The Girls Come Home to Roost

by Stefani on 16-March-2008

I knew, what I was getting into.

It isn’t like I haven’t done this before.

I know all about the work involved, the SMELL involved, and the commitment required.

So we’re going to call it informed idiocy that I took my children to the local feed store to see the new arrivals.

Diversity

And that, was all she wrote, folks.

The Ones We Left Behind

I mean, please.

Hazel

Technicolor chicks for pity’s sake.

Cry salmonella and bleach wipes all you want. Remind me about the daily cleaning of the cage and the fear each morning that you’ll wake to find that one’s bit the dust. Go on ahead and say that they are only little for a short while, but they are big, stinking, eating, pecking, squawking bitties for decades. I know!

Trust me though, all reason goes straight out the window when you hold one, all feathers and heartbeat.

Pearl In Papa's Hands

How could I not bring some home?

Hazel and Rosemary

Six to be exact, two for each little Papa.

Tiger

Luke has Hazel (the blue one) and Pearl (the lighter striped one)
James has Spike (the green one) and Tiger (the darker striped one)
Ryder has Maybelle (yellow) and Rosemary (orange)

Meet Maybelle

We will keep them here at our house until they are big enough to go to Nana and Grumpy’s ranch, where they will roam about, battling wild turkeys for dibs on grasshoppers.

Their little personalities are already shining through. Some are calm, some quite sassy. Some are real go getters and some are more the lounging type.

We take them out to the yard to peck and twitter a few times a day. They enjoy this immensely. They run as fast as their toothpick legs will carry them, argue over ants and peep their fool heads off if they find themselves far from their sisters.

They seem to think that Luke is the head hen. They follow him around, flapping and peeping like all get out.

After a frolic in the grass, they get plumb wore out. They will all of a sudden just stand stock still and close their eyes. So, we put them back in their case, and they clump together in one fuzzy little ball for a nap under the heat lamp.

It’s like having newborns again. Eat, exercise, sleep, repeat.

In case you’re wondering, as I did, the color comes from a natural vegetable dye. It will last for a couple of weeks. Those that are colored are kind of a Heinz 57 breed. The natural colored ones are Ameraucanas, which lay the pretty green and blue eggs.

So, I guess I can say in earnest now that we here at Blue Yonder have taken up poultry farming. Heaven help us.

Sarah Jackson March 16, 2008 at 8:02 pm

How totally fun! I would love to have a couple of chickens here. Enjoy your little chickies!!!

Jade March 16, 2008 at 8:37 pm

What a great deal! You can have them when they are babies and then send them away when they get to be teenagers. Hmmmm…. Makes me think of something else! 😉

Cute chicks!

Stephanie March 16, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Omigosh, I just heard about a woman who was fined for coloring her poodle pink with vegetable dye for fundraising for breast cancer. Seems where she lives, the law was written mainly to keep people from coloring chicks and bunnies and the like for Easter. Guess she doesn’t live in YOUR state!

Gotta admit, color or not, those chicks are chic!

Berlinswhimsy March 16, 2008 at 9:12 pm

How exciting! We have been contemplating the poultry farming business here, too! 😉 I had no idea they dyed chicks Easter colors! What the?? Ah well, they ARE very, very cute!

brit March 16, 2008 at 9:44 pm

man, I hope no one eats those chocolate covered ones…

Ellie March 17, 2008 at 2:23 am

We had chooks when we were kids (no dogs or cats, only chooks and fish!). My sister spent hours in their cage talking to them and petting them. They are such lovely little creatures to have. And in those amazing colours – WOW. That’s much better than any fancy Easter Egg decoration.
Enjoy them.
(Watch out :: one of our babies was stepped on by my Mum – they thought she was Mother Hen. And another was squashed accidently by little excitable hands).

