Three of my hens found a new, wonderful home tonight. A longtime member of the PDXBackyardChix group through contacted me about adopting some of my hens. It’s been really occupying way too much of my mind figuring out exactly who would go and who would stay.

I still wanted a blue egg-layer in the group. I wanted to keep at least one of my original flock, so we could maintain an egg supply while the chicks grow up. But I was also worried about the potential for some of the chicks to grow up into fine young roosters, rather than hens. What if I saved four and ended up with only two hens in the end? The rhode island red and plymouth rock just had to stay with me, since I am too attached. And then when you consider the other fun breeds I have to choose from and the feather colors… AHH! Just too hard to decide.

A co-worked actually helped me sort things out. A co-work from Chicago who has never kept chickens in her life, actually. So perhaps I just needed to talk it out with someone. The final mix is (drum roll please)….

Pearl, plymouth rock chick, rhode island red chick, brahma chick, and brown araucana chick are all staying with me. Winnie and Hazel stayed together, off to their new home with the white araucana chick. The adopters have two sure egg-layers, plus a Leghorn they already own. They get a young girl too who should be pumping out steady eggs in a month or two.

I feel confident-ish at this point that the brahma and rhode island red are both hens. The brown araucana still has a 50% chance of being a boy. And, although I wish it wasn’t so, the plymouth rock does have a nice, red comb. It hasn’t seemed to grow any lately, but it’s still more pronounced that the other breeds. Could be a breed issue, or could be an “I’m a rooster” issue. Time will tell. Worst case scenario, two are boys which leaves me with three hens. Best case scenario, all are hens and I think about adopting two out later.

Pearl might be a little sad, but it’s hard to tell. Do chickens get sad to see their old mates go? She was clucking a lot when I came back to the coop, after saying goodbye to Winnie and Hazel. In the eyes of chickens, and some people, food equals love so I gave her a healthy helping of scratch to take her mind off things.

It’s a little silly I guess, but it felt good to hold Winnie and Hazel as I put them into their travel carrier. It was sort of like hugging their soft little plump bodies goodbye. I know they are going to a really good home, but it’s still a little harder than I thought to let them go. Winnie was always especially fun to watch come barreling towards me, since she is a little chunkier. I always pictured her as a portly old lady who just couldn’t say no to the cookies. And Hazel is just a trooper all around. She is a very dependable layer, who was always at the bottom of the pecking order. Maybe now is her chance to move up a little with her new roommates.

Tonight I plan to set everyone up on the roosts together, so Pearl learns to start sharing with the “freshman” class. Tomorrow will be a little quieter.

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