My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

My brother says he has another chicken for me


I had a phone call from my brother yesterday. The conversation went like this:

Brother – I have another chook for you.
Me – But I don’t want another chook.
Brother (sounding dejected) – Oh, never mind then. I’ve been waiting ages to get this one for you. It’s the same as the one you already have. An Orpington.
Me – But I don’t have Orpingtons.
Brother – Not an Orpington, then. The one you already have.
Me – Do you mean one like Hannah Hen. The one that came from across the road in the paddock.
Brother – Yes, the same as her.
Me (sounding a bit sceptical) – Do you mean you have a Partridge Wyandotte bantam?
Brother – Yes
Me – Does she have the partridge ring around her neck?
Brother – Yes
Me – Is she a bantam?
Brother – I think so, yes. I’ll bring her up this week and if you don’t want her I will give her to my mate and he’ll put her in the freezer.
Me – Ok.

I told my daughter Aitch about this encounter with my brother. I realised (when she looked at me aghast) how ungrateful I had been. He knew I wanted more hens the same as Hannah Hen and he knew that his friend on a farm had one like her in amongst her chickens. He had taken the time to go and get her for me.

But these are the reasons I was feeling ungrateful:
I don’t think that she will be a Partridge Wyandotte bantam.
I want friendly, docile chickens.
I want to know her background.
I want a pullet and not an old hen.
I want a healthy chicken.
I am not ready to introduce a new chicken yet. My three have just got used to being together.
I am told that you shouldn’t ever introduce one new chicken to an existing brood.
I can only have a few more chickens and I want to choose wisely.

But Aitch is right. I can’t say no to this chicken. No matter what she is, I have to keep her. I couldn’t send her to the freezer just because she doesn’t “match” the hens I already have. But then, I don’t want just any old hen. I only want heritage breeds. I don’t want hens bred for eggs. Oh dear. What will I do.

I got another phone call from my brother tonight. He is bringing her out tomorrow.


12 thoughts on “My brother says he has another chicken for me

  1. Good luck. I have been given chooks and geese and they don’t integrate well with the ones I already have. They get rejected – awful. Again, good luck!

  2. I have introduced single chickens into my existing flock, and they have done fine. Thier is some angst for the first day or 2 but they get over it, I have learned it the ones that you don’t want that end up becoming your favourite.

  3. Good decision! Young or old, heritage or a common….she’s coming into your world for a reason!! Treat her as you do the rest! Love is unconditional!!!

    • Thank you for that. I am wavering on that decision but reading your comment, you are right.I needed to hear that. 🙂

      • I’m so happy to hear that!! I come from personal experience and have learned over the years to respect and honor all sentient beings (to the best of my ability and it’s much easier said than done, at times.) For me personally, it is a lesson in trusting in “the divine” and taking the responsibility of care, seriously and with commitment. All I have to do, really, is put myself in the position of the chicken. If I was too old, too ugly, the wrong breed, or no longer productive — how do I want be treated? Do I want to be figuratively culled or be given the opportunity to live out my golden years with some measure of dignity…and…even love? I do hope you keep the chicken!!

      • I agree with you and if she had been off to the freezer, there is NO WAY that I would have given her up, even if she did disrupt my current brood. She will be there on the farm waiting for a better time for me.

  4. Good Luck! Choosing new hens or adopting new hens, can be tricky for all of the same reasons you mentioned. It never hurts to take a look at her and see where it goes, but don’t feel guilty if you are not ready to take her on.

    As a chicken keeper you have to ultimately make what you think is the best decision for your flock – even if it is a hard one. We were at our local fair last night and there was a beautiful little leghorn chattering away at me, it was hard to suppress the “I want to take it home” gene – right now is not a good time for us to add more to our flock. I do secretly hope that she is a partridge wyandotte bantam and is exactly what you are hoping for. Keep us updated!

    • She isn’t. I was secretly hoping as well, but I knew he didn’t really have a clue but I have agreed to keep her on trial.
      Thank you also for the comment about not feeling guilty. I hope I fall in love with her as I have the others.

  5. We just got started, and my hubby wants to get copper black Marans next year, but I have read that adding to your flock can stress them out so they will stop laying for a bit.

    Ps I call mine chooks too– saw the Man From Snowy River as a teenager, so I sometimes tell my husband “don’t forget to feed the chooks, Bandicoot!”

  6. Pingback: The new chicken « My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

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