After many phone calls to the local farm store this weekend we finally got our chicks this morning. I called them at 9:05 this morning and got there around 10:00 armed with my list of the breeds I wanted to get. When I called the store they said they have about 10-15 chicks left of each of those breeds, but little did I know the elderly Korean couple in front of me was going to buy EVERY SINGLE CHICK in the breeds I had decided on. Seriously, what are you going to do with 60 chicks?? Don't people that buy that many get them in the mail? After pleading the sales man to ask them if we could have one New Hampshire Red and one Araucana he said they don't speak any English. First come, first serve is fair but I feel like to get the chicks you want (in small quantities) you have to camp outside the store.
Now I am thinking, "Crap, I can't bring a three year old and tell him we are buying chicken, show him the chickens and then have to explain that he has to wait a week to (maybe) get the chickens we want."
On to plan B... call up Hilary and make her Google search the remaining breeds to see if they are a match. Unfortunately, I get her on the phone and can't articulate what characteristics I am looking for and she is just reading off a bunch of random notes about the breeds.
I am sure at this point the sales man is thinking, "Is this lady for real? Real farmers don't need Google and cell phones to pick out their chickens." Maybe he is right, but we aren't real farmers, we are just backyard chicken enthusiasts that were 5 minutes too late getting there because I just had to take a shower. With all my research out the door and pleading looks to the elderly Korean couple to please leave some for the rest of us we purchased our two newest chicks. Thanks Hilary for being able to get me the info I want (cold hardy and good egg layers) even though I couldn't speak concisely on the phone.
Without further ado please meet Three and Four (M named them).
|Three - The Black Australorp|
|Four - The Golden Campine|
They lay and an average 3 eggs per week. While they are considered a egg production hen, they are primarily kept for ornamental purposes. Campines tolerate confinement they do much better if allowed to free range. (Source: Backyardchickens.com)
According to Backyardchicken.com:
The Australorp Breed was developed in Australia at the end of the nineteenth century with Black Orpington stock from England. The breed also has genes from Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn, Langshan and Minorca crosses. The purpose of the breed was as a “utility” chicken for both high egg production and meat. It was originally known as the Black Utility Orpingtons. The breed was standardized after World War One and admitted to the Standard of Perfection in 1929 in England under the fitting name Australorp. By the end of World War Two, Australian poultry breeders wrote up their own breed standards, which have been accepted worldwide. Historically, Australorps have been egg-laying champions: an Australorp hen once laid 364 eggs in 365 days. They are an exceptionally beautiful bird, quite big, with black glossy feathers that have a green sheen and huge black soulful eyes.
They are friendly, quiet and very good egg layers, laying as many as 300 eggs a year. They do well with other breeds and weather the winter months well.