Sunday, March 1, 2009

A box full of joy

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts on the loss of our angora. We do not have news from the necropsy yet, but I will post when we do. All the others continue to be fine.

Luna is also doing marvellously well, and if you want to see her latest antics, feel free to watch her latest YouTube appearance:

Yesterday was a better day. It reminded me of the circle of life. One life passes away, but there are always new lives just beginning. We fondly remember those who have gone before, and welcome those who have just arrived. The downtown Des Moines post office phoned me yesterday morning to tell me that my chick order had arrived. They said that the chicks wouldn't make it out to our rural post office until Monday, so they asked if I wanted to come and pick them up before 4 pm. Of course I wanted to!!

There's something so special about baby chicks - they are so fragile, so fluffy, and so loud! I had ordered from Murray McMurray hatchery, which is located in Webster City, Iowa. I knew that by ordering from a local, the chicks would have a shorter journey by mail, and would hopefully be healthier despite their journey. I have a few more chicks coming later in the spring from Sandhill Preservation - I really like their operation because they preserve some of the breeds that are threatened. I chose some of those breeds for myself this year.

Sure enough, all my chicks were hale and healthy upon arrival! Hooray! I had ordered from the "Brown Egg Layer Assortment" and the "Ornamental Layer Assortment" so all my chicks should be pullets. They are all Marek's vaccinated as well. The chicks are not identified - they can be any of the breeds that are possible in the assortment.

The possible breeds in the brown layers are at least 5 of the following:
Black Australorps; Light Brahmas; Dark Cornish; Black and White Giants; Buff and White Orpingtons; New Hampshire, Rhode Island Reds, Barred, White, Partridge, Buff Rocks; Delaware, Sussex, Turkens; White, Silver Laced, & Columbian Wyandottes, Red Star and Black Star.

The possible breeds in the ornamental layers are at least 8 of the following:
Sumatras, Dominiques, Golden Laced and Silver Penciled Wyandottes, Silver, Golden, Buff Laced, and White Polish, Golden Campines, Golden Penciled Hamburgs, Silver Penciled Rocks, Partridge, Black, Buff, Blue, & Silver Laced and White Cochins, Araucanas, Dark and Buff Brahmas, Phoenix, Fayoumis, Salmon Faverolles, W. L. Red Cornish, Lakenvelders, Black and White Langshans, Red Caps, Silver Leghorns, Crevecoeurs, Silver Gray Dorkings, Modern BB Red Games, Sultans, Buttercups, Spanish, White Crested Black Polish, Buff Laced Polish, Golden Polish, Silver Polish, White Polish, Black Polish, Mottled Houdans, Crevecoeurs, and Sultans.

Wow! What a list!

I am pretty sure this is a white crested black Polish.

I am pretty sure that this is a silver Polish.

Here's a cute little unknown breed brown chick!

There are some chicks that certainly appear to be buff orpingtons, and then I noticed two were different - they had feathered legs! Those two aren't buff orpingtons, but I'm not sure what they are yet. Possibly buff cochins?

Then there are two "Naked Neck" chicks, sometimes called "Turkens" although they have nothing to do with turkeys. I think they are named that simply because of the appearance of the neck, which is more like a turkey neck. Surprisingly, they are very hardy birds and good layers. One of them is black and the other buff with a little black splodge on her head.

Here are a couple of black and white chicks - no idea what breed they are!

I rather like the little grey one in this picture. I'm not sure what she is, but she's a pretty colour. The little partridge-coloured ones are cute too!

Also yesterday, because the girls have been so generous with their eggs, I made a nice egg custard. The custard turned out such a lovely golden colour. There's nothing yellow in the ingredients - that's purely a result of using farm fresh eggs with golden yolks. Store bought eggs would be so pale in comparison. Aren't we spoiled rotten!?


girlwithasword said...

They are so gorgeous! OH i need a place where I can have birds!!!!!

Karen said...

Oh, my, more sweet babies!
I am so sorry about your baby goat. I hope you have an answer soon.
Don't you just love those backyard eggs? We've started getting as many as 7 a day now, and I'm soon going to have to find people to sell some to!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Hi Claire! Thank you for my birthday wishes! I love the new video of Luna. Now that I'm a big girl I guess she can be considered the World's Cutest Goat. I used to be that when I was I am Most Beautiful. I really like those Chickums! We need to have those here!

Christy said...

Oh, what an exciting box to get! I'm so happy for you and they are just precious. I love how the polish chicks already have funny hair. Our chicks won't come until April. I waited too late to order and was picky about what I wanted.

SweetMissDaisy (Anna Wight) said...

Oh boy... don't get me started with baby chickens!! I {heart} them!! And your turken girls will be good layers for you. We have a few and they're very hearty, healthy girls. I don't recommend roos tho... they can be too aggressive, I feel. We have one currently, and I'd like to find him a new home. =) Your Polish babies are ADORABLE.... Enjoy their happy peeps!

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

Mical told me "no chickens"....which translated he really didn't have time to build a coop and didn't want to listen to me wailing and crying if something got one of them.

Maybe I'll have to surprise him one day.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

What fun! Although I think I'd want to pick out each individual breed that I wanted and not be "surprised." I personally don't like extra feathers on heads, legs and feet, and WANT feathers on my chickens' necks, so would not want certain breeds.

Alpaca Granny said...

Love your peepers...

Mare said...

Oh my Goodness Claire! They are beautiful! I can't wait to see how their plumage turns out and what you name them!

Kelly said...

Yum!! Your custard looks delish!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Mmmmm!Egg custard! How did it taste? I'm hungry! hehe

Your chicks are so cute! How many of each assortment did you order? 25 each?

I can't wait to see your polish grow up. I adore this breed. So fun!
I also like the feathery legged chick, too.

Congrats on the biddy babies!


kristi said...

Love the chick pics! So now exactly how many chickens do you have now? So is this the beginning of the egg laying business?:)

Nikki said...

awww. All I have is RIR and it gets old sometimes seeing the same color all the time.I don't think you got any RIRs in your batch. That custard looked great could I get the recipe?? Good luck with your chicks!

Flartus said...

Omigosh, how fun! My first thought when I read the list of possible ornamentals was "oh, I hope she got a Polish!" And the first one was just what I was hoping for--black w/a white crest! Yippee!

Now, you do understand this means lots of pics of that particular one, right? :)

JLB said...

I want chickens I want chickens I want CHICKENS!!! ahhh! ...

Okay I'm better now...That's so cool that you got yours! Good luck with them!!!

Jennifer said...

I thought I already commented on this post. Anyway, those are some very cute chicks! I enjoyed the pictures of them and it makes me want chickens all the more!

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

The 3rd picture down looks like an Easter Egger to me - we have those and love them! They are very calm and don't mind being handled/picked up. Yeah! I love baby chicks!

d/iowa said...

OMG i feel so out of the loop! i am so sorry about your angora.
i've missed so much.
these chicks are adorable!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the chicks;)

GreenRanchingMom said...

The black and white unkown ones look like our new Black Australorp chicks. Have fun with your chick babies.
Sorry to hear about the goat. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens. And you just have to hope it doesn't happen again. You are doing the right thing taking great care of them and having someone (IAState) who has seen more goats take a look at some of your healty girls.

Mom L said...

I just read this post, which I had missed when it was new! Don't know how that happened, Claire. I love your chicks! It's been decades since I held a baby chick - how I'd love to hold yours. They are amazing - so many breeds! I'm glad you have something new to love and enjoy. Wonder what Luna will think of them?