Pandemic Projects

Pandemic Projects

Three chicks in a box inside a dog crate

I was going to wait until later in the spring to get new chicks, but with everything shutting down, it seemed like time. On the way back from dog walking this morning, stopped at the ranch store and picked up a new Buff Orpington, a Silver-Laced Wyandotte, and a Dominique chick.

This was the year I was going to start replacing old hens with Bantam hens, in part because my yard is getting pretty torn up, and in part because I thought “Oh, my chickens-for-the-apocalypse thing is overblown.”

So here I am, with a new batch of chickens for the apocalypse.

My current flock is made up of one ancient Silver Laced Wyandotte who I kept, even though she doesn’t really lay anymore, because she’s such a matron. She’s a fat old thing now, but I find her presence reassuring, and she waddles around the yard like the queen she is.

The other four are one Delaware, not as charmant as the late Miss Delaware (a hen I regret culling, but back then I was trying to be “professional” about my backyard agriculture), one Buff Orpington, and two Amerucanas. None of them have much personality, although this Delaware is also the leader of the pack. The sad truth is that as these three get big enough to start laying, I’m going to have to cull some of the older ones — it just depends really on whose laying, and who I will miss the least.

I hate this part.

But the truth is, at three years old, the majority of my wee flock isn’t laying much, and with times like they are, well, it seemed only prudent to replace them with hens who will.

And the ranch store chicken manager is in a bit of a fix. She was really trying to get me to take the older chicks, which I would have, had I room. She’s cancelled some orders, but there are a bunch of chickens out there if anyone else local wants to start keeping them. Personally, I love my chickens in the backyard. They cluck around. They eat bugs. They lay eggs. (They tear up the lawn and they do poop everywhere. Himself is not a fan.)

And for the moment, they are also providing entertainment for bored pets. Here’s Harriet the new kitty, and Hank, watching chicks:

Grey cat and border collie watch new chicks in a box inside a dog crate.

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