Chicken Breeds. My Ameraucana Sweetie.

Integrating backyard chickens can be a bit unsettling for all involved. But I had to come home with this Sweetie, a beautiful black Ameraucana when I saw her.  Look at that face. Here’s how the first week went.

sweetie-7

Name – Sweetie

DOB – February 29th, 2016

Breed – Ameraucana

Nickname – OHMYGODWHATAREYOUDOING??!!!

sweetie-12

A few weeks ago when I went to pick up some fertilized eggs from chicken breeder Barb Dodington I picked up something else.  Sweetie.

And Sweetie’s been trying to kill herself ever since.  More on that in a moment.

 

Head-shot-Sweetie

 

The day I went to pick up my fertilized Olive Egger eggs I had  no idea what I was walking into.  It was barn after barn of chickens.  Some of them were romping through the yard, some of them in coops, some of them in cages … all of it carefully planned out according to breeding, hatching and playing.

I suspect there was also some sort of magic going on because I had my mind pretty much made up as I drove there.  I wasn’t coming  home with a chicken. Was NOT.  Only eggs.

I came home with a chicken.

And 3 more eggs than I meant to.

As an actual farmer I’d be a total failure.  I’d keep every chick, goat, horse, cow, worm, snail, or spider born.  I would keep no centipedes.  All centipedes would die from the globally accepted form of centipede murder … a shoe to the head.  Funeral proceedings would follow, which consist of picking up the now deceased, yet still writhing centipede, with half a roll of toilet paper with your arm stretched out as far as possible in front of you while making gagging sounds and hyperventilating just a little bit as you flush it’s still jerking legs down the toilet.

sweetie-1

The Lineage and Genes

Black Split for lavender – this means even though Sweetie is black, she has the gene for lavender in her and if I were to breed her with a lavender rooster there would be a 50/50 chance she’d produce lavender chicks.  If I bred her with a black rooster with the lavender gene, there’d be a 25% chance she’d produce lavender chicks.

She has a pure black grandfather that came from Tom Kernan in New Jersey, who breeds championship Ameraucanas.

Her grandfather  was Champion AOSB at the Clinton Fair in 2016.

Her lavender roots come from Clif Redden in Kansas, current Ameraucana Breeders Club president

 

sweetie-11

So Sweetie’s lineage is far more refined than my own. I come from the hardy stock of swingers and boozers.

 

sweetie-9

I would have come  home with a Silkie as well but luckily Barb saw me sneaking out with one on my head like a hat and told me I couldn’t have it.  Apparently they weren’t old enough, or sexed yet or for sale, or blah, blah, blah. Whatever.

So all I made it out with, was Sweetie.

And 8 fertilized eggs of course.

The eggs didn’t need to be integrated much.  Really, I just stuck them under one of my broody hens and waited for them to hatch. Which they did and became what’s commonly  known as the cutest thing in the world … baby chicks.

You can learn how to get fertilized eggs and hatch them under a broody hen here.

Sweetie however, needed to be integrated with the other chickens. 

 

footsies

Sweetie will also be known as chicken 416 as per her ankle bracelet because she’s official.  And possibly under house arrest.

 

sweetie-side

The second I got her home I knew Sweetie was the cutest thing in the world.  And like most cute things on this earth, she is made up of 25% cute, 74% rabid, freakish, devil-monster and 1% clown.

funny

 

Within the first week Sweetie had jumped up and down on top of Josephine as she sat on her eggs, jumped up and down on Mabel as she sat on her *imaginary* eggs (Mabel is broody too), She also got stuck in the 3″ wide space between the coop hardware cloth and my fence, flattened like a pancake.  If you’re familiar with cooking terms she looked like a spatchcock.

In my moment of panic I tried to heave and move the chicken coop.  The entire thing.  Like I thought I was a tractor.     So, no, that didn’t work.

Instead I had to run around looking for a pair of wire cutters to literally cut her out of the spot, stick my hand under her and let her drop into it.

fence

Now I have to repair that entire side of my coop so raccoons and skunks don’t get in to finish the job of killing herself that Sweetie started.

sweetie-face

 

Look at her.  Just look at her.  That is the look of chicken remorse with a touch of … but look how cute I am … sucker.

sweetie-8

 

So yes.  I just went out for some eggs and came home with all this.  Story of my life.  Once I went out for a snow shovel and came home with a car.  True story.

And you know what?  She’s Cuddly.


Post Update:  Sweetie has since died. Here’s how, what from, and how to spot it in one of your own chickens.


I determined what killed her by doing a necropsy, which is just another term for an autopsy. Yes it was awful to do, but if you want to know what killed your chicken and to help make sure it wasn’t something contagious, a necropsy can be a smart thing to do.

Here’s my post on performing a chicken necropsy.

88 Comments

  1. Melissa Sakata says:

    OMGoodness! She is lovely! Looks just like my Rose! I have stumled across your blog, and I absolutely love it! So fun, entertaining and educational! Thanks for making me laugh!

    • Karen says:

      Welcome Melissa! Wait’ll you hang out for a while. I’m not the funny one, the commenters (my readers) are, lol. And yes she looks like Sweetie! Except Sweetie now has such big cheek feathers now that she can’t even see! Poor little thing, lol. ~ karen!

  2. Heather says:

    OMG, your percentages for cute things explains my puppy to a tee! We always have said that our Kaya-monster is 30% good and 70% bad, but your percentages are much more accurate! Although I might bump up the clown percentage to 2% and down on the devil monster percentage… just cause she is hilarious.

  3. Magali says:

    She is beautiful and her remorse face is too funny!!

  4. Jess says:

    Oh she’s absolutely stunning! Love her colorsโ™ฅ

  5. Lori says:

    Yep…you’re in trouble. She’s precious!

  6. Debbe Van Ness says:

    Yeowza. In the first picture you posed AFTER the picture you posted of your cut up fence, I saw no remorse. That little girl is going to be double trouble, all the while tangling up the strings of your heart. Well done! It will be an eventful and memorable ride. “Sweetie” suits her.

  7. Birgit says:

    Did you also get the Rooster to breed these lavender chicks?????

  8. Shauna says:

    well, at least she’s cuddly

  9. Linda in Illinois says:

    knowing nothing about chickens, how do you bring a strange chicken into a family of three that already know each other, and how do they get along, do chickens need to have space to get to know each other and what will you do if the three don’t accept Sweetie? Isn’t Josephine protective of the baby chicks when Sweetie comes along?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda. Josephine is protective of her chicks with allll the chickens in the coop. Not just Sweetie. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s much easier to integrate a chicken when you bring two into the flock because they have each other to lean on and there are two of them being picked on, not just one constantly. So it has been a bit of a struggle to integrate Sweetie, but it’s coming along. Basically you bring them into the coop area but keep them separated with hardware cloth or chicken wire so everyone can see everyone else and get accustomed to them for a week or so then you let them be together for a few minutes at a time until you’re sure they’re going to just fight a little bit, as opposed to kill each other. ~ karen!

  10. Eva Rudner says:

    Hi! I love reading about your chickens! (Brave soul ๐Ÿ™‚ In case you haven’t been to a chicken show (over at least 50 breeds present), I highly recommend it. I marveled at how many different breeds there are! They are so beautiful, smart enough to get in so much trouble & stupid enough to do it! Best wishes & thanks for sharing your adventures!

    • Karen says:

      I have been to a chicken show Eva. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well kind of. Fall fairs that have chicken competitions, so there are a fair amount of chickens but nothing too exotic. They’re fun! I’m hoping to get to another one this summer actually with a really big variety of chickens. ๐Ÿ™‚ ~ karen!

  11. Heather (mtl) says:

    Oh, she’s gorgeous! So happy you found yourself a cuddler – oh so important!
    Can’t wait to hear more from The Escapades of Mlle. Sweetness.
    BTW, are the blue eggs the same size as the white or brown ones?

  12. FarmKid Marti says:

    Ok, so now that I have recovered from the radio story on bird sperm (and duck penises) that I heard this weekend, you tell me that your new chicken is suicidal?
    OF COURSE I KNOW WHAT SPATCHCOCKED IS.
    It means she wants to come visit me on Sunday. At dinner time.

    Are you going to start breeding them, because those lavender chickens are gorgeous!
    But I think you’d have to sell the house you have now built to your specifications and go live in the country… where instead of “the Crazy Cat Lady” you’d be “The Ape S#!T Chicken Woman,” right?

    And I say go for it!

  13. MaggieB says:

    Gosh Karen – Sweetie is be-you-tea-full! Love that first shot – such a red carpet pose in her evening gown!! All she needs is a tiara – so totally Audrey Hepburn. Presumably she is getting on okay with the girls now. How old will she be before she starts laying? And how on earth did she manage to get behind the coop? Lucky for you then that the skunks and raccoons don’t seem to be too smart. And finally, last question – as you have so little to do with your days (guffaw) with Sweetie’s heritage could you show her as well? And what would be her Kennel Name equivalent?

  14. karen tomlinson says:

    Loved that post and love Sweetie – although my heart will always be with Cuddles.
    Thank you for the many laughs you provide me. You need your own show – would be like
    Martha Stewart – except with heart, soul and lots of laughs. Ok – it wouldn’t at all be like Martha
    Stewart. But it would be fantastic – and I think we need to start the campaign soon.

    KT in Los Gatos, Ca

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Karen. But nope. No more shows for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Blogging is WAY more fun and interesting. Have you ever actually met a television executive, lol? ~ karen!

  15. Grammy says:

    โ€œ…like most cute things on this earth, she is made up of 25% cute, 74% rabid, freakish, devil-monster and 1% clown.โ€

    This describes my grandson, but being a seven-year-old boy and not a chicken, his percentages are 35% cute, 55% monster, 10% clown. Having been a den mother when my son was a cub scout almost 45 years ago, my recollection is that it’s a fairly consistent ratio for most little boys. The cute and the clown are what keep them all alive until they achieve something akin to adulthood (in my experience, the male of our species never actually achieves adulthood).

    “Sweetie” is what I call my husband. He’s a cuddler, too, so he gets to stay here, despite continuing the cute/monster/clown thing into old age. He and the grandson are a perfect match. I have no time for chickens, so I enjoy yours.

  16. Leslie says:

    I love your chicken posts and can’t wait to see the babies. You should check out this link https://www.pikeroadsouthern.com/. They have a tee shirt with a chicken on it that reads ‘Keep Calm & Keep Chickens”. It reminded me of you…although ‘calm’ may sometimes be a stretch (grin). If you are half way interested in the shirt they are only accepting pre-order until Friday. Hoping to hear more chicken stories this week and cute little fuzzy chicks.

  17. Stephanie says:

    Karen, I didn’t know you knew my 14 year old daughter! You described her to a T – but more like 5% clown (which causes me to forgive her more easily when that devil comes out).

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