Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good things come to those who wait

...and wait.

This morning I went, with my oldest son and his girlfriend, to pick up my chicks at our local farm store and....they weren't there! :-(

Surprise of surprises, nature doesn't work on a precisely timed schedule. Turns out, the little babies didn't hatch, so the hatchery had nothing to ship! I was really disappointed! But...what am I gonna do? I'm gonna wait, that's what.

Funny little obsessive me, though, I called the hatchery personally a few minutes ago (rather than rely on the people at the farm store), and the lady who answered told me the chicks are "hatching away" right now and will be delivered for sure tomorrow...So, possibly tomorrow, if nature agrees, chicks will come to live with me.

One other disappointing piece of news the farm store gave me this morning...I was hoping for 1 Buff Orpington and 2 Black Australorp pullets that they had previously advertised they would have, however, they told me today that they will only be receiving straight run chicks instead of pullets for these breeds. This means I would only have a 50/50 chance of getting a hen with the chicks I choose. Same with the Ameraucanas, too. Ugh. That was one line my husband drew with me: no roosters. I don't think I should take a chance, do you? So, now I'm thinking about getting a couple of Black Sex Link pullets - they are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Barred Rock hen, but I've not heard anything much - good or bad - about this breed.

I just unplugged my brooder and dumped out the vitamin/electrolyte water (said to reduce the stress of shipping) in the waterer. I finally figured out how to get the brooder to a perfect 95 degrees...so everything's ready to go. I'll make up a fresh batch of water tomorrow and try again.

So, I have no baby pictures to share today, but here are some cool shots of what I hope my babies will look like when they grow up. :-)

Amerauca-na hen

Barred Rock hen

Black Australorp hen

Black Sex Link hen

Buff Orpington hen

Light Brahma hen

Rhode Island Red hen

Silver-Laced Wyandotte hen


  1. How anticlimactic! Too bad.

    As far as the Sex Links, I don't know about that breed specifically, but our chickens are half Rhode Island Reds (and I think Ali at Henbogle has half RI Reds as well) and they are terrific birds. I have heard good things about Barred Rocks, too, and they're top on Kelly's list for our next birds, so hopefully the two breeds make happy little offspring.

    Still can't wait to see them!

  2. Darn! How disappointing. Americaunas are the only rotten roos I've ever had. I wouldn't have another.

    I have a black sex link. She's a nice hen. I'll put her pic in my blog. I have austrolorps too. They're also nice hens and are good layers. If you were closer I'd give them to you.

    Barred rocks are my favorite because they're friendly and are dependable layers even in Maine's cold winters. They were the first chicks I bought. I like them so much I'll probably always have at least one.

  3. My neighbor, the farmer, swears by the black sex link hens. He is ordering all Black Stars this year and says they are laying machines. I too cannot have a rooster. My neighbors don't appreciate them one bit.

  4. I've been telling all my friends here about your chicks arriving today...so I am disappointed right along with you. Ah well. They will come soon enough. And on your birthday too. Maybe they planned it that way.

    I have had Buff Orpingtons, Silver Laced Wyondottes and Rhode Island Reds. The Buffs are by far my favorite birds. They are calm and dependable layers and have been the healthiest of all. The Rhodies are good layers, but a bit higher strung. All are beautiful. I only have 3 hens left in my flock, 2 are Buff Orp and 1 is a Silver Lace. (You do lose some over time for various reasons)The Buffs are 7 years old now and the Silver Lace is 8. One of my Buffs gave a bunch of eggs this year right around the Christmas holidays. Nice timing. As you must already know, their most productive years are from 6 months to 3 years old. It slows down a lot after that.I'll be posting my hens in my blog soon. With pictures. I have heard that Sex Links are good layers. Never had any myself though.

    Yup, a straight run is a 50/50 chance of a rooster. Of course, even with pullets, there is a 2 percent chance. I got the most beautiful Buff Orpington rooster as one of my first 6 "pullets" that I bought. After a week or two I could tell that I had a baby rooster on my hands. He was beautiful and I really did love his morning and evening crowing. It made it sound so "farmy" around here. My neighbors didn't seem to mind either. Of course, most of my neighbors have chickens, roosters, ducks, geese, horses, donkeys, goats etc.

