grandson helping wake up the chicks

grandson helping wake up the chicks

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wow! Has time "flown" by! We are in the middle of 2012!

It's been almost a year since my last post! Wow! Has time flown by! Let me see if I can get you caught up! In my last posting, our flock had grown from our original :Betty White, Joan Rivers and Bill (plus the three we had added of Lucy, Ethel and Cher) to the addition of six chicks from the local feed store plus ten additional chickadees from Texas.
 While we became accustomed to the new "babies", I decided to also try my hand at hatching some chicks in the classroom. We were successful in hatching 11 out of 14 eggs and raised those classroom-born chicks for about six months prior to finding new homes for all but one...."Chaz" the