When we lost our dear girl Clover back in October, my husband and I did something we rarely do….we made a rash decision.
Maybe it was the grief. Maybe it was practical thinking about the loss of one of our key egg layers. Maybe it was just plain Chicken Math. Whatever the reason, Sunday morning – the day after I discovered Clover – we decided we needed to add another girl to the flock.
So that afternoon we made our way up to the Portage Bay Grange, determined to pick up an Easter Egger – the only breed they had on hand at the time that was more than a month old. Plus,who doesn’t like fun-colored eggs?
Having already raised day old chicks, we knew we didn’t have the time. Plus, winter was right around the corner, so we wanted pullets that would have their adult feathers in time to keep them warm and toasty during the pending chill.
Of course when we arrived, we quickly realized a flaw in our plan. We couldn’t get just one new girl. When the attendant at the Grange asked how many do you want? We first hesitantly said just one. He Responded well, it’s better if you get a pair so they can buddy up – especially when introducing them to an existing flock. That was all it took to push us over – we were getting two.
Todd and I took our time each picking out a pullet (About 30 seconds each). I selected one of the few bearded chicks while Todd picked out one that was beard free, but had a nice pattern to her feathers. The attendant placed the girls into the box we brought, and away we went.
In our eagerness, we hadn’t quite thought about all the logistics of introducing new girls into our flock. While I had spent months researching chickens, breed types, care and more when we got our first girls, I didn’t bother with any of that research stuff before we picked up the new girls. As we drove home, the reality of our situation set in. What will our old girls think about the new ones? Will they accept them? How will we introduce the new girls? Oh dear, we may have been a bit rash!
But by the time we got home, we had a fairly good plan cobbled together. To introduce the girls gradually, we built a cage within the run using metal pen panels we had from watching a friends dog some years go, and I still had the feeder and waterer from when we raised our first chickens. The last touch was to add a reflector lamp and a 90 watt bulb. Ok, I think we’re all set!
The new girls settled in and it became quickly evident that we made the right choice when we picked up two pullets instead of just one. They buddied up right away and nestled in to the pine shavings.
And their names? Turmeric (center photo) and Ginger (right photo). In hindsight, naming the new girls after spices may not have been the best idea given we lost Clover to a predator, but we think the names fit them – and most importantly, it sticks to our botanical theme.
Aren’t they cute?