In the late fall of 2011, I convinced The Man that we were going to need more chicks in the spring of 2012. This was not easily done; The Man was prepared to hold at (then) ten.
I explained the reality of molt: that our hens, every autumn after their first birthday. would lose some, most. or all of their feathers, and dedicate their limited physical resources to reproduction. Molt ≠ Eggs. If we didn’t get chicks in the spring, we would have no (or few) eggs for two, possibly three months in the fall.
Now, The Man, believe it or not, is not an egg eater. He uses our eggs for baking and breading his animal flesh (I am not a meat eater), but he can’t really appreciate how great our eggs are, and how lousy it would be to be without them. It was important to me to keep the flow flowing.
This is all true, but it’s not the really real reason I wanted more chicks. It matters not; I got them, anyway. None of which is to imply that I require his permission, just that we’re very big on consensus around here. (That is, until 2.1, which is another story.)
Consulting with Chicken Debbie the Oracle of Agway, I decided to order three Austrlorps and three Silver Laced Wyandottes. Unlike 1.0, we named the chicks before they were even born, deciding on a theme of “good girls” (the Wyandottes) and “bad girls” (the Australorps). A family meeting yielded Scarlet, Jezebel and Delilah for the Australorps, and Alice and Dorothy for the Wyandottes. NotHeedleyWendy completed the naming with her brilliant suggestion of Gidget for the last good girl. Little did she know then the drama that would be Gidget.
The dust and dander choke-a-thon that was the brooding of 1.0 in the house still fresh in our memories, we opted to brood in the coop this time, which solved some problems, and created others. I worried about the cold constantly, and these chicks were not handled nearly as much as 1.0. I pshawed that it doesn’t make a difference, in the end.
P.S. It does.
As at writing, all the 2.0s are laying, with the exception of Dorothy.
I’m saddened, a bit, that I’m not as close to this generation as I am to 1.0. I understand that Australorps are very friendly birds, but you’d never know it from mine. Try to take Delilah’s egg out from under her? She’ll peck a bitch.
Lesson learned: cuddle your chicks!!