Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fuzzy Butts

My chicks have arrived. They left Meyer Hatchery in Polk, Ohio on Monday and got to my post office this morning which is Wednesday. I ordered them 3 weeks ago when it occurred to me that waiting for my order in June seemed an awfully long time away. Normally I wouldn't get them this early in the year because it's usually colder and I don't want to over stress the birds. But with the record heat wave melting the snow, thawing the ground and generally making things a little warmer (though not much) than usual, why not get some now? It means fresh eggs this summer rather than October which is about when the June chicks would began to lay.

Because this was a last minute order I had to take what I could get. Even when I ordered my June chicks back in January I couldn't get the numbers of what I wanted. So while I could not get Buff Orpingtons I did manage to get a hybrid breed called Golden Buffs, also known as Golden Comets, (it all depends on the breeds used to create the chicks), aka red sex-links. This means you can tell the boys from the girls upon hatching, no peering into chickie genitalia by specially trained people required. Since they were moving around I didn't get an accurate count but of the 16 GBs I got at least 8 are girls. The boys will be heading to freezer camp about the time the gals start laying eggs. Since they are hybrids, breeding one to the other will result in a mishmash of chicks, not more GBs.

The other 11 chicks I ordered are Blue Andalusian. Some of these will be a blue/gray bird, others blacker in coloring and others gray/white. Apparently, the "blue" gene is recessive or some such thing so you get 50% of one color and 25% of the other 2 colors in a hatching. As chicks are grabbed randomly and stuffed into boxes for shipping, I have no guarantee as to what colors I have gotten though one on-line person has suggested that I may have a few splashes (the gray/white) and at least one blue. I have no idea what gender they are.

They are cute little devils though and are peeping up a racket. Here is a photo of a few in my little flock.
The reddish one is a female GB, the black one a Blue Andalusian, probably blue or black, and the yellow one either a male GB or a splash BA. The gray one to the right is also a BA, but being new to this breed, I have no idea what color it will be. I guess you'll find out when I do.

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