  5. Man, I think I am as disappointed as you! I am living vicariously thru you right now in regards to the chickens. I plan on learning all I can before I try to begin my covert operation. One of my neighbors has already made it clear that "poultry" is not allowed. Bah humbug, I say.

  6. Ok, Farmgirl, I've been reading blogs for a while now. And believe you me, I've read some STRANGE stuff out there. But picking up chicks with your son and his girlfriend? Shame on you! (sorry--couldn't resist).

    PS-Always glad to give a shout-out to your hometown on my blog. And just remember: we were celebrating them for picking UP their dog poo!

  7. Hi meg - I know!! Talk about the last thing I was expecting this morning! But...everything for a reason, right? Thanks for the info on the RIRs and Barred Rocks - when are you two getting more hens?

    Hi robin - Tell me about it. You shoulda seen my face. Very glad to hear you like your BSL - I will get at least one based on your recommendation. If she doesn't turn out for me, you may get a surprise package (with air holes) in the mail. ar ar.
    Oooh! Really glad you like the Barred Rocks so much - that makes me happy. They are pretty. (Not really a true farmer requirement, I know!!)

    Hi goatgirl - I just read today that the BSLs are also called Black Stars. I think I like that name much better. Ok. So I'm going for it again tomorrow morning. I'm counting on you to be right behind me. :-) Chicken partners we will be! (Although you're a huge step ahead of me with your wood shed - all mine have at this point is a really big cardboard box!)

    Hi farmer jen - Your friends must think you are a wee bit insane to be talking about a gal you only know through the Internet. I can relate, though, I do it ALL the time...my husband has taken to rolling his eyes a lot. :-) You are an absolute wealth of information - thank you so much for sharing all that! So, about the Buff Orps, if I don't get any from the farm store tomorrow (due to them being straight run), my other local farm store will be getting Buff Orp pullets on 4/24. That's probably too long to wait to introduce babies into my bunch born at the beginning of March, right?
    Honestly, I wouldn't mind one rooster, if I could choose a friendly personality that wouldn't attack me suddenly (I've heard the horror stories), but I just can't convince the man in my life that it would be fun to be woken up at 5:00am on the weekends...
    I can't wait to see pics of your hens!

    Hi frugalmom - Sorry I let you down today. I'll try to do better tomorrow, ok? :-) So, when do we get to start discussing this covert operation for real? Why did your neighbor say that to you? Had you mentioned possibly getting some? Are you not allowed even the three hens that many of cities are allowing within city limits these days? There just HAS to be a way!

    Hi kathryn...ok, so I admit, in my pain and disappointment of today, I actually had to read your comment 3 (THREE) times before I understood it. I need to start thinking about something other than chickens again, I think. :-D But once I did get it, HA!!!! You're gooood! ;-)

  8. I remember when our chicks came my dad had to make special water for the first couple days, too...And we had to have paper towel on top of the shaving because apparently their legs were so fragile that the shavings could hurt them! Imagine! They were SO adorable...really little and cute...of the chickens you showed, the only one we have is the Black Sex Link(a hen we named Speedy, whome I don't really like-warning, they're the loudest chickens in the world...or atleast, Speedy is. She's always complaining), and we also have Red Sex Link(Lilly), and I think we have an Amerauca-na, and then we have some really cool looking chickens that are red/orange in color with black and gold feathers mixed in...I'm going to show my chickens in 4H this summer! Funny, how you can show them...
    Can't wait to see the chicks when you get them!
    Happy Birthday, btw!

  9. I have experience with only 1 Rooster and right now I'm mad at him. He's usually a friendly guy, but hormones are kicking in and he's acting up.

