It’s been a loooooong winter/spring without chickens. We got out of chickens back in the fall and focussed on quail over the winter. Now with a happy covey of coturnix quail outside laying, and a few button quail left indoors ready for sale, we decided on getting four more pullets. After some searching on Poultry Swap Ontario (great forum) and Kijiji, I found the birds we wanted.
I drove up towards Minto to meet with the seller and quickly got lost. Apparently, Google maps has their own names for streets that no other map references or person has ever heard of. With my phone/GPS having seizures on the passenger seat, I was forced to pull over multiple times to ask for directions. Each town sent me to the next town until I saw a sign for Walkerton, 5km. Realizing I was miles off, I rolled up the windows, lost my temper on the steering wheel and cussed until I started to feel better. Thanks to a man at an LCBO (I stopped for directions, not for a drink) I was able to find the farm two hours late.
Fast forward a couple days, a truck cab that smells like nasty chicken turds, and the calling off of my search party, the new ladies are happy at home in the coop. To make for a larger environment for the pullets, I put an addition on the run that also doubles as a potting table. Any dirt or plant matter that falls through the slats is quickly picked apart and devoured by the hens (in theory, not tested yet).
We were lucky to have most of the materials, so total cost was about $25 and a few hours work. The neighbour even gave us free fill to level the bottom out.
The birds we bought are still “chicks” as they’re 10 weeks old. They will start to lay at 18-22 weeks old, so for now they’re just free-loaders not paying their rent. The birds are all New Hampshire X’s (meaning crosses, not exes) and should work out to be relatively good layers, but not to production standards.
Each bird is the same breed, but there is some variation in colour. One of the birds is a third red laced, while the others only have hints. The black on the birds is interesting as it has a green iridescence to match the green in their feet.
If anyone is interested in getting some of these birds, let me know and I’ll pass on the seller’s information (and some better directions).