Some call it chicken math.
The first two chicks we bought in March – as hatching eggs – that were shipped to us and eventually hatched out and raised by our sweet (and incredibly dedicated) Buff Orpington, Juniper. One is a Cream Legbar hen (Camellia) and the other is a Black Copper Marans rooster (Jasper).
They are now 3 1/2 months old and living in a mini-condo down by the barn, spending afternoons happily pecking mint and worms in our little garden.
The next two chicks were a bit of a surprise purchase. Completely unwittingly, we walked into the feed store and found ourselves smack dab in front of a trough full of the tiniest, cutest $3 pullets. Some of them Silver Wyandottes, a breed we’d wanted to try but were unable to get when we’d initially ordered our chicks.
Half out of desperation (on behalf of our other broody Buff Orpington, Marigold, who had been setting on an empty nest for upwards of 3 months), and half out of desire to add some Wyandonttes to our flock, we left with two of them.
It was well worth the $6. And Mama Marigold took to her tiny brood immediately, despite the fact that she hadn’t hatched them out, nor did they resemble her in the slightest.
And then there’s these two fluff balls.
Ginger, a Golden Laced Orpington, came to us as a complete surprise from a wonderfully big-hearted person who also breeds gorgeous chickens and wondered if she could send the kiddos a box of adorable, cheeping fun?
Well, of course.
Six chicks were shipped to us but, tragically, five of the six died in transit despite being incredibly well provided for and protected. It was so sad. But Ginger was such a huge bright spot and, once we got her body warm and tummy full, has been a constant source of amusement ever since.
Then there’s Pepper, a Silver Laced Orpington, that we searched for locally to keep our sweet Ginger company. Because, despite the fact that we hold her almost incessantly, we are no substitute for feathered company. Amazingly Pepper was hatched on the same day as Ginger and should be about the same size and temperament as Ginger, just a different color.
It took them just a day or two to get used to each other and now they are like typical siblings… playing one minute and pecking on each other the next. But so very grateful to have each other – to be part of a family.
That being a family doesn’t have anything to do with what’s on the outside.
That deep connection springs from shared experiences – the day in and the day out – not biology.
And that we are all made to love and be loved.