Thursday, June 4, 2009

What we thought we had

You can order hatching eggs in what's called a straight run. That means there are both males and females in your order. I assumed that since the chicks we bought were hatched, they would all be female. At least that is what the pimply-faced young man with braces at the farm store told me. But it turns out he was more interested in closing the store than in actually answering my question. Because today, when we go to get a replacement chick for Yellow, I asked about gender again. The elderly gentleman working there dismissively said, "No, no - we have no idea what these are."

And it's true. My list of what the young man thought the chicks would be is above. No big deal what breed they are, they're still all chickens after all. But now, I had to calculate losing half my flock because, statistically, half would be roosters. So it seems that replacing Yellow with three of four chicks makes sense. Some could die, some could be male.

The chicken industry has an overrun of males. In fact, if you get hatched chicks mailed to you (you usually have to buy 25 though), they throw in a couple of males "to keep the rest of the chicks warm". Poor guys
I will have to come up with ideas for placing these males. It's an unwritten rule: no roosters in a city flock. Nothing will get neighbors complaining more quickly than a rooster crowing at all hours. I am not a morning person; I wouldn't like it either.

We bring four chicks home from our second trip to the farm store, including a bantam that is the size of a finch. It's the cutest little thing I have ever seen and seems to be a people person.

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