The order is in, and we will become the parents of three baby chicks the week of March 17.
In a stunning turn of events, we ended up switching hatcheries at the last minute. I was having trouble confirming that we could pick up such a small order with the original place, and stumbled upon Meyer Hatchery in Ohio. Not only do they allow three-chick orders, they had a large variety of rare birds to pick from. Plus they are only a two-hour car ride away.
We ordered these chicks:
- Black Copper Marans: Matt picked this one. This large bird (hens are 7 pounds) is known for its large dark brown eggs. Marans originated in western France in a town by the same name. They are foragers that generally do not cause much damage from scratching. They are known as docile, calm and quiet birds.
- Dominique: I picked this one. I love its zebra-like black and white plumage. The bird originates from Haiti, and is hearty in both extreme heat and cold. It also likes to forage, and is especially docile. Dominiques lay medium sized brown eggs. Poultry lovers have been hard at work to increase the numbers of this breed, which had nearly become extinct.
- Olive Egger: Both Matt and I are curious about this hybrid breed. Olive Eggers are bred using many different types of chickens. In this case, the line comes from a mix of Leghorns, Marans and Ameraucanas. The special blend results in green-colored eggs. It’s hard to know what the bird will look like, but we are guaranteed green eggs. There is little information about the bird’s temperament.
Finally, the chicks will live in our basement under a heat lamp probably until May. At such a young age, they cannot regulate their temperature, and we will need to wait until their feathers fill in before we can leave them outside.
Now that the order is in, I’m so excited.
I still have a long list of things to do:
- Finish the coop. Our friend Eric is coming in this weekend to help us build the two windows and finish up the loose ends.
- Pass inspection. The City of Ferndale will be stopping by next week to check out the coop. I’m feeling hopeful that we will pass.
- Build a brooder for the chicks.
- Buy bird stuff, like chick starter food and pine shavings.
Oh yeah. And I’ll have to plan a road trip to Ohio. Sweet.