After the euthanasia of one of my beloved Buff Orpington chickens, My Dad promised me that I could get any breed of chicken I wanted that spring… Literally. As long as I got one that was not prone to health problems or difficult to care for…
A wish come true
I had wanted crested peeps (that is what I always call them…) for years at that point. So, one day, my mom, younger sister and I stopped at the feed store to just ‘see’ if they had any crested varieties available. We had already checked a number of feed stores in the area and they didn’t have any. 😐 Since that one feed store actually had them… why not? 😏
Picking them out
The chicks had just gotten there and couldn’t have been more than 48 hours old. I very carefully picked three black Crevecoeurs and one Golden-Laced Polish. I intentionally avoided the silver laced and white crested varieties because my rooster (at the time) did allow white/brightly speckled hens in the flock. 😯 The chicks in the bin were all to small and there was a considerable number that where not in the greatest of shape… To me, that doesn’t matter. I have always been drawn to the ones that don’t have as much of a chance. I would say it is wise to pick healthy chicks to save yourself from the trouble… Me, on the other hand, If anything, I need goofy ones. I have experienced what it is like to loose the ones you care about… but the ones that you get to keep for a time are well worth it.
Getting the Peeps Set up
The four peeps rode home on my lap in one of the complimentary cardboard boxes. I tried very hard to keep them warm during the hour long trip because it was very cold out… to cold. After I got home, I set them up in my bedroom (I know chick dander is terrible for you, especially if you have allergies… like me. However, we didn’t have anywhere else to keep the peeps and I wasn’t about to protest in any small degree. 😉
When I set them up, it became evident that one of the peeps was faring poorly. After some TLC, she pulled through. She became Elly. None of the chicks where drinking even after I introduced them to their water… Time for imagination… A game was invented, which was later titled ‘The Drops Cometh,’ which worked perfectly. I dipped my finger in the water and tapped the side of the box so the droplet ran down the side. The peeps chased it and drank it up. One of the happy side affects of this game is that chicks love it. They will get very excited when you put your hands in the brooder box…
My Crested Peeps
I tended the peeps with lots of love and cleaned a few pasted vents. Since the heating system wasn’t working well, I kept the room at 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks… I spent nearly every moment with those peeps during that time. My younger sister, which I share a room with (who is also awesome, by the way), tolerated the ridiculous discomforts for the my sake as well as the sakes of my peeps. The chicks grew and became very attached to me… and I to them. The little adornments on the tops of their heads are absolutely endearing. We ended up with one Crevecoeur cockerel that I had to re-home… But I expected as much because crested varieties are usually sold straight run.
One of the Crevecoeurs is, to this day, small and has short legs. (She can run just as fast as anyone… she just has to move her legs faster). This little Crevecoeur also has a voice that is the perfect imitation of a field cricket… Her name became Cricket. (The name was kinda creative but Cricket is the name of my friend’s cat so it isn’t really original… Plus, it is unusual when a chicken starts chirping like a cricket).
Another one of the Crevecoeurs developed a twisted beak (aka: cross beak or a lateral beak deviation). Her crest is crooked, her wings are tipped white and her feet are far to big for the rest of her… which causes frequent tumbles. She also likes to be able to be wherever I am whenever she can. She is called Elly. (You can read more about Elly here: Elly, the Crooked Crevecoeur)
The Golden-Laced Polish grew the hugest crest I’ve ever seen on a crested pullet and her tail points so far back that it sometimes touches her head. Her name is Marion.
Why I Pick the Small
I know choosing the misfits is not economically profitable but that’s part of me… I love them. They are all beautiful in their own ways. Sometimes they don’t make it. There are times when it is best to put down unwell or handicapped chickens. However, this time, I got to enjoy these particular ones for the time God has given me.