Friday, March 21, 2014

Feathered Friday: Our First Chicks

Wednesday we got our first chicks!  I decided I just couldn't wait any longer, so I packed up the Little Man and headed to The Mill where I was certain they had chicks.  (My mother rode along to see Bug pick out his first chicks.)  I only hoped that in the five days since we had first gone to see them, they still had the breed I wanted.

They did.  Oh, how they had grown in that short time.  What were tiny balls of soft fluff had transformed into leggy chicks with feathers on their wings.  They only had six left of the ones I wanted.  We took four.

We chose the only black one, one with a very yellow face and distinct red striping, and then two random grabs.  Those ended up being similar in appearance with full read heads, but one has a yellow stripe on each cheek.

These gals are Araucanas.

There are three distinguishing features that set the breed apart from others:

  1. They are rumpless, meaning they have no tails.  This gives a sort of dropped, rounded look to their rear.
  2. They have ear tufts--feathers that grow from a thin, fleshy flap just below the ear, forming a frilled dragon effect of sorts.
  3. They lay BLUE eggs.
Rumpless with Ear Tufts
(photo credit unknown)

The last reason, and what I've read about their temperament, was my biggest reason for getting these chickens.  Bug will love collecting blue eggs.  It'll be like the Easter Beagle visits the coop every night, hiding Easter eggs in the nesting boxes.

We have them starting in a 20-gallon fish tank.  With my reptile-keeping supplies, all we needed was a feeder and waterer.  Within a week they will be moved to a 75-gallon tank.

Now, with all that said, if these chicks turn out to be Easter Eggers (a blue egg-laying hybrid) instead of true Araucanas,  I won't care one bit.  I'm not a purist.  I just want good blue egg layers for my son.
He named them: Mine, Gracie (black), Tommi (after his brother),
and Gate Locker.
Bug and Mine

Me and Gracie

I will keep up with the progress of our chicks as they grow, as we build our coop, as we begin to collect eggs.  I will provide information on what I learn along the way, too.  Every Friday will be Feathered Friday, and will be dedicated to the chickens that have us so enthralled.

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