Guess what I brought home last night? New chicks! Look at these fuzzy little peepers, all little and sweet. It's fun to have new ones after several years with just the grown hens.
The little girls don't have names yet, but the yellow one is a White Rock and the black and white one is a Langshan. I have never owned either breed before, but both are supposed to be pretty good layers of eggs and fairly good tempered. I got them from someone who posted on the Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts message board. She had ordered 15 chicks from McMurray Hatchery, but ended up not being able to keep any of them. Since I was looking for just two chicks but needed them sexed and vaccinated, it worked out perfectly for me to take two of hers. I originally asked for a Rhode Island Red and an Australorp, but sadly those two chicks didn't survive their first night at the woman's home.
These two chicks seem pretty hardy. They peeped their little heads off the whole (long) drive home, and they have settled in happily in our old brooder box. I've got a big bag of organic starter-grower crumble from Centinela Feed in Burbank, a thermometer and a heating light, so they should be all set for quite a while. I'll keep them apart from the big girls for at least 8 weeks, maybe longer. I don't want them to get beat up.
Of course, these are the first chicks we've gotten since my son was born. As you can imagine, he's pretty excited about the baby chickens. When he woke up this morning and saw the box, he shouted "Hi chicken!" over and over for several minutes. We let him hold both chicks today and did a good job being gentle. I think it's going to be really fun to raise these chicks with him. We've been gardening, too, so he'll be an expert urban farmer before he's even in elementary school--or at least as much of an "expert" as I am.