Eren March 17, 2008 at 3:05 am

After reading this, S is lucky he doesnt come home to a few of these sweeties at our house. However I think the dog and cat might do them in the poor things. But I think you have the idea…like grandchildren, or borrowing someone elses little girl for the day…play with them awhile and hand em over to someone else. Have fun peeps! (I couldnt help it)

Mandi March 17, 2008 at 3:33 am

I’ve never seen that before, only heard stories! My grandparents and you must be of like mind. They had six kids and every time Easter rolled around they ended up bringing home dyed bunnies,dyed ducks, or dyed chicks. I wouldn’t have been able to resist either. unfortunately we live in one of those “I want to ruin everyone’s fun” coveted community. Anyway so cute I can’t wait till my kids wake up so I can show them. Happy Saint Patty’s and Happy Easter!

erin March 17, 2008 at 4:57 am

you are a much braver woman than i am!

Tracy March 17, 2008 at 5:33 am

oh my. ohmyohmy. Baby chicks are quite possibly the cutest of all baby animals. Except baby ducks. And kittens. Oh well, you know.

I would actually like to someday live in the country and have chickens. Especially ones that lay green and blue eggs. I love those.

emily March 17, 2008 at 5:35 am

no way! can’t wait to see them as they grow, these new little (colorful!) newborns of yours.

molly March 17, 2008 at 5:47 am

oh stop!! I’m a total sucker for things like this, especially when my children and little soft things are involved. You are going to get some beautiful eggs from the ameraucanas. Almost too pretty to eat. But maybe they’ll be living out their days on the ranch by that time?!

I have a feeling the boys will remember this experience for quite some time.

sUsAn March 17, 2008 at 6:05 am

Oh, how darling! I was at our local feed store just last Friday admiring the chicks (no Technicolor ones there though!) and wishing I could bring some home (not allowed to in our location-bummer). Enjoy your brood! I look forward to hearing more about them as they grow! 🙂

Alicia A. March 17, 2008 at 6:35 am

They’re so cute. SO cute! We had some chicks here for awhile (until they were big enough to go to Papa’s coop) and the kids LOVED it.

Have lots of fun with them. Then the fun will overshadow the work. 😉

lynne March 17, 2008 at 6:43 am

Oh my gash , i have NEVER seen coloured chicks before! How weird but definately cute. I have never had chickens but i guess there is always a first time for everything…..just not right now….lol

Keri March 17, 2008 at 6:44 am

Awwww…they’re so cute! And colorful! We had chickens growing up so I kind of hate them now, but even I, chicken-hater, couldn’t resist these cute things!!! I’m hearing their little “peep-peep” in my head as I type. 🙂

Cheryl March 17, 2008 at 6:56 am

This is cracking me up – exactly something I would do except now, having read this, I can have the chuckle and stand firm against any visits to the feed store – even out of nostalgia.

I think the sight of our 85lb shepahoula herding baby chicks in the backyard would be a great photo op BUT I shall resist 😉

joetta maue March 17, 2008 at 7:01 am

they are so cute and your images so great…
Have fun.

jessica March 17, 2008 at 7:15 am

wow!!! when i grow up i want chickens.

i strictly avoid the feed store in spring for this very reason. i would come home with ducklings, chickens and baby bunnies. and then my poor husband would end up cleaning up after them!

kristin March 17, 2008 at 7:26 am

i. have. never. seen. chicks. those. colors.

please. i would have done the same thing…you know i almost brought a baby goat home.

we just got a kitty instead.

kcb March 17, 2008 at 7:34 am

If that feed store has baby llamas, I’m doomed!

Mama Urchin March 17, 2008 at 7:36 am

So cute, and a little freaky in technicolor. I’m voting for Molly to get some around here and then we can visit them.

k March 17, 2008 at 7:46 am

I want some! I think our Home owners Assoc. would flip! They already sent a official letter that our curb needed edging! It had grass hanging over the curb a whole 2 inches!!! Thank goddness we are renting and will buy some where else!

k March 17, 2008 at 7:49 am

Make that Thank GOODness we are renting! I really need to learn to spellchick my post!

Crystal March 17, 2008 at 7:51 am

Ack! I love them!

I remember vividly the smell in the chicken house getting the eggs in the morning. I never thought it was bad, just very distinct. I had forgotten how they get tuckered out and just close their eyes. What a great adventure you and the kids (and the chicks)are having! Thanks so much for sharing.

k March 17, 2008 at 7:52 am

Check not chick! I give up!

lucy March 17, 2008 at 8:03 am

oooh…now i want a baby chicky 🙁
we used to buy baby ducks “for my dad.” he did like them, but really i think it was the only way Mom could get us to leave the pet store.

