So, I have been wanting to add a couple Easter Eggers or Americanas to lay blue eggs.
What is so exciting about blue eggs, I can’t say, it just seems like Easter!
My dream of blue egg layers became a a reality last week when I was given two 8 week old Bantam Americanas, “Thelma and Louise”.
They have gorgeous feathering and are about the size of doves. They also have facial muffs or beards coming in, which is a trait typical of Americanas!
I don’t think they will be over 2#, which is less than half what our other hens weigh.
The larger four hens sort of ignore them, I am not sure they believe they are chickens. They give them a look like how’d these wild birds get in here?
My partner expressed interest in adding a bit more diversity in the flock in color and feather pattern, mistake #1. I think he really wants a polish/crested or silkie. the funny looking birds, which are a bit hard to find and integrate into our laying flock.
In fact, he stated all our four hens look alike, except Rockey the Barred rock. Rockey he says is his favorite in appearance, looking like a hen should look. I take that to mean picturesque?
Grumpy the red star has the most personality. Possibly the role of Mrs. Personality is tied with our larger RIR Henrietta, who excels in people skills. They are the two that follow him around the most. It is not uncommon to find one of us gardening with a crowd of hens standing around waiting for bugs to be tossed their way or hens helping us dig a hole!
I did find Henrietta last week trying to get into the house to check out the vittles. I don’t think she understands why the dog and cat can come in but she is supposed to remain outside. She is just a silly chicken after all…but smart enough to work the dog door!
Grumpy Star, Rockey and Henrietta…
So, to get the chicken bug out of my system, LOL, my partner says “just get the ones you really want, so you don’t spend so much time planning out your chicken village”.
Little does he know, I believe at least 25 varieties of chickens all with awesome color patterns are suitable for backyard flocks in the Pac NW. Our set up is good for about 12 hens, so decisions had to be made.
With priority on colored eggs I wanted two full size or “LF” large fowl Easter Eggers/Americanas, I called around for the best prices. I was planning to add 12 week old pullets to avoid the brooder time and work of raising babies. I also considered adding a dark brown egg layer like a Marans or Welsummer.
In my search, I found a semi local feed store, or actually two feed stores that had some chicks leftover from the spring chick run. Now that we are in June, these chicks had to get out of the store brooders ASAP.
So, I set out on my journey to return with a diverse flock.
I picked up 5 new chicks last week, in addition to the two Bantams.
Pictured below are “Tyron the tiny”, she is a Dark Brahma and in fact will be our largest bird when she grows up…She was an impulse buy, since I bought her when I went to L&J feed to pick up the pair of Easter Eggers below her. Dark and light, day and night, rex and fluffy or as yet unnamed. (For GOT fans, I tried to name these three Tyron, Jamie, Cercie, but that request was not approved…we shall see.)
You can imagine how small they all were last week. Tyron the Brahma was about a week old they say, but she was so small I was afraid the others would trample her. She is tough and spunky, having no fear of the larger chicks!
The two Easter Eggers/Americanas below are so sweet and I was told they were 3 weeks old, now going on four weeks. I am excited to see their feathering come in, because they have great markings on their heads and back in a mix of dark and light feather patterns.
When cleaning the brooder I put all five chicks outside for a bit to enjoy the weather.
Pictured with the other chicks are the two older girls Aussie the Austrolop (Black) and Wellie the Wesummer. They are almost fully feathered and are supposed to be about 5 weeks old. Wellie should lay a darker brown egg adding to my egg basket diversity in a few months. They look a bit scrappy now in the awkward partially feathered teenage stage.
They all zip around so fast it is hard to get good shots! I originally thought the two 5 week old girls would be pals with Thelma and Louise, but the 8 week old bantam girls wanted to dominate them, so they blended in with the 3 young ones and surprisingly they all get along really well.
So, the age old question for backyard chicken keepers is answered. Yes, you can blend chicks from the age of one week to 5 weeks without much problem.
So, to sum up the beach house chicken count: (to the tune of 12 days of Christmas of course)…
Four laying hens, Two turtle doves, Er, I mean two Bantum Americanas, Two 5 week chicks, Two Easter Egger chicks and a Tiny Brahma chick.
Egg count today 2, thanks go to Rocky and Henrietta.