What were you, born yesterday?

Peep. Matter of fact, yes!

Well, they were born on Tuesday, so when they came home yesterday afternoon, they were but a day old.

They are in their temporary housing in our dining room until tomorrow, when I will move them out to the heated brooder in the coop. It’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow and I’ll feel better placing them outside then.

These are replacing the chickens we’ve lost: we started with twenty in January, and were down to nine, including two roosters and our Handi-Hen, who we do not expect will lay eggs, due to her stunted growth. That left us with only a half-dozen layers, and we want more than that, so that we have enough eggs for ourselves, as well as being able to sell some. Our first batch should start laying this summer, and the new additions in early Autumn.

We opted for twelve little girls, pullets that are of the ISA Brown variety, some of the best egg-layers around, with an average of around 300 a year. They are a hybrid sex-link chicken, meaning the chicks can be identified by their coloring, so you know whether you have pullets or cockerels without the need for the fancy vent sexing technique, which we are not qualified to perform. (Our first batch of chicks was straight run, meaning you don’t know who’s who!) This breed is created by mixing Rhode Island Reds with Rhode Island Whites, and is supposed to be quite friendly and docile. Given the amicable nature of my one Rhode Island Red hen, who loves to be petted, as I discovered recently, I am feeling pretty good about these ISA Browns.

I know, I know, if you’ve been reading here, you’re asking, “What happened to the Australorps and Easter Eggers you said you wanted?” Well, our local Tractor Supply Chick Days are in full force, and in speaking with the manager (with whom I’ve been developing a fast friendship), she said she didn’t think they’d be getting either of those breeds in this year. Yes, I could have ordered some from a hatchery, but I’m really hesitant to put chicks through a mail-order situation, and I’ve heard some horror stories about local post office staff not following instructions to call the recipient to come pick them up. I’m just not ready to deal with potentially losing chicks because of negligence on their part, and I’m also reluctant to start my chickens lives out in such a stressful manner. Maybe it’s just bunk, but I just feel that not having to travel in a little box in the cargo hold of a jet is probably better for their health.

But I digress. Back to these cute little fuzzbutts.

Loki is fascinated by them and is ever so gentle in his interactions.

This little girl had a lot to say. I’m hoping she’s not complaining about her accommodations, and if so, that she’ll enjoy the much more spacious brooder they’ll be in as of tomorrow.

Well, there are goats to be fed and other chickens in the coop that would like some more delicious crumbles, so I’m off to my chores. But I couldn’t wait to share our new peeps with you!

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