Our chicks have now been here a full 24 hours, and they’ve all settled in very well. We weren’t at all surprised to see a large fluffy pile of snoozing babies this morning, especially after their big first day at the farm.
We did manage to take a few photographs. Some chicks were cooperative, others were clearly camera shy, or just downright suspicious of what was going on, but here’s a first close look at the farm’s new inhabitants.
A British standard breed, developed in 1880 by William Cook of Kent, England. A cold hardy breed, with hens weighing an average of 8lbs at maturity. Moderate brown egg layers with a quiet disposition. Until these chicks arrived, only had Buff Orpingtons here at Curbstone Valley, as we’re very fond of this breed.
Developed by George Ellis in 1940 in Delaware. This is a standard American breed, once quite popular, but now listed as “threatened” by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. A docile breed, and good layers of large brown eggs. Mature hens weigh an average of 6.5 lbs. The Delawares are slightly lighter in coloration than the Buff Orpington chicks. As adults, the Delawares are white, with black barring in the hackle and tail.
Golden Laced Wyandotte
American standard breed that originated in Wisconsin. The chicks appear similar to the Partridge Plymouth Rocks, but with more dark coloration. The adults are a beautiful combination of rich golden bay laced with lustrous greenish black feathers, and are popular show birds. They are modest brown egg layers, weighing an average of 6.5 lbs as adults, and have unique rose-shaped combs.
Partridge Plymouth Rock
The baby chicks are a rich dark brown resembling the color of an expensive fur coat. Developed in New England in the 1800s, this is an American standard breed. The Plymouth Rock was once a common sight on the homestead. The partridge coloration is less common than the typical barred or whites, and is often sought after as a show bird. This is a docile, easily handled breed, and a modest brown egg layer. Hens typically weigh about 7.5 lbs.
This standard breed originated in Australia, and was developed from Black Orpingtons imported from England. In 1920 a Black Australorp garnered much attention when she laid 364 eggs in 365 days! Not typical of the breed, but the Black Australorp is a good layer of light brown, medium sized, eggs. Hens are calm, make great mothers, and weigh an average of 6.5 lbs.
But wait…who are you?
Our hatchery likes to throw a ‘bonus’ rare or exotic breed chick in with their order. The chick is straight run (meaning we have no idea if it will be a hen or a rooster), and the breed is not disclosed by the hatchery (for fun we presume). We have no idea what breed this little chick is with the fuzzy legwarmers, but our best guess at the moment is a Silver Laced Cochin. If so, this is a relatively new variety, and the silver-laced color pattern is quite rare for the breed. Once we confirm who this little one is, we’ll let you know too!
We removed the newspaper this morning, and shot a little extra video (apologies for the red cast to the videos, it’s their heat lamp that causes the strange coloration).
Oh, alright…just one more video…they won’t stay this small for long!
One last note…apparently the hatchery also managed to sneak in an extra Buff Orpington chick, that we didn’t notice until last night. We were checking on the Delawares, as one had managed to catch her toe in the feeder earlier in the day (a poorly manufactured trough feeder, that has since been replaced), and we just wanted to double check that her toe came through the ordeal unscathed (it did!). We should have had 10 little blond chicks, 5 Delawares, and 5 Buff Orpingtons, but while sorting through them, we realized we had 11. That puts our chick total at 28!
We’ll try and do weekly updates on the chicks from now on…perhaps we’ll call them ‘Fowl Friday’ posts. It’s remarkable how much the chicks can change from week to week, and how their appearance overall will change as their feathers grow in. Stay tuned!