We ordered 4 week old chickens to replace the slaughtered troupe. It seemed safer to have bigger chicks, like they’d get along with the one survivor better, and it would be a lot less hassle than setting up the brood box all over again. Also, we can be sure they’ll be big enough when it starts getting chilly. McMurray Hatchery offers some layers at 4 weeks and they arrived in the mail this past Wednesday. We got two Red Stars, one White Leghorn, and one Partridge Rock. White Leghorns are the breed that lays 90% of the eggs you’ll find in your local supermarket, and they are a lovely lightweight breed. The Red Stars are a cross breed and so far, they’re really large. And then there is the Partridge rock…she’s not a bantam breed, but se is a quarter of the size of any of the others!
Getting four new ones was the right choice – there’s enough that the big chicken hasn’t even considered pecking on them. They settle in with the orphan chicken right away, although I think she’s a little sad to no longer be our pet chicken. She was used to coming in every night, and getting carried around by us half the day. And yes, I did rename her! The surviving, orphaned chicken is now Oliver Twist — or Olivia Twist, as I’m pretty sure it is a girl.
Right now Olivia is about twice the size of the biggest new chick. After some avoidance, they are all getting along great and cuddled up in a bundle together last night. We also moved the coop in right next to our house and put lights around the outside, and a nice light in the upstairs nesting area. And we left the door open to the room the dog sleeps in, and the porch lights on. If anything eats them now, I don’t know what more we can do!
They haven’t really be introduced to the goslings yet, but the geese are already bigger than Olivia. And still just as attached to me! They are excited to see anyone approaching and follow like little shadows. This weekend, they’ll have to move outside, because they are getting far to big and stinky for our mudroom.
And as for names, we’re looking for ideas again! I don’t want to reuse any because that seems like bad luck…. I’m already calling the white one Cloud, but I’ve got two red & white Red Stars looking for names, and one tiny Partridge Rock that is nameless. Any ideas, let me know.