I wasn’t sure what to expect when I brought the Hogwarts’ four home. So day one, I donned rubber boots and jetted out to the chicken coop to visit. What can I say? I was excited. Upon arrival, I called out to them, clucked, cajoled…no chickens. So I rationalized, hey, maybe they’re sleeping in. Who knows right? New place, long drive home, I’ll give them some time. So I worked around the yard. I have fire ants in my raised garden beds and I had some eradicating to do anyway. Basically, I just wanted to give them space. An hour or so later, back to the coop I went. No chickens. I called out to them softly, coaxing, finally decided I’d take a load off and wait them out. So I opened the door of the coop and had a seat. Once sitting, this is what I saw.
These ladies were not coming out. Only one of them was even remotely interested. So I began talking. I threw out a few leafy greens. I waited. Finally, Jenny Weasley came through!
I knew I loved that girl! Finally, somebody was going to come out and play.Yo, Jenny what’s up? Hey girl…
Hey Lucy, where did you come from?
Wizard? I didn’t see you were here too…
Pixie? Back off a little babe…
Jenny, wait! Where are you going? Don’t go!
Hmmm…maybe we should just give them a little more space…
Are four chickens enough to make a “flock”? I’ll have to google it. For now, I’m going to use it. Let’s meet the little flockers!
Jenny Weasley and Minerva McGonagall. These ladies are 2 month old Black Sex Link pullets. Jenny (on the left) is bold and inquisitive. Minerva is on the shy side. This breed can begin laying as early as four months old!
Here we have Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. Hermione (to the rear) is the bolder of the two ladies. Luna (although nearest the camera in this instance)is by far the most introverted of the four. I wouldn’t go so far as to call her flightly, but she certainly ducks out quickly if conditions aren’t ideal, and her feathers disarrange easily. That was random, but it’s like her hair’s messed up. I think it’s funny. Anyway, these ladies are two month old Plymouth Barred Rock pullets-also reputed to be great layers. Although they won’t begin laying until they’re around 6 months old. That’s ok, ladies. Pace yourself…
If you’ve noticed a theme with the names, it was purposeful. My ten-year old just completed the Harry Potter series, and she demanded an active role in assigning identify. She took one look at Jenny Weasley with her bright red neckline and it was a done deal. It makes for a very unique interpretation of Hogwarts I think. Hogwarts Henhouse….? Sweet.
We are “go” for chickens!
I’ve been trolling Craigslist for weeks and quickly determined that given how little I know about chickens, buying my first batch of pullets from a state inspected breeder was probably the best route. Fast forward to Tuesday of this week. I took off work early and drove 45 minutes to Fowl Weather Farm, a not so distant breeder that seemed to fit the bill. The young proprietress of Fowl Weather Farm was helpful and professional and we ended the day Tuesday with four new friends and Chicken Mission accomplished!
I had intended to buy at least two Dominique (pronounced dominicker) pullets and was open to the breed of the other two ladies. I ended up with two Barred Rocks and two Black Sex Links. Black Sex Links aren’t kinky. A Black Sex Link is a cross between a Rhode Island Red Rooster and a Barred Rock hen. You can tell what sex the chicken is by the coloring around its neck, hence the moniker of “sex link”. And although their name shows a stunning lack of imagination, all should be great laying hens. The Barred Rocks look just like a Dominique to the untrained eye, but apparently lay slightly larger eggs. Eggs being the driving force behind this chicken mission, I was fickle and opted for the Barred Rocks. I have an egg dependency, you see. I’m not ashamed of it.
It’s spring and my mind has turned to thoughts of….chickens? It’s my new learning frontier! This weekend, I am on a chicken mission.
- Chicken Coop – Check
- Feeder/Waterer – Check
- Nesting Boxes – Check
- Shavings – Check
We are go for chickens. I’m in search of three to four sweet dispositioned young ladies. I do not want babies. Baby chicks are high maintenance, and we’re all full up on high maintenance around my house. I do not want boys. They are noisy and I like my neighbor. He’s a very nice man who deserves peace and quiet in his own backyard. I just want fresh eggs. Glorious, tasty, healthy fresh eggs. Eggs from happy, healthy, wholesome chickens!