What Kind of Chickens Did I Get?

Posted on May 13, 2010

Egg Layers or Meat Birds

chicks 5 weeksSo, it’s a snowy, rainy spring day in Boulder, and the 5-ish week old chicks are confined to my bathroom.  With no adult hens to keep them warm, they must stay huddled inside boxes, inside the bathroom, until the temperature warms up (definitely not a free range operation at the moment).

Through all of the excitement of having the chicks this week, I apparently was unable to commit memory space to what breeds they actually are.  I picked these five chicks out of about 50 that my friend Betsy had at The Farmette, and their breed names just didn’t stick, and you’ll see why soon (and I was also more concerned with giving them their own names, of course).  But, low and behold, Betsy sent over a list of four breeds (this was a bit perplexing, as I thought there were only three breeds there the day I picked tem out).  Perhaps when they get older I will have a better chance of identifying what I actually have.

The one thing I do know is that these girls are supposed to be good egg layers.  Through this process I learned that there are good egg layers, there are good meat birds, and there are some that fall somewhere in the middle.  If you are a vegetarian like myself, you can give them cute names and go with the best breeds for laying delicious eggs.  Consequently, those that are best at laying are usually not very tasty on the grill.  Alternatively, those that are best for meat are not good layers.  The ones in the middle are neither the best egg layers nor tasty on the grill, so you’re usually better going with one or the other.  I decided fresh eggs were the way to go (I think the slaughtering process might be a challenge for most vegetarians and meat eaters alike).  One breed that I know I have is a New Hampshire.  Ok, a standard enough name.  Now this second one…I’m not really sure who was involved in the naming process (I’ll have to investigate that), but it is a Black Sex Link.  Yes, a Black Sex Link.  The two brown ones I have could be either a Partridge Rock or a Brown Leghorn.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Until then, I will continue to fatten them up as much as possible and give them a happy little home so that I can act like an overjoyed 5 year old when I find that first egg.  Stay tuned!

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