I never envisioned myself chicken mistress to a more than one breed of chickens. I saw no reason for there to be any new additions to the flock. Australorps, with their constant large brown egg-laying quality pretty much met my needs. They are efficient with their feed, do well over winter, are calm (mostly) and have a beautiful green sheen to their black feathers. Our sole broody hen, Momma, was an Australorp. Losing her to the foxes last year was a blow.
We have a new, larger coop planned for this summer. It will be large enough to keep two separate flocks and provide a space for younger birds and quarantined birds to be raised separately. Ideally, there will be room for the feed bins, the incubator and shelving, but those would be luxuries. 🙂 The Barred Hollands need to be housed separately to really be focused on. Our motley crew of layers need to kinda repopulate themselves. I will be focused on the Hollands and I only plan to hatch from April through late September. Enter the newest birds on the block…
These birds are English in origin and are supposed to be excellent mothers, curious and great in the winter. They also are a bit camo flagged compared to MoneyPenny, the great Buff Orpington that sticks out like a sore thumb. The crows, our flock guardians, don’t seem to care for the non-black birds, so when I was looking for foster hen breeds I looked for dark coloration, too. I added 1 young chick to our flock of layers.
Cochins are originally from China and have a unique rounded “bustle” shape to their bums. They are very quiet and calm, make excellent mothers (sometimes fostering chicks) and will try to hatch anything you put under them. They come in the standard and bantam (mini) sizes. They take their egg-sitting duties so seriously that I was told a story of a bantam cochin who sat on a single turkey egg for 3 weeks and attempted to raise the turkey poult until it was twice her size. That’s the kind of enthusiasm I like! I purchased 3 young cochin chicks to add to our laying flock.
Our new chicks aren’t much to look at right now. I will add their pictures once they feather put and lose their downy fuzz.
PS-I know it doesn’t exactly feel that way, but Happy Spring!