Saturday, March 10, 2012

New baby chickens (Yay!)

Our flock of four red shavers having been reduced to two - one a victim of that great urban murderer the motorcar, another having succumbed to a mysterious chicken ailment - we decided to replenish with some heritage chooks that are less susceptible to disease. The red shavers are good layers but they lay so much in their first year they literally wear themselves out. The heritage breeds are less genetically modified so generally live healthier, happier lives.
The problem is chickens really are the new black, and getting any chook apart from a misrepresented shaver off TradeMe can be quite difficult. The breeders have waiting lists and the whole process is made messier by old fashioned genetics: any given clutch has an average 50% strike rate for hens. Most people want hens because they lay eggs, and urban chook fanciers aren't allowed to keep roosters.
Anyway, we finally got ours, and here they are. They're all about 12 weeks old.
First up, my fave, a blue australorp. She's a bit delicate (a pronounced limp in one leg), is very quiet, but she has the sweetest face. (PS She weighs 596 grams)
 













Here she is with her black australorp sister poking around for worms.














The breeder ran out of australorps and I've reached a point in my life where I'm not prepared to die in a ditch over chickens so we tackled some wyandottes instead. Here's a gold-laced wyandotte. She's a bossy wee thing, this one.

















And last but not least, an assertive silver-laced wyandotte who is already strutting around like she owns the chicken run.














We'll post some more photos when they're a bit older.
All these young ladies came from Heritage Poultry up in Puhoi.
Cameron's very helpful and the chooks are well cared for so if you want some heritage chickens this is a good place to start.