Anne March 17, 2008 at 8:04 am

I didn’t think they still sold these; my mom bought us these colored chicks for Easter one year…oh, so many memories.

Enjoy your new chicken ranch!

Maureen March 17, 2008 at 8:57 am

Wow. I have never seen this before… beautiful photos. And I am glad they have a ranch to go to later…

Heather March 17, 2008 at 11:39 am

They are so so cute!!

Diane March 17, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Wow. What? The? I have never seen such a thing in my life! I was just showing the kids and Emmett said, “Where do they live again?” and I said Texas and he said, “Ohhhhh.” Like that explained everything.

Wow. We keep some Polish hens — the kind that look like they’re wearing top hats? We keep those because they crack me up every single I time I look at them. I think it is right and good that your poultry be amusing.

Emmett just came back in to ask if you could tell me how to dye them. Oh my.

Eva March 17, 2008 at 1:45 pm

At first I thought that their color was a sneaky photoshop job… and then realized how extremely long that would take for the first photo. So cute and sweet! I love their color, what a neat idea. 🙂

Steph March 17, 2008 at 5:59 pm

oh. my. god. I would have brought home a hell of a lot more than 6.

leslie March 17, 2008 at 6:14 pm

you are just the nicest mommy EVER! so sweet.
i can only imagine how cute they are!

Lasso the Moon March 17, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Ack! Cuteness overload.
Anna

mommyknows March 17, 2008 at 10:14 pm

My grandma did this for us every Easter when we were kids. I remember her carefully adding the dye to the unhatched eggs.

Love your photo’s.

Amy March 18, 2008 at 8:14 am

Wow!

I did not know you could do that to a baby chick. Insane!

The whole post fuels my desire to raise chickens. It seems such a good idea. And I’m glad these chicks have a ranch to live on someday.

Aimee Greeblemonkey March 18, 2008 at 8:32 am

HOLEEE CRIPES.

I WANT THEM.

Sally March 18, 2008 at 9:21 am

If you could buy them online and we had a garden well..I’d be buying some of those pretty gals myself.

I remember as a girl bringing home a gosling (or two)…there is no resisting!

Julie @ Letter9 March 18, 2008 at 10:46 am

Oh. I wouldn’t be able to pass them down, either! Just imagining my little boy someday holding a little chick. OH MY!

And, um, are they dyed? Were they born that way? ARE THEY OK?!?! : )

Regina March 18, 2008 at 11:54 am

Our poultry arrives next week. 🙂 I have been wanting to have chickens for a long time. Our local grocery can’t keep fresh eggs in stock long enough.

They are adorable (no smell over the internet).

leslie March 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

oh you are soooooo lucky! we cant have chickens where i live. i have NEVER seen anything so cool as those colored chicks. just mind blowing!!! hey, i am sending out your package soon. hope you dont mind i cleaned house a bit around here, few extra things got added as we started packing it.

xoxoxo

K March 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm

That is bizarre and painfully cute all at the same time. I’m glad we don’t have them locally, or I’d be sorely tempted to bring home some blue baby chicks.

lina March 18, 2008 at 7:40 pm

That’s just insane! Really? How could you possible resist?

Cami March 19, 2008 at 12:23 am

Those little babies are the cutest things I’ve ever seen! I never knew people colored them like that. I couldn’t have resisted buying a few either 😉

Lynn March 19, 2008 at 10:08 am

We are getting chicks in the mail at the end of May. We have to wait until it is warmer. Still, they have to stay in the basement for a while until the nights are warm.

We can’t wait. We get excited about it every year.

april March 19, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Heaven help you indeed. I can’t blame you though. I too would have a hard time resisting those little guys. I’ve held a newborn duck before and came darn close to shedding some tears because I couldn’t take him home.

Courtney March 19, 2008 at 7:04 pm

oh my, I absolutely love the one in the bottom pic. What’s it’s name???

Courtney March 19, 2008 at 7:06 pm

oh, I see now– Maybelle, I love you.

maya March 19, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I CANNOT TELL YOU how much I love this. I lovelovelove this!!!!!

Baby chicks!! In Technicolor!!

Be still my heart!!

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