In March of 2019, I decided to get some chickens. I thought it would be fun and having eggs would be nice. I went to the local Tractor Supply to buy a few chicks. Tractor Supply has a minimum of six I bought 6 Buff Orpington Pullets that were less than a week old.
I only wanted three chicks so a friend came by and took the other three a couple of weeks later. At that point I was sure that three was the perfect number of chickens for me to have. I was happy and the three hens, which I named Poptart, Buttercup and Dumpling, were happy. They all got along great and life in the coop and run was smooth sailing.
Many chicken people I knew told me that I would get more chickens but I insisted that I never would. I’d walk into the run and the hens would come running. Three was all that I ever wanted and I just couldn’t imagine ever getting more chickens or that any other chickens could ever be as sweet as the ones that I had.
For some reason, probably because I kept talking with chicken people, I started to think that maybe I would like a few more. Just three more.
The first chicks that I bought did turn out to be hens but I had stressed until they laid eggs wondering if maybe I had a rooster in the flock. I didn’t want that stress the second time so I looked at sex-linked breeds. With sex-linked breeds the males and females don’t look the same at hatch so it would be easy to know for sure that I was getting all hens. I wanted that guarantee with the next three chicks.
Golden Comets and Cream Legbars fit all of the things that I was looking for. The Cream Lebars lay blue eggs. My Orpingtons lay brown eggs so I liked the idea of having a variety of egg colors. The Golden Comets lay many eggs per year and since my Orpingtons tend to go broody often I thought that having at least one breed that didn’t go on strike would be good. Both the Comets and the Legbars are cold hearty. I live in New England so it was important to me to have breeds that would do well during the cold winters that we have here.
I went to order the chicks from Cackle Hatchery and I ran into a problem. I wanted three chicks of two different breeds. Cackle only sold a minimum of three per breed. I didn’t to choose. I wanted two separate breeds and the only way that would be possible would be to order six chicks. Three Comets and Three Legbars. The problem was that I didn’t want six chicks. I only wanted three. I called a friend who I knew had been thinking about getting a few more and asked her if she wanted three of the six. She said she would take two Golden Comets and one Cream Legbar. I put the order in with Cackle Hatchery for the six chicks in December 2020 to have them shipped in March.
In January of 2020, I read about Seramas and I really wanted to get a couple of those. They can be kept inside, in a smaller space and I thought that would be fun. Upon learning more I found out that they are generally sold in pairs or trios and most people didn’t sell just two hens. I would have to get a rooster. I was told the roosters were very friendly and I didn’t need to worry about the Serama rooster crow bothering anyone in the neighborhood. I was thinking of getting some that I could maybe show some day so I set out to find a quality breeder that was selling show quality Seramas. I found one locally and bought a pair from her. One rooster and one hen. I named them Jacques and Jilli.
The Seramas were a lot more work than the hens which I wasn’t prepared for. The good news is that everyone was right about the Serama rooster crow. It is more of a squeak and even my dogs don’t even flinch when they hear Jacques crow so having him inside wasn’t an issue. The biggest issue was with Jilli. She wasn’t laying soft shelled eggs. I had to be sure to be around to get the egg before Jacques pecked it or they stepped on it. I was in contact with the breeder and trying different things to help Jilli too. The idea of training them to show went on the back burner because I didn’t know if her laying soft shells was due to her being moved into a new place.
As March was approaching, I started to have second thoughts about raising baby chicks. I wondered if it would be better to hold off until the following Spring. I was still dealing with trying help Jilli. I was still getting her egg as quickly as I could which sometimes meant staying up very late or getting up extremely early, I was working and a lot of different things were happening here. I had put the original chicks in my basement but now that Jilli and Jacques were there I knew that the new chicks would have to be kept away from them for a couple of months. That would mean I’d be setting up my garage for the new chicks. There was just so much going on that I wondered if getting the chicks would be adding one thing too many to my already pretty full plate.
I talked with my friend and asked her if I changed my mind would she take all six of the chicks. She said yes. I was happy to know that no matter what they would have a place to be and I decided to think about it. I told her I’d let her know for sure by the time the chicks were shipped what I’d decided.
The chicks were due to arrive on March 18th and I lost my job due to Covid-19 on the 13th. Having the extra time, I decided to keep the chicks figuring that by the time that I went back to work they would be outside living in the coop with the other hens. Though losing my job wasn’t a good thing it happened at the perfect time. I felt much more at ease knowing that I would have plenty of time to spend with the new chicks.
On March 18th when I picked up the chicks at the post office, I saw that Cackle Hatchery had added in an extra Comet. I kept the fourth chick and my friend took the other three. I named the Golden Comets Halley and Penny and the Cream Legbars Marsala and Picatta.
So, at this point my three more went to four giving me a total of 9 chickens all together at the end of only one year.
When I ordered three more chicks, I was sure that 3+3=6 but somehow, I have 9 chickens. Within one year I lost my ability to add and I may be on my way to being a crazy chicken person afflicted by chicken math.