I got them. I got four of them. My chickens (said in a Smigel my precious voice).
Barred Plymouth Rocks:
White Plymouth Rock:
If there were a way to explain how excited I am right now... I still prolly wouldn't be able to exaplin it....that's how excited I am.
I'd planned my flock out differently, you know. Oh yes. I'd had my flock planned for months....and I'm sure you can tell from the past-tense tone that things didn't quite go my way. This wouldn't be post if there weren't some sort of internal self-adjustment, right?
I knew I wanted some Barred Plymouth Rocks from the get go. They are super layers and are dual-purpose, meaning once they are done laying they are perfectly suited for the dinner table. They also have excellent temperaments, are sweet with other birds and kids, and are tolerant to the frigid winters we get up here. Overall, they are a sensible, cute bird that I couldn't wait to get my hands on. I picked up the little black beauties on Wednesday. There were plenty to choose from. I went, I saw, I purchased. In and out in a matter of minutes. I was overjoyed to come home with my first two little dolls.
Next up, I'd planned, were the Easter Eggers and Buff Orpingtons. I'd wanted those two breeds real bad. Easter Eggers lay cool eggs (the shells are pastel colored...different variations of green, blue, and pink) and the Buff Orpingtons are super fluffy and chunky. I'd double checked with the store 12 times and was told yes, the breeds I wanted would be arriving at the store today, Friday, March 20th.
So this morning I packed up my car again and headed out, excited to complete my flock and have everything go exactly the way I planned it. Jen's perfect little plans :) I cranked the heat in the car (the babes need heat to stay healthy), dropped the little kid off with G-Ma and G-Pa, and drove out into the wild wilderness that is springtime road construction.
I arrived at the feed store at 10:15, exactly 2 hours and 15 minutes after they opened. I headed back to the chick area, hearing their little peeps chirp out from beyond shelves of hardware cloth and power tools. I practically skipped down the aisle to my soon-to-be-babies.
The nice, young girl who helped me get my Barred Rocks was there, scoopin' poop and changing litter. I looked around for the bin holding the Orps and Eggers. Nothing. Hmm.
"Hi," I said with a smile, opening my towel-filled box expectantly. "I'm here to pick up a few of your Buff Orpingtons and Easter Eggers!" I seriously looked like The Joker, that's how big my smile was.
Her eyes immediately fell and she stepped back from me just a bit. "I'm sorry," she said. "They sold out already."
I kinda blinked for a second. I might've said, "Shutup."
"I started work at 8AM, got here at 7:45 this morning," she continued, "and there was a line of people outside the door. Even the people waiting since 7 ended up missing them."
"I'm not leaving here without a chicken," I told her, forcefully. I could tell she was a little afraid of me. I tried to mask my disappointment (cheyeah, rite....Jen, masking emotions?) and turned away. I looked into the other chick-filled bins and my mind immediately began acting like a total priss.
No. No. Not you. No. Nope. Bet you lay plain white eggs. Very Merry UN-Special to you. No. Weird-looking. Too sleepy. Too peckish. No. No, these birds won't work. Stupid hillbilly line of people taking my birds.
I heard the head staff woman come over, the one who ran all things chicken and knew me practically by name (I'm telling you I planned this OUT). She quietly asked the younger girl, "Everything ok?" The younger girl nodded and they both checked me out from under their eyebrows. They were waiting for me to freak out. Poor ladies. What a shitty morning they must've had. I kicked it into customer-service sympathy mode.
"Pretty rough morning, huh?" I asked them.
The younger girl smiled and the other lady sighed and looked upward. She returned my smile and said, "Lots of yelling. I get it, people get excited. I just feel bad for those who didn't get what they wanted. I'm sorry."
Yep. That was the hinging moment for me. These two ladies are just trying to do their job. They'd been yelled at all morning and were both still smiling at me, nice as can be, nothing but sympathetic and sensitive. It made me stop and think for a minute.
Every year for her birthday, my big kid asks for donations instead of presents. We usually get $200+...and every penny goes to an organization called Heifer International. They provide livestock and training to people who can't afford to eat. My big girl actually chose a flock of chicks as part of her donation this year. So while I'm sitting over here hemming and hawing over eggshell colors, some family somewhere is excited to just get a chicken. Any chicken. A chicken.
I did a quick Google search on the breeds left in the feed store bins and found them all to be hearty, dual-purpose, steadfast layers with good temperaments. With the staff lady's help (what an awesome woman!), I chose two beautiful little babes, a White Rock and a Wyandotte. Next week another Buff Orpington shipment comes in, and if I get one, great. If not, that's ok too. These loves will be filling my heart and my egg basket all year :)
Stay tuned! I'll be posting a "How to Raise Chickens Like a Jerk" post in the next few weeks!
Happy SPRING my friends! And thank you for reading :)