The Chicken Or The Egg?
Since childhood, I've heard "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?". I'm not sure that I can definitively answer that age old debate, but I can tell you how chicks came to Green Pastures Farm.
The US Postal Service!!!
A few days ago, 17 baby chicks took up residence in our barn. Seven are our's and we are providing nursery space for the other ten; when big enough they will move on to our neighbor Tony's farm. Baby chicks need a warm environment, so despite the barn already being in the 80's, we still have a heat lamp on them.
Six different breeds of chicks arrived. We enjoy the color variations of the adult's plumage, as well as their egg colors. Our other selection criteria is egg production and the ability to tolerate our SC heat. Oh, and females only . . . one rooster is enough!
We purchased our chicks this year (and in years past) from Murray McMurray Hatchery. Some of the Information in the descriptions below is from their website.
This little chick's breed name is longer than her, Silver Spangled Hamburg. In Holland, they were known as such prolific layers of white eggs that a common name for them was "the Dutch Everyday Layer." The adults have lustrous greenish black spangles on silvery white plumage giving them a polkadot look. Baby chicks are a silver gray with parallel dark and light stripes on the back.
This little chick is a New Hampshire Red. You guessed it, the breed originated in the state of New Hampshire by farmers who started with R.I. Reds and selectively bred for desired characteristics. The mature birds are a rich chestnut red and the baby chicks are a lighter red.
This gal is an Araucana, a unique breed that gets its name from the Indian tribe of Chile where they were first discovered. These chickens are known for their ability to lay colored eggs of shades varying from turquoise to blue; each bird typically lays a different shade of colored egg. Baby chicks come in all colors, plain and fancy, just like the adults.
We have five of these Black Australorps we're babysitting for our neighbor. Australorps originated in Australia. Their claim to fame is their egg production. One hen set a laying record of 364 eggs in 365 days! Black Australorps have glossy black plumage which has a greenish-purple sheen . Baby chicks are black with white underparts and small white patches around the head and wings.
This is the other group of temporarily nurseried chicks. Buff Orpingtons were introduced from England in the late 1800's, reportedly becoming one of the most popular farm fowls in the country. They are stately birds of quiet disposition. Their heavy plumage make them excellent winter layers, shelling out brown eggs right through cold weather (we can attest to that!). Baby chicks are a soft light buff color.
This is a photo of our adult Buff Orpington and Black Australorp.
And finally, our mystery chick. With our order, we received a free exotic chick. You'll just have to follow along and see what she is!