    We have 5 barred rock hens, 1 red sex link, 1 black sex link and 1 that I thought was a wyandotte, but I think she's more of a mix of a little of everything they had on the farm we got her from. By far the Barred Rocks are my favorite. They're calm, social, sorta like having a bunch of kittens. The red and black one are coming around and getting used to the routine. Those 2 have become my hay stirrers and do a good job (and I show my appreciation by giving them a little extra corn when noon'es looking!). My mutt Lucy, I'm hoping that she'll go broody and be our Momma hen.

    You'll love having chickens, they're just fun! And there's nothing like going out to the coop and being rewarded with a bunch of chickens running at you because they're happy to see you and those eggs you find in the morning!

  10. No, No I did not mention it. In fact, I stood by innocently while some of the neighbors were speaking of "bad neighbors". The worst they said of the bunch was the lady who had chickens in her back yard. Who does that, they said? Can you imagine the mess, they said? Blah, blah, blah....I will find a way!!!!

    How do you think I could find out about that city rule? All I know is since we are in a "conventional"neighborhood"...the covenants say no chickens....that stinks.

  11. Hey, mellimaus - good to hear from you! Thanks for sharing some details on your hens! I wish so much I had been a part of 4H when I was younger - I hope you'll share some of those stories on your blog! I put paper towels down on top of my shavings yesterday because I had heard that super young chicks will pick and eat at the pine shavings (and possibly die) until they learn what is food and what is not.
    I want to see a picture of Speedy. :-)
    Thanks for the bday wishes!!

    Hi frugalmom: oooh, neighborhood covenants can be difficult to get around. To check out your own specific city rules, just query on your city and put in the word chicken. I put "city of portland chickens" into google and came up with this: http://www.portlandonline.com/northportland/index.cfm?c=dfbeg&a=ficbf Of course this doesn't apply to me anymore because we moved out of the city a month ago, but good to know I could've had 3 pygmy goats, too, had I wanted to! :-)
    Good luck!!

  12. Hi cathy, I really wouldn't mind having a rooster...just one, though, but my husband swears that anything that crows will "disappear" if it impacts his sleep in any way :-).
    It would be fascinating, though, to brood chicks with a hen - the natural way!!
    Wow - you love your Barred Rocks, too - they are the clear winner from everyone who has chimed in about their hens. Maybe I should get more than two...

  13. Good luck with your new "babies" Is your hen house complete yet? I would love to see pics!!!

  14. I don't know why you weren't supposed to have your chickies yesterday, but as someone always says, there is a reason for everything. I am so looking forward to hear those little guys peep. Just think, they will eventually recognize you as the most important chick in their lives. I'm excited for you. (This, by the way is coming from a girl who was never allowed an animal, not even a kittie.)
    Hope today is the day. Happy birthday! Celebrate!

  15. Wow. Thank you for the compliment. I am glad my info has been helpful.

    You can still mix younger chicks with older ones, but it will definitely be more of a challenge than starting with chicks all about the same age.

    My friends already think I am a wee bit crazy anyway. It's sort a requirement for living out here in the mountains. We are all a bit crazy in our own way. Besides, the internet communities and blogs are becoming more and more a regular part of our lives. Even more so for those of us who live in semi-remote areas. Even though I have never met you in person I still consider you to be one of my friends. I probably know more about you through your writing & photos than I know about most people I see around town.

    Happy Birthday Danni!

  16. Hi ranch mommy...hen house? What hen house? You mean I can't just keep them in this huge cardboard box in my downstairs? LOL. Um, yeah, guess we better get started on that, huh? Sigh. Our plan is to start it this weekend. Who knows how long it will take to finish...

    Hi zitrone...I'm so glad that you have a kitty and a puppy now to make up for those childhood years! :-)

    Hi farmer jen...Here's the post you were looking for (the happy birthday to me) - it's not lost, you just posted it to yesterday's blog :-) Thanks for your kind words, by the way, they really made me feel good this morning!

  17. No, I actually made a comment today (around 3pm)on your new chicks post and it must have vanished somewhere. I realize sometimes Blogger is finicky and frustrating. It's ok though. Nothing I said can't be said again. You are busy enough today without having to go searching for my lost comments. Thanks for posting the ones you do receive from me. Makes me feel good.


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