Thursday, June 05, 2008

chickens update

Not just a "chicken" update, but "chickens" for sure. I'm not sure how many we had last time I blogged, but I'll bet we have double now. I'll try to update in groups.

  • The original four baby chicks we got are now 12 weeks old. Wow, it seems like they should be so much older! They're huge now! We were originally told that we had three Barred Rocks and a Buff Orpington but we ended up with three Black Sox Links and a Red Sox Link instead. Hrm. (replace the 'o' with 'e' up there, changed for search purposes)
  • I guess that means the group of Ameraucanas is 10 weeks old. Really, all these chickens look nearly full grown. Well, full grown-ish, at least. Nothing really remarkable to say about them.
  • My favorites, the Baby Four are good, too. They are 8 weeks old, or something like that. The Penedesenca is still a spaz and is the weirdest looking. The Black Penedesenca has blended in the the other black chickens until bedtime when she still roosts with her sisters.
  • The Roosters. Yes, I meant to type that with an 's'. Plural. Roosters. I got flustered a few weeks ago when we went to Pomona Feed and Fuel for the first time to get DE. They had so many chicks and I got suckered into two fancy chicks, a Crested Polish and a Frizzle. The Crested Polish is already huge at maybe 6 weeks old, and has crowed several times. It's freaking adorable. I told him that if he keeps his crow just like that, sweet and cute and not so much loud, he can stay with us forever. Chicken people just laugh when I say that. The Frizzle, well, is jacked up. I'm still not sure if it's a boy or girl, but its legs are thick and its comb is getting rosier by the day, which point to boy. It turns out that he is not just a Frizzle, but a Double Frizzle/Frazzle/Curly, (Bantam Double Frizzle Cochin, to be exact) which is a big breeding no-no and also the reason he was half-naked when we got him. Apparently the result of breeding frizzle-to-frizzle, the feathers of a Double Frizzle are narrow, brittle and problematic, mainly with ingrown feathers. He'll also be more vulnerable to the elements since his narrow feathers won't do much to insulate him or keep him dry, so he'll probably end up living in the garage most of the time and be more of a pet, only on the condition that he doesn't crow, or at least quietly and infrequently if he needs to. Ah, me and my special needs pets!
  • Then there's my Plumpy. Did you know she was a showgirl Red, as opposed to a production Red? That's why she's mahogany instead of red. Well, Plumpy has been broody for a while, which means she's stopped laying eggs and just wants to sit on a nest and hatch chicks, poor girl. I've broken her of it before by isolating her in a cage so she can't nest or tossing her out of the nest box repeatedly. This time, I even tried cold baths to lower her body temperature (she was covered in egg yolk from sitting on a broken eggs, I wasn't just being cruel!) and not even that broke her, so I ordered a dozen assorted fertile bantam eggs from eBay and they arrived on Monday. If all goes well, we'll have chicks in a little less than three weeks. Of the 14 that arrived, two were not fertile (the air sacs were moving when we candled), six were probably fertile and six were maybe fertile. I shoved all twelve of them under her and we fixed up an old dog crate with a little box of pine shavings for a snug nest, her own water and little feed dish. She's snug and comfy and so glad to be away from the other chickens trying to lay their eggs on her and cramping her style. I really hope at least some of the eggs hatch. We're going to candle them this weekend and hopefully see this, rather than this.
Yes, we have a lot of chickens. Yes, we'll be getting rid of some. Yes, it smells, sometimes to high heaven. Yes, it's a lot of work but it's also a lot of fun. No, we won't be getting any more farm animals, except for the turkey I keep threatening to get my dad for Father's Day. I see him out there clearing out what will be "turkey corner" for our new poult named "Feast" ;)

1 comment:

SighsofmyLife said...

You're becoming downright domesticated! Listen to you talk about candling eggs and such. I'm so proud of you!