I placed my order with a feed store down in Fresno. They, in turn, will order my chicks from the Belt Hatchery down the street from them. I will collect the fuzzballs on the glorious day of September 3rd. By driving the two hours down there I will not only satisfy my craving for instant gratification, but I will also save my pullets the trauma of being boxed up and spending 2-3 days at the whim of the US postal service.
The good news is, the ordering went off without a hitch. The feed store was happy to take my credit card in exchange for the future delivery of 2 Easter Eggers (also called Americaunas), a black silkie, a Polish, a black star (also called a black sex-link), and a Mille Fleur pullet.
(Let me pause here and point out that this simple list of 5 breeds, up from the original 3, was comprised after hours...yes, hours of research. I compared temperaments, egg-laying abilities, egg appearance, kid friendliness, and weirdness quotient on at least 20 breeds. Then I cross referenced this data on at least 3 sites each to get a consensus. Then I looked for availablity, which caused me to go back and redo the list because some breeds, like the dear Faverolle-of-the-fuzzy-feet are virtually impossible to get this time of year. In total, I would guess at least a dozen hours went into designing my chicken dream team. Pathetic, maybe. But it kept me humming happily for weeks!)
The bad news is, while the first four breeds will be sexed, (an imperfect science, but I have a 95% chance of getting the females I want) the last breed, the beauteous Mille Fleur, is straight-run only. For those of you who don't speak chicken, that means that I have no way of knowing if I'm getting a boy or a girl. We have to love it, and keep it, and hope it doesn't start crowing 5 months down the line. It's a 50/50 shot on ending up with a rooster...anyone want to take bets?
My friend Jessica, who bravely sat through a good 20 minutes of chicken babble tonight, asked me what happens if the little Miss Mille turns out to be a Mr. Mille. I said, with bravado, "He goes in the pot!"
Brave words from someone who has never committed a food act more brutal than boiling crayfish. Brave words indeed...