Still More Chickens…

If you’ve been following along up until now, it may seem that I am getting two types of chickens: Speckled Sussex and Easter Egger.  But, alas, that is not the case.  Let me just admit it – I’ve gone crazy for chickens.

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In addition to 6 Speckled Sussex hatching eggs and 6 Easter Egger eggs, I have also ordered 6 Welsummer eggs.  Welsummers are most well-known for their burnt umber colored eggs, a medium to dark reddish brown.  These birds originated in the Netherlands in the village of Welsum.  These birds have the single comb and “partridge” coloring is most common.  (Best described by taking a look at the picture above.)  These are beautiful, friendly birds that lay a pretty, uncommon egg.  To be plainly honest, I purchased these eggs as an impulse buy when I was checking out with my Sussexes and Easter Eggers.  Remember, only 50% or so will hatch, and 50% of those will be roosters.  So, one or two more hens couldn’t hurt, right?  Also, this breed is popular because of their pretty egg color, so I feel confident that I can find good homes for extra roosters or laying hens.

Last but not least, my newest love is the Barnevelder.  These rare, black and copper beauties have swept me off my feet.  Also originating in the Netherlands, unsurprisingly in the town of Barneveld, these single combed birds lay a medium brown egg.  Considered dual purpose (much like the Speckled Sussex), they are kept for both their eggs and their meat.  I am partial to the wide, clearly-defined lacing on birds like those I purchased (this link won’t last; it’s an online auction) and those from Feathers and Fleece Farm, whose line comes from Britain.  So, I ordered 10+ hatching eggs, and I am now planning to maintain a small flock of these until I move to a bigger piece of land where I can expand my operation one day.  (Insert semi-maniacal laughter here.)

So, my incubator, a HovaBator Genesis 1588 is set to arrive this week.  All of my eggs are being shipped Priority mail on Monday, March 28th and should arrive on Wednesday or Thursday.  Then, they will need to sit for about 24 hours to settle from shipping.  I’m figuring that they will go into the incubator on Friday, April 1 and hatch Friday, April 22.  (Yes, I did intentionally time this so I would be home on spring break.)  I am so excited that I may not be able to sleep. 😉

Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens

Last night I dreamed of chickens,
there were chickens everywhere,
they were standing on my stomach,
they were nesting in my hair,
they were pecking at my pillow,
they were hopping on my head,
they were ruffling up their feathers
as they raced about my bed.

They were on the chairs and tables,
they were on the chandeliers,
they were roosting in the corners,
they were clucking in my ears,
there were chickens, chickens, chickens
for as far as I could see…
when I woke today, I noticed
there were eggs on top of me.

– Jack Prelutsky

5 thoughts on “Still More Chickens…

  1. Heather, this is great! I’m a little late catching your last few blog posts, but I’m so excited! I had 50ish egg-laying chickens growing up, and I often miss them and wish I could have a flock again. We had every breed you’ve mentioned so far, plus a few more, and I loved their little quirks and habits. (Except Leghorns. They’re mean little suckers and lay boring white eggs. Avoid them.) A few roosters usually make their way into a shipment of chicks, whether accidentally or on purpose, and I think they lend a little balance to a herd. But I’d try to only have 1 per 10 hens; otherwise the hens walk around with much-abused necks. On the plus side, fertilized eggs are said to be healthier (though I haven’t verified it myself).
    And we went with the coop/run combo, letting the chickens out to graze near the garden for 3 hours before dusk every night. You have to round them up before dark, though, because they’re painfully stupid when roosting and, being immune to disruption, tend to get eaten outdoors. Luckily, they’re easy to corral.
    And it’s so rewarding! The most soothing thing in the world is sitting in a chair nearby and listening to their rustling and clucking while they graze. Love it 🙂

    Miss you!
    xoxo, M

    • Sorry I took so long to reply. I didn’t know you grew up with chickens! Very cool. 🙂 That was a nicely sized flock, too, and diverse! I am really looking forward to just what you said, sitting in the backyard watching them interact and listening in on their conversations. I’m expecting my little herding dog to become a first-rate chicken dog and help me to get those birds back into their coop each evening. I think she’ll love chickening even more than I will!
      Miss you, too, and hope all is well. ❤ Heather

  2. Pingback: A Breed Apart « Scratch Cradle

  3. Very nice blog. Very well written and researched. I just got 10 Basque chicks and was very happy for your well researched post about the breed. They are 5 weeks and are truly the best chickens I have ever raised. Being such a mild mannered and friendly breed, I’m wondering how they will fare with my older Silver Penciled Barred Rocks, Phoenix and Silver Pencilled Wyandottes when they are put out together. Anything you’ve gleaned from mixing ages breeds would be appreciated.

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