I realized today that its been awhile since I’ve posted an update on our backyard chickens. Well, I know there are several people that find the story I am about to tell you very funny, but it is both infuriating and heartbreaking to me.
The little chicks that we raised in our bathtub were doing fantastic. We were handling them several times a day to ensure they would be friendly, we named them after our favorite baseball players, and everything seemed to be going well. Our little chickies were growing so fast!
When we moved them outside to their coop they didn’t miss a beat. They went upstairs to roost each night, still came to say hello when we fed them… it was great. Until one morning when one of our “hens” crowed. Hens aren’t supposed to crow. Roosters crow.
The self proclaimed “expert” that we bought them from had promised us that the four chicks were all hens. Wrong. After eight weeks of taking care of these little chicks, we found that two of them were crowing. And then a third. I was furious. And sad.
The “expert” refused to take back his roosters and we ended up having to find another home for Cal Ripken, Kirby Puckett and Nolan Ryan. Yadier Molina, the Barred Rock, is our only hen in the original four that we still have and her lineage is in question because of the brown feathers that come in around her neck (as opposed to the all black and white feathers of purebred Barred Rocks).
All of this happened almost four months ago and I am just now at the point where I can write about it. But if you ever hear me tell this story in person I will still get very animated and start raising my voice because I am still mad/heartbroken/pissed.
In the meantime, we were very lucky to find a new farmer who happened to be selling pullets the same age as our one remaining hen. We got a new Araucana and a Red Sex Link. The Red Sex Link are beautiful hybrid chickens called a “sex link” breed, meaning they’re bred so that hens and roosters are different colors when they hatch. That’s exactly what I needed. You can read more about “sex link” chickens in this article by Backyard Poultry Magazine. I don’t anticipate getting chicks for a few more years, but if we do I will definitely consider purchasing just sex link to avoid this problem again!
I am happy to say that the three hens are all doing really well and laying regularly. I like that we have the three different breeds so that I can tell who is laying the most eggs!