It's spring, and we have spring fever! This weekend our flock expanded by two, tiny, baby peepers. They will spend the next couple of months in our basement, in a brooding box. As their feathers come in, their light will be slowly taken away, their cage will get bigger, and they'll get time outside in the grass with us monitoring them. This summer, they'll move out to live with the big chickens and be big girls - but for the next couple of months we get to marvel at their daily changes, giggle at their peeps, snuggle them, and watch them grow into absurd looking adolescents. It is impossible to not love a baby chicken!
We have added an Ameraucana to our flock. These sweet birds lay blue eggs (we can't wait!) and just as exciting, they get BEARDS! I know, that sounds ridiculous. But this breed grows fluffy chin feathers, giving them a hilarious, endearing little face. We named our little girl HR Cluckenstuff.
We are also raising another Polish; last year we raised a beautiful Polish Tolbunt, who we lost over the summer. We have missed her dearly, and while the Polish that came home with us is a more standard, run of the mill, breed, she will still get a giant, fluffy, dahlia-like mane of feathers. Phyllis was of course named for Phyllis Diller, but our new Polish is named Nugget. (To go with our Blue Cochin named Dumpling.)
Polish are tricky, you're about 60% likely to end up with a rooster, and they're all but impossible to sex before about six months. (We have had a silkie who wound up being a rooster, and now we have a silkie who is a lovely layer - and now that we KNOW the difference we can't believe we didn't peg Bojangles as a male immediately!) But you can make an educated guess, based on the shape of their crowns. We watched the babies running around, ruled some out as looking quite manly already, and then picked a chick we hope will turn out to be a pullet.
It will be fun watching these two grow up - as we wait and see if we're right about Nugget being a hen, and as Cluck develops her silly face. I will be sure to share some photos!