the nickname of "Gulk". She is our worst layer, and is second in the pecking order (after Red). Like Red, Silver is a hardy bird, and has never had anything wrong with her. She always has a stern look on her face, which suits her temperament well.