The first additions to our flock came as a birthday present from my father-in-law in 2015. I received four Gold Laced Cochins and two Black Cochins. They lived at his farm house for the first couple weeks as we got the finishing touches done on the coop.
Next to come were my two Sizzles. I fell in love with the pair when we were at my first Odds and Unusual Sale in Millet this past Spring. I hadn’t even heard of these sales, but I am hooked now. There was everything you could think of. Rabbits, chickens, fowl, sheep, ducks, geese and even goats. This one poor fella was tied to a lead and being drug around the arena floor by a couple of children. I dont know who was more strong willed, the goat refusing to walk or the little boy at the end of the halter rope tugging him along.
The final additions to the flock I found on one of my trusted chicken pages on Facebook. A lady was looking to get rid of some of her Spring hatch and so we welcomed eight more Sizzle/Frizzle/Silkie mixes to the bunch.
With sixteen chickens now under our coop roof, we were ready to begin our journey into poultry raising!
Spring 2016 we decided to try something new and purchased chicks as day olds. We found eight little Polish and six Copper Maran chicks. We lost three of the Polish to a variety of beak deformities including Scissor beak and and elongated top beak. Everyone else has grown up strong and big and they now share an open area in the enclosure with our big girls. They are so full of personality and add a little humour to the coop. TheCopper Marans lay us a beautiful dark chocolate brown egg.
The Spring of 2017, we again purchased a group of “Little” who we raised in the Pickup Palace. They are Ameracaunas and Olive Eggers (Ameracauna mixed with Copper Marans). Out of the thirteen chicks we brought home, eight ended up being roosters and headed to freezer camp. This group gave us the coveted blue and green eggs and I had been looking for. Oh how I love the colourful egg basket we have now!
Meet the Group:
Our Gold and Black Cochin “Big Mammas”
This handsome fella is my main man Albert, after Albert Einstein obviously! Albert is the inspiration behind our wine labels, Mad Albert. He did make the move to a new farm last summer but we will always remember this little bundle with his big personality.
Her name was Pea, until I found out she’s actually a Rooster. We now refer to him as The Rooster Formerly Known as Pea. RIP to my nasty little rooster. You made a lovely beer can chicken.
We sadly have had to say goodbye to my favourite chicken, Little Black Hen. She was a little bundle full of beans! Meeting us at the gate to the enclosure, taking treats out of our hands, tolerating me picking her up all the time and even spending a day as a house chicken. She is greatly missed here on the farm and the coop just isn’t the same without her. Plain Jane was thrown in as a freebie when we picked up an assortment of Sizzle/Frizzles. She was our first egg layer and is a very broody mama. She will protect her clutch of eggs to no end, and often leave little beak sized bruises on the hands of anyone who tries to take her eggs from under her. On the left we had our white Sizzle hen Pearl. Pearl was also a little broody mama who didn’t want to give up her eggs, earning her the endearing title of “Bitchy Pearl”. She has since been laid to rest, with a little burial here on the farm in her memory.
Next we have our group of “Littles” we purchased in the Spring of 2016 and raised from day olds.
From left to right we have our little Polish rooster Pierce (who now lives at my father-in-law’s), one of our white hens Opal, then Bonnie and lastly Norris. Norris has a twin sister Twink, who has messed up toes (Twinkle Toes).
Next to the flock came our little Copper Marans who are no longer so little. We said goodbye to our big rooster George a couple summers ago as we made room for our new group of chicks. He sure was beautiful and did a great job of protecting his ladies.
Our last batch of chicks that we bought came in the Spring of 2017 and included Easter eggers and Ameracauna chicks. These layers give us our beautiful blue and green eggs, completing the perfect egg rainbow basket!
In 2019, we tried our first ever hatch here on the farm using an incubator. We were not so successful, hatching only two chicks out of the batch of 24 eggs. Of course, both were also roosters and have since vacated the premises to freezer camp. Perhaps we will try again next year and have some baby chicks for our little girl Wallace to play with!