Growing the flock again, 2015 season additions

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by MacTech, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. MacTech

    MacTech Chillin' With My Peeps

    Last year was interesting, as it was my return to chicken raising after a long hiatus, hadn't kept chickens since high school...

    I've had my highs, the first egg, watching my chickens personalities grow and blossom, adopting a pair of roosters from my sisters hatching, and discovering they tend to spend more time palling around (they are brothers after all) and avoiding the hens, since they came in after the pecking order was established,.....

    I've had my concerns, letting them out for their first free range session, wondering how my dog, Cooper (Portuguese water dog) would react to free Rangers (he loves the hens, and they pal around with him, the roosters are terrified of him, but to be honest, those two are scared of *everything* anyway, how they'd deal with cold weather (they laugh at it, it bothers them not)

    And I've had my downs, losses to predators, having to euthanize a terminally sick hen :(

    I started with six pullets last year, and am down to three laying hens now, a partridge rock, a buff Orpington, and an Easter Egger...

    Of those three, the EE, Chiana, has been a stellar bird, smart, sweet, personable and freindly, she'd follow me into the house if I'd let her, oh, and she also lays nice large mint/olive (it varies slightly) green eggs, and does so extremely consistently, she's the best producer of the three

    So, given my good luck with her (she looks like a Welsummer with slate green legs), I decided to add more EE to the flock!

    I stopped off at Dover Agway tonight, picked up six EE chicks, they all seem to have that "chipmunk stripe" pattern to their down, and Agway said they got this batch of EE from the same source as last year, so theoretically, this batch should perform just as well as Chiana

    This time, I picked a few with what appear to be "beard" cheek feathers, so they should have that adorable feathery beard around their chin once they reach adult feathering

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  2. MacTech

    MacTech Chillin' With My Peeps

    Another thing I've noticed is how docile and tolerant of handling this particular breed of EE is, last year, when I brought Chiana home, she *slept* the whole way home, a half hour drive over New England back roads....

    the previous batch, the Plymouth Rocks, and Buff Orps were shreiky, panicky birds the whole drive home

    last night, this group of EE were equally docile on the drive home, in fact, when I discovered I needed a new heat lamp setup, as my old one wasn't working, I put the box o' chicks back in the car with me (as we still have cold New England weather here, and the car was warm), and brought Cooper, my Portie along as well, as I had to pick him up from my sister's place (she watches him while I'm at work)

    even with an obsessive Portuguese Water Dog sniffing their carrier (he *really* wanted to meet them), not a peep or shreik, completely docile

    once I set the brooder up at home, they hopped in.....and immediately went to sleep...

    this morning, Cooper was very insistent in wanting to meet them, i took the chicks out of the brooder, one at a time, cupped in my hands, and knelt next to Cooper, the chicks nestled against my stomach, completely nonplussed, even when Cooper began sniffing them (curiosity only, he has shown *no* signs of agression towards them, and he's completely trustworthy with the adult birds as well)

    after he met them all, he was satisfied, and wanted to go out, he had to greet his hens this morning.....

    last year, the Orp and PPR chicks would not tolerate being handled, they tried their best to constantly escape, and Cooper terrified them

    whatever mix of chicken genetics this particular strain of EE is, they're a stellar bird, great personalities, docile and easygoing, great free rangers, and freindly
     

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