It’s not my fault (really!). Hear me out….there are SO many heritage breeds, beautiful colors of eggs and beautifully feathered chickens that I can’t help myself.  I’m not greedy…I just want one of everything.  Just one….

Normally this isn’t a tremendous problem….in the past, I have purchased chicks from hatcheries.  Some of the ones I like are Murray McMurray, Hoovers and Strombergs. Some of these pictures came from these hatcheries. You place your order, wait for the post office to call you at dawn to come pick up your chicks and you are done.  Easy peasy. No temptations.

The problem this year is that we have a new farm store…Rural King.  (If you have a chick addiction…run!) This place is HUGE…it used to be a K-Mart and they have everything from tractors to boots, hardware to pet food and a HUGE area with about 16 galvanized feeders filled with the cutest, little baby birds.  (Well, the Turkens aren’t so cute..but maybe that’s just me!) We are talking ducks, pheasants, silkies, turkens, turkeys, and…chicks….and there lies the problem.  You can actually go in there every week to see the new breeds that have arrived.  Every.Week.New.Breeds.Arrive!

I need those beautiful Buff Orpingtons…They are great mamas and they go broody… so they will raise chicks for me and do a beautiful job.  When they cluck softly to their little ones? Well, that sound brings peace to my heart. No one can be without those can they?

I had to try Gold Laced Wyandottes….I mean the Silver Laced Wyandotte’s are so beautiful!

And they are a gentle breed and great egg layers – don’t you ever buy all the colors when you find something you love?

 

Isa Browns…now those are new to me – don’t you think we should try at least one new breed each year?  They are the two pretty brown and white girls at the bottom of the picture. 

Have you ever heard of them before? They are prolific egg layers –  300-350 eggs a year.  Wow – hard working ladies! Are you thinking about getting some backyard chickens?  This may be the perfect breed for you!  They are supposed to be super friendly and gentle and will certainly keep you in eggs.  They are winter hardy too!  Could you resist?

Prairie Bluebells – they lay blue eggs….BLUE PEOPLE!  How could anyone pass that up? They are a cross between Araucanas and White Leghorns!  They are active birds, great at  foraging, lightweight and don’t eat as much as other breeds. Their color varies – who knows what you may get when they grow up!  The anticipation is killing me and it may explain a few…ahem…unrecognizable girls in the coop!  I’ll blame this on Instagram and those people putting up beautiful pics of blue eggs…BLUE EGGS PEOPLE!  #rainbow eggs.  Have you been there?  It is amazing.

Then there are Ameraucanas!  They are great around kids, gentle and hardy. They have fluffy muffs and odd tails (some have no tail plummage!) . I’ve always had them on our homestead…How could I say no? They lay eggs that are different shades of green – some dark, some light – tons of them! We have two girls that are at least 4 years old and still each laying an egg a day!

 

Don’t forget the Dominique breed.  Around here in the TN mountains,  they are called Domineckers. They date back to colonial times!  Probably our country’s oldest breed of chicken my friends! Aren’t you history lovers?  Don’t you want one of the first breeds ever to come to America?  Dual purpose, big beautiful brown eggs, gentle and oh, so lovely as they free range.  Think of them as zebra chickens – or so my grandson says….

Speaking of the grandbabies…I have 4 little people that call me MiMi!  My grand babies wanted to have their very own chickens on the farm….and they wanted “lello” ones.  At least three of them did – my oldest grandson wanted a black one!  No one really understood when I told them that they could get “lello” chicks but that they wouldn’t be “lello” when they grew up.  SO confusing for little ones…. They all decided that it would be ok if they turned white when they grew up (thank goodness they all agreed or there would be even MORE chicks on this place!). My grands chose Amberlinks at the farm store Could I help that? I’ve never even heard of Amberlinks…Someone had the idea to breed a Rhode Island WHITE male with a Rhode Island RED female and this is the result! They lay brown eggs and tolerate just about any climate well.  Hopefully the kids won’t be too disappointed when the “lello” disappears!

I mean, really, could you have said no to this face?  I couldn’t. Look at her smile!  She just wanted one for her very own.

Do you remember the very first time you held a brand new fluffy chick?  How soft it was? How it’s little heart beat so very hard in your hand…

I can remember telling my own kids to touch it “one finger…soft”.  I found myself saying those words again ….25 years later. Oh the memories!

Then there are Olive eggers – these hens are all different colors and lay all different shades of green eggs, …that one was beyond my control….this store has a rule – you have to buy 6 at a time to keep their agricultural license instead of a pet store license…when I bought the 3 Amberlinks, I had to fill in with something didn’t I?

 

I am making progress in my addiction though.  I recently went to the farm store (such a very dangerous place for an addict to go!) and came home without any chicks.  My son was so proud of me (he’s the one that has to help me build or plan coops for these critters!). The fact that they were sold out of Cream Legbars might have had something to do with that…(shhhhh)…nope…it was my tremendous willpower…..

Then one day…out of the blue…this happened….but these boxes don’t contain “chicks”….any idea what I brought home this time? There are 30 of them in these boxes…..

(….not…my…fault….)

Just sayin’…