As you saw from my previous post, I had to re-home Poppy because she turned out to be a he. And roosters are not allowed in Sunnyvale. I suppose if I had the rare fortunate luck to have a rooster who didn't crow, I could have kept him. But I probably had a better chance of winning the lottery than having a crow less rooster.
I did some research on roosters and some will start crowing as early as three weeks old. Others may wait till eight or ten months of age and then start crowing in the dead of the night and never stop. And that would be disastrous. I have lovely quiet neighbors and I'm don't want to damage that relationship by having a rooster crowing non-stop.
So that leaves me with just three Spice Girls. And four felt like the right number. But I'm still so sad about giving Poppy away so I can't do anything at the moment. Chickens don't seem to have much of a long term memory and the three seem to be doing just fine. So I think I'll just chill for a bit.
I think I'll wait till my girls are fully grown and wait for Ginger to go broody, meaning she wants to sit on and hatch eggs. Hens will do this even though there's no rooster around. Their tiny brains don't process all those details.
I've read that you can let a hen sit on a few fake eggs, golf or ping pong balls work well, and around 21 days, sneak out in the dead of the night and fish out the golf balls and tuck a few baby chicks under her. There's always a chance that she won't fall for the gag and will reject the chicks. But it usually works.
And I think one of the most adorable images is that of a mama hen with baby chicks peaking out from under all her feathers. The hardest part will be trying to decide what kind of chick to get. Another Cuckoo Marans and hope I get a girl this time? Or a Barred Rocks which is very similar looking to Poppy but lays light brown eggs instead of the dark chocolate eggs that the Marans lay. Maybe another Buff Orpington like Ginger. Or possibly a Black Australorp which are suppose to be very sweet and shy.
I can't decide!!! Maybe one of each? Oh boy, we're gonna need a bigger hen house.