While returning from a trip with good friends to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s butterfly exhibit, my daughter and I stopped at the local feed store to look at the chicks that had just arrived. Big mistake. Please welcome to the world, and to Finch Frolic Gardens, two Light Brahmas named Annabelle Lee and Daisy, two Rhode Island Reds named Ruby and Charlotte, two Buff Orpingtons named Esther and Myrtle, two Americaunas named Hermionie and Belle, a Turken named Malaika, a Blue Cochin named Bodacea and a Black Cochin named Mulan. The names are all literary or historical.
So, the turkin was all alone since someone had bought all the others earlier in the day except her. Turkins are not crosses between chickens and turkeys, they are a bare-neck breed from Transylvannia. The cochins are ‘straight run’ which means there is a 50/50 chance they are males, which I don’t want, so the owner gave me two with the guarantee that I could return them if they turned out not to be hens.
They have the cutest feathery feet and rounded butts. The rest of them are probably pullets (females) but there is always a chance that some aren’t. Oh, and they are small and cute and a lot fit into a small box. For the moment.
Within a few months they will be joining Miss Amelia, Lark, Chickpea and Madge in the Fowl Fortress, and maybe Viola if she is no longer a house chicken.
UPDATE: The chicks were fine Wed. night, but by Thurs. afternoon four were weak and not eating or drinking. After a long evening and night keeping them warm and feeding them antibiotic in Pedialite with vitamins, they all succumbed. Ruby, Daisy, Annabelle Lee and Hermoinie passed on. A week later and the others are thriving. We lost both Light Brahmas, and I’m considering buying two more just because they are so cute. After much research we still have no idea why these four were ill. Day-old chicks go through a lot after hatching, including a rough mail shipment, overcrowding, and change of diet, temperature and light length. Hatcheries will often send extra chicks to make up for the percentage naturally lost due to shock or illness. Now I just hope none of the girls are guys!