Sunday, March 15, 2009

Presenting the new chickens!

Lemon Harmon, a Light Brahma
The Flash, a Delaware
Jonathan has been looking on Craig's list for a chicken. We wanted one that was not so young
that it couldn't stick up for itself and that it wasn't laying. We didn't want one so old that we couldn't tell its age - I personally cannot guess the ages of full grown chickens - and then have it not lay eggs.

He found someone advertising six month old Light Brahmas. Our all time favorite chicken Gavi was a Dark Brahma. It was perfect.

He left a note on the door of the neighbors whose dog killed our chicken with the details of the ad. When the nieghbor's called back they asked if we wanted two. They read my mind.

Thursday night, after I had fallen asleep on the couch, the neighbors arrived. They were carying a small cat carrier with the two chickens inside. Combining different groups of chickens is hard to do well, so we tried all of the tricks we had heard about. We put the new ones in while the old ones were sleeping. We put out lots of extra food so that when they woke up they could eat together and not feel competative. We gave them special treats - grains and corn any thing we could find in the kitchen that would appeal to chickens. We went to bed and hoped for the best.
So far, three days later, things are not going so well. Our old chickens have been pecking the new ones, and the new ones have been hiding behind the food box. When they are out in the yard they are foraging in two separte packs. I'm still hoping that they will learn to get along eventually.
These breeds are really interesting to me. The Brahma chicken is a very old variety, from, as you may have guessed, India. They have feathered feet and are famously calm and friendly.
The Delaware is a really new breed, developed, you guessed it again, in Delaware, in the 1930's or 40's. The Delaware is cross between a Barred Plymouth Rock and a New Hampshire. Wikipedia lists it as "critically endangered."
So given these differences are you really surprised at how similar they look? Look at the photos. Isn't is kind of eerie?
Unless you are the kind of person who just thinks that a chicken is a chicken is a chicken. In which case it makes perfect sense.


Jayme said...

They are both equally Gorgeous!!!
I Love them!
I hope the older hens relent & decide to put up with them w/o pecking. Can't you use your famous conflict resolution skills on them, Kate. Oh I hope so!!

xoxoxoox J.

Emily said...

yeah, i looked at the photos first, and I knew you had two new chickens and that one is smaller and that they are different breeds, so I was surprised that the photos looked like two pictures of the same chicken! ah well. fun to have some new chickens!