Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hen or Foe? Part I

Over the course of September, I had a spell go through my flock, and I lost more than half my flock. To this point, I still don't know what happened. Before the weekend, I had 9 chickens. Of all of my hens, Only 5 survived. My count is now Domino and Half Pint (Mottled Houdans), Bandit (EE cockerel), Joan and Elisabeth (Columbian Wyandotte pullets), Skye (Blue Copper Maran), Labelle (Golden Polish cockerel, supposed to be a hen), Little Henny (Silkie Pullet), and Angel (a Columbian Wyandotte that was suppose to be a hen...).
I've been debating on butchering Angel because he's too aggressive with Domino, I'm not really sure if he thinks Domino is a Pullet or what. Angel also chases after my 6 year old son, and One of the reasons I chose the breed was for their docile nature.  Not to mention, I just have too many Roos for such a small flock. I plan on ordering more hens in the spring, but it's going to take a while before they can grow up enough to even out the ratio. 
I can say I love love love! my Houdans. They are so friendly, they literally beg to be held, jump in my lap, roost on me, and Domino gets jealous if any one else is being held. I will be getting more Houdan Hens for sure in the spring.

Over the weekend, I picked up four 2-week old chicks. I hope I picked pullets. I haven't given them names yet, and I'm not sure what I should name them. They are just misfits that are just completely adorable. I believe they are all RIR (Rhode Island Red) mixes.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September on the Farm

      SO much has happened since my last post, I was afraid I wasn't going to have any more chickens to blog about.  At the beginning of this month, the weather here was VERY hot and VERY humid.  I don't know what happened, but I was losing one chicken every day for a while.  Out of all of the 25 chickens I had, I only have 9 left.  Granted, five were re homed to a friend's to live the farm life with sheep and all.  The three silkie roosters were re homed and ended back where they were hatched (interestingly enough).  So then, out of the 17 I had left, 8 died...Now I have 2 Mottled Houdans (Half Pint & Domino), the original 3 Columbian Wyandottes (Angel, Elisabeth, and Joan), 1 Blue Maran (Skye), 1 Golden Polish (Labelle), 1 Paint Silkie, and 1 EE (Bandit).

       Half Pint is now full-sized pullet forher age.  Before Clover passed, it took a moment to realize which was which.  Looks like Angel is a roo and will probably be bred with the two pullets.  Bandit is also a cockerel and will be bred to a few pullets close to the same coloring as he, and one that I call a buff head colored white.  Very pretty!  I hope to get some of similar color in the eggs.  One can only hope.  :)  

         In any case, I also want more Maran hens.  I don't really want to breed them, but she lays well.  She just started laying, and she has given me 7 in the last 9 days.  Excellent layer.  I will probably get one or two more Marans, too.  The Marans are a sweet breed that are very social.  The social aspect is why I love them so.  I don't plan on breeding the Polish, but he still makes an excellent lawn ornament, so I doubt I'll be getting rid of him.  

Domino holding strong

One of the RIR mixes that was re homed


Clover (The last casualty, RIP)

A picture of the gang

Skye's first egg!  And the butt it came from....

I believe this is the third egg she layed.

I think this is Elisabeth.  
Joan and Elisabeth are hard to tell apart now adays.


Painted Silkie


Half Pint and Labelle

A Quada-riety (variety of four)


Angel and 

Bandit.  Not sure what happened to his beautiful tail feathers...  :(



Look at the difference in the tail feathers!

Elisabeth (left) and Joan (right)


The makeshift did not pan out.  Not unexpected, so mleh!
The RIR roosters are now living the free range life at a friend's farm.
Yang perished with half of my old flock.  :'-(

The lost are listed as follows:

Mottled Houdans

Golden Laced Polish
Lady Marmalade

Little Henny

Black Copper Marans

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Makeshift? I say Make that Shift.

Fishing expedition with Memaw Linda and the kids.  
We decided to take Yang with us to show Memaw Linda,
and it turned out Yang is an excellent fishing charm.  :)

The two RIR mixed roosters and one of the Production Reds

The group taking their dirt bath. 

Some free ranging for the chickies.

If you look real close in the next couple of pictures,
you'll see Half Pint laying in the feed bowl eating out of it.
The bigger rooster on the left is Athos, and Porthos is the
smaller of the two roosters.  Aramis disappeared and never
returned.  They were the three roosters I got earlier this month.
I named them after the Three Musketeers.  Apparently, Aramis
didn't think believe in "One for All" enough to come back.

Clover and Porthos.  Sky, named so since my mother
didn't appreciate "Big Blue." is the blue Maran.


Aramis and the two Production Reds

Little Henny is the newest addition to the coop.  
She is the cutest little small fry.

Elisabeth just set her beak on Little Henny.  No pecking, just setting it there.

Poor Little Henny kept getting picked on by the
older chickens.

I know...  "Where did Lady Marmalade's poof go?"  
Well...  She wasn't holding her head up right, so 
I had to cut it off....

Bandit is getting some long tail feathers.  
I think "She" may in fact be a "He."

I'm trying this out as an experiment.  I know it probably won't work, 
but it's something I kind of wanted to do just to see if it will work.
Laugh.  Go ahead....  Laugh.  :)
The eggs get turned at least twice a day, depending on if my 
children decide to help me that day.  :eye roll:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Crows, New Friends

This week proved to be a new mile stone for Domino.  He started crowing!  It's so funny!  I have been trying to get his crows on video, alas, he starts posing...   All those pictures are on my husband's phone, so I'll have to add them later.  I do have a couple of pictures of Labelle's first free-range experience, and Terra helping me out in the coop.  I also have some video, but that's a YouTube thing.  I'll post the links at the end.

 Yang prefers to stand under my feet where it's safe.

Over the weekend, I got three new adult Road Island Red  cross roosters.  I let them go in our large pen (too small be be called a pasture, really, but that's what I refer to it as).  They disappeared for a full day.  When they came back, I literally chased them through the woods, under a barbed wire fence (which I managed to get around without damaging myself), around my property, and across the road.  I had to chase them through another barbed wire fence.  This time, I wasn't so lucky.  I have a deep scratch on my back and torn clothes as a result, BUT it turned out to be a great exercise for me.  Luckily, I caught two.  The third has yet to come back, but I haven't given up on him yet.  I've named them the three musketeers.  Athos and Porthos are the ones in my coop.  Aramis is currently missing.