They came from Rick, a chicken farmer who lives near Qualicum Beach. We had gone up island to see our chicken mentor, Ev, not planning on coming home with any chicks. But she mentioned that Rick had some new hatchlings and Kim's eyes started to shine. She had been thinking of adding Red Rock Crosses to our flock because they are such good layers. We love our Buffs and Australorps, but as dual-purpose birds they can't match the egg production of some other breeds. And we needed to think about diversifying the ages of our laying flock, so they don't all run out of steam at the same time. Red Rock Crosses are great, because the cockerels are born with a white spot on the top of their heads, which makes it really easy to select only pullets if that's what you want.
The Buffs that came from our incubating adventure were always going to be sold, probably at the next chicken swap at the end of the month. The addition of the Red Rock Crosses will make it possible for Kim will keep the lone Australorp chick if she decides to - when we managed to save only one it looked like she would have to sell it, too, because it wouldn't be fair to the chick to raise it alone. But she has a hunch it's a cockerel, and we certainly don't have any room for any more of those, so she may end up selling it, too.
The chicks we hatched are growing so fast, and although they're a day or two younger than the Red Rock Crosses, they're noticeably larger. And they're starting to use the roost, even though it is still set at big chick height from last year's batch of chicks. Despite their tumultuous beginnings, they're doing well!