The Odd Couple
You may recall that in addition to the 25 chicks we bought for the farm, we also bought five fancy breed chickens. These fancy chickens were intended to be our new backyard flock since we decided to move our five oldest girls (Rhoda, Raquel, Rosie, Ruby, and Ramona) to the farm. Well things didn’t turn out quite as planned – which I’ve come to realize is not at all unusual when dealing with chickens. Of the five fancy chicks we bought, we ended up with only two for the backyard flock, and they are quite an odd couple indeed! The two red cochin frizzle banty chicks both turned out to be roosters, and Lil’ Red Rooster and Henry are quite happy at the farm. Sadly, little Hattie, the gold-laced polish chick died a couple days after we bought her. We had been told when we got her that she and her fellow shipmates had a rough time during shipping and that she may not survive, but it was still sad to see her go after only a couple of days. So now we are left with a mottled houdan named Coco Puff, and a partridge silkie banty named Millie (who was sold to us as a Mille Fleur D’Uccle – hence her name).
Regardless of the different outcome than we had planned, we are quite pleased with our two fancy girls. Coco Puff is quite entertaining with her huge topknot of head feathers. It pretty much blocks her entire field of vision, which has lead to us calling her our special needs chicken. It must have taken me a month to train her how to walk up the ladder into the coop at night! At treat time, she pecks around clumsily and barely manages to make contact with anything she aims at with her beak. Millie has learned to wait for Coco Puff to go into the coop first at night and to stay out of the way of Coco Puff’s rather unpredictable treat pecking, and the two of them seem to be getting along quite well. The jury is still out on whether either of them will figure out that they are supposed to go into the coop to lay their eggs in the nest box. The wooden training egg we have in the nest box is quite a bit bigger than the eggs these girls will lay, so they may have no idea that the training egg in the nest box is an indicator of where they should lay their eggs. But that’s okay, we didn’t get these girls for their egg laying abilities, we got them for backyard companions and they are quite good at that!