I grew up with Rhode Island chickens from the time they were taller than I was. This is the first time in many years I’ve ordered Rhode Island pullets for my flock.
These are deep red brown chickens with nice personalities in my memory. They were a heavier chicken. They would get broody in the spring.
That isn’t true with modern strains. People liked this chicken, but didn’t want them to get broody. They wanted eggs. Their size got smaller.
This year getting any chicks in April has been a challenge. The cold weather in February blasted most of the hatching eggs for Cackle Hatchery so their order list said June.
I like getting pullets in April. The weather is supposed to be warmer. The pullets have all summer to grow up. And they start laying in the fall dropping eggs in the nests all winter.
Through a local feed store, my Rhode Island pullets arrived this week. They are a happy, healthy bunch safely quartered in the chick house under a heat light.
The chicks think the light is too warm. I keep moving it up and focusing it so the chicks have most of their area to enjoy without the, what they consider, excessive heat.
I would reduce the wattage of the bulb except for the weather forecast. A cold front is moving through. The chicks and I will continue to adjust the heat until the cold goes away again.
One of my standard cochin hens is setting on a few eggs. They may hatch. It’s the first time in years I’ve let a hen set eggs. She is happily moved into a cat carrier so the other hens and local black snakes can’t bother her. The door is propped open all day.
My Rhode Island pullets may be joined by some Easter Egger cross chicks in a couple of weeks.
Hazel Whitmore prefers Buff Orpingtons in “Old Promises“.