Well, there’s been a lot going on here as far as chickens are concerned. Of the ten mixed heavy breed chicks I hatched I ended up with five roosters and five pullets. One of the roosters succumbed to a freak accident – I found him dangling by the leg upside down caught in the wire (HOW does this happen?!) and his injuries were too great to repair (though I tried for a few days.) I lost my favorite pullet a few days ago – I believe she died of fright when a loose dog tried to dig its way into the pen as I found no evidence of anything else that could have gone wrong. I was super displeased about that one… She was by far my favorite of the bunch, very sweet, and exceptionally pretty. I think she may have been the one mothered by my favorite Cornish too. SIGH.
In the meanwhile I have introduced the pullets to the big girls and the two that are obviously 100% Brahma are doing well. I am sad to report the Orpingtons passed on their short bus genes to the other two who find it difficult to find food, not because there’s not enough but because they’re too thick to realize that food is everywhere not just where the biggest and most dominant hens are. I actually had to lock them in a dog kennel this morning so they could eat. They take after their moms… who AGAIN tried killing themselves yesterday when I ran out of layer pellets and instead gave them a bowl of crumbles. The Orpingtons dived into the crumbles like it was crack, sucked up a ton of dust into their nose immediately, and spent the next hour sneezing and choking. I cannot wait until the pullets are laying so I can get rid of them. I have a sneaking suspicion one of them is the egg-eating bandit I’ve been seeking too. It’s too bad the roosters and pullets aren’t reversed. I have three roosters who have barred rock moms, one Brahma mama, and no Orpington crosses. The luck.
In any event the roosters have just started attempting to crow so they won’t be sticking around for long. I tried finding somewhere to process them for me to no avail. The only places willing to take them were two hours away. I guess I will just have to be gutsy and learn how to do this myself. I read a bunch of articles, watched some YouTube videos and decided this was probably for the better… why freak them out more by trucking them somewhere where they know something is up? And will whoever takes them treat them with the respect and dignity I know I’d give them? I spent a lot of time researching the most humane method I could find and hope it works. I’ll update this blog after the deed’s been done to say how it went.
We also have an adult rooster that will probably be going soon too. I think he’s annoyed the neighbors enough and they’re not happy with us to begin with so I don’t need to be starting more trouble – especially since I don’t know if I am allowed roosters in this neighborhood and I’m not even attached to this rooster at all. He’s got the personality of a rock.
In addition to the heavy breed crosses I also have three Serama boys I just listed today to see if I could get anyone interested. They’ll be helping to pay for hatching eggs – because I just bought some more Serama hatching eggs that’ll have a chance of getting silkied Seramas. I lost out on a free feather-footed rooster I found but that would be the last feather gene I was looking for and then I’ll have them all to play with – frizzle, silkied, smooth, and feather-footed. So exciting. I cannot wait. In the meanwhile I keeping back one of the four boys I have – the calmest in case I need him for breeding soon.
Next week I’m going to devote to the chickens. I need to build the Seramas a proper run so I can stop dragging them inside the house at night and after that my laying girls will be in for a big surprise. I have plans of making their run three times the size and taller with an attached roof so I can stop having to dig them out during every snow storm. They’ll love the extra perching space, shade, and lack of snow I am sure. Maybe that’ll keep them happy!