In the aftermath of Herbert's premature demise, easy child was insistent that we run out right away and get a new chicken to help take our minds off the pain of losing our beloved bird. I agreed to call the local feed store to find out if they have any chicks. Nope, they don't get them in until Spring. I could have left it at that. I could have hung up right then and there and gone on with my mourning and my chicken-less life. But NO. The guy on the other end of the phone tells me to try another shop a few towns over because they often have chicks. So what do I do? I CALL. "Oh YES! We have LOTS of chicks!" the clerk tells me over the phone. So silly me relays this info to husband, who then tells me to go ahead and get one for EACH KID. THREE CHICKS? Oh he!!, why not. So the kids are over the moon about it and we drive over to the feed store in the next town after school that day. We've got the cat crate to carry them home in and a 10 gallon aquarium with a heat lamp to house them in until they outgrow it (which should take about a day). The shop owner shows us her bin-'o-chicks: feather-footed Bantams (I think), Rhode Island Reds, Black Giants, and a few others she didn't really know for sure of the breeding. So the kids pick out two Reds and one Black -- they're the cutest little balls of fluff I've ever seen. The shop owner says they're about a week old, and she said that 90% of the breeds we picked from the bin are usually hens. Then she drops the big bomb on me. "You're getting THREE? -- Oh NO, that just won't do. You CAN'T get an odd number! They like to pair up and if you get three, the odd one will get picked on all the time. You'd better get one more!" So now we have not ONE replacement for Herbert, but FOUR! Mine is the smallest, a little black and white chick that looks more like a penguin with chicken legs... not sure what the breed is. I named her Minerva Louise after the children's story. difficult child 1's chick is the smaller of the two Red's with a dark tipped beak. He named her Torchick after a Pokemon. difficult child 2's is the other black one with black legs and he calls her Coco. easy child's is the other Red and the largest. She calls her Butterscotch. The kids all understand that if any turn out to be roosters, we'll have to take them back or find homes for them (supposedly the shop owner will let us trade back). husband is working on an enclosed run for them. As quaint as it was to have Herbert roam freely, we've learned our sad lesson that it just is not worth the risk where we live. I hope this wasn't a mistake. Four times the food. Four times the poop. One thing's for certain... if we got the gender right, we'll have plenty of eggs for Easter!