Monday, July 3, 2017

Goodbye Roosters, Hello Chicks!

How appropriate that on the last day of the frying pan specials, eight new chicks were hatched right here at home.  Eight birds go in the freezer, and eight new birds take up residence in their coop.  It's so perfect, I wish I could say I planned it that way.   

This buff Orpington mamma was found sitting on a bucket of eggs with that determined look in her eye.  Last summer when she went broody, every time I tried to move her from the nest box to a private location, she wouldn't stay put, would stop sitting on the eggs, and kept returning to her old nest.  This year, I waited until after dark and quickly moved all eleven eggs to the animal crate, and placed her inside and left the crate right next to her chosen bucket.  She took to it smoothly, and managed to get eight of the eleven eggs to hatch.  

I moved her and the chicks to the coop that was the home of the frying pan special roosters, and they've made themselves comfortable.  They have as much chick starter as they want, plus the mamma spends her time digging in the bedding and teaching them how to search for tasty bits in the old hay.   

Cogburn, our flock rooster, has been one busy dude lately.  Not just because he has eight new kids, but because he had his hands full managing all those idiot frying pan special roosters.  Once again, I'm convinced that roosters are the perfect meat animal.  By the time they are butchering age, they are noisy and always causing trouble in the flock, and I'm ready for them to go.  They fight with each other and pester the poor hens to the point that they have to hide or risk getting pounced on by a whole gang of randy roosters.  They were beautiful birds, but I'm glad they are gone and we can get back to a peaceful flock life.  

This is our new rooster, who has yet to be named.  This is the one rooster smart enough to escape during the butchering, so he's our lucky bird.  He was not Brandon's favorite because he was one of the roosters that always roosted in my barn, and had to be carried into the coop each night.  He does not enjoy being grabbed in the dark and relocated from his chosen roost, so he struggles, squeals, and even bites!   I have scars from his beak on my arm.  But, he's a pretty rooster, and I respect a fighter.  If he can learn to roost in the coop, he's welcome to be our back up rooster.  It's no trouble for Cogburn to keep one extra rooster in line, and I like having an extra set of eyes watching for the flocks safety. 

I think the new rooster and this hen are silver laced Wyandotte's.  They are very pretty, with feathers that are white with black edges.  This hen and two rhode island reds are our newest female flock members.  They've gotten used to hanging out in the top of my corn crib, probably to escape all those randy roosters.  Now that the rooster population has been cut back, these hens need to get out of my space. Stop pooping on my table!

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