so, i never told you guys that we lost mabel and dottie just before spring hit. they were our speckled sussex chickens. mabel dropped in the coop, no explanation, no noticeable trauma. dottie died dramatically, with the girls trying to nurse her back to health and circling her with flowers while she was resting. this was easter morning. it put a slight damper on the festivities, but she held out until the next day, so egg hunting and candy eating were still 97.5% enjoyed. in the end it was very sad. especially for ellie, who had claimed and named dottie. there is a picture commemorating her on our fridge::
the drama that goes along with chicken keeping has begun (complete with broody hens and chicken sitz baths.....but those are stories for another day). interestingly the loss of mabel was not nearly as tragic. apparently if you don't name the chicken it's much easier to have them disappear. no emotional attachment and such. poor mabel.
originally we had planned for six chickens and started with eight because we knew sometimes things like this just happen. but of course, i felt the need to replace. and then i got a little carried away. we started with two pearl white leghorns because buttercup (our first leghorn), is our best and most consistent layer. she has not missed a day and lays at the same time every morning::
then a friend of mine was able to find and order four black copper cuckoo marans for us to split (a breed that i have been searching for). they are known for laying a very dark, chocolate colored egg. the shade can vary though, so time will tell if these will be the darkest egg layers. fingers crossed. i'm so, so happy to have them (thanks viola)::
i had two more breeds that i wanted to purchase (one araucana and one barred rock) and then my sister came for the weekend and surprised me with these two olive egger pullets! they look like little doves and are super mellow and sweet. i am in love. she has some of her own and had been texting me pictures of the olive eggs. i got all excited about them and so, when she heard there were more available this season, she grabbed two and brought them down from a little farm north of boston (thanks jen). they are a cross between a welsummer and an araucauna. suddenly i had the six new chicks that i had set as my absolute limit::
but what's one more? i had to grab the araucana::
and then the barred rocks came in. and there was one left when i went to the feed store for chicken treats and oyster shells. one left. it was meant to be! but the others, by then, had gotten a little bit bigger, and so i needed to grab a friend for her so she would be safer in the chick pen::
one final chick, a little white giant::
from 6 to 15 (in case you lost count). my advice to anyone considering getting chickens: plan for more than you think you want. especially if you have six egg eaters in the house. not to mention the fact that some chickens have issues. for example; chickadee pecks a hole in her egg after laying it, josephine has a deformed rear end and lays a mushy, scary looking egg every month or so, and hetty just came off of FIVE weeks of being broody. toss in bean's recent sitz bath and like i said; chicken drama. it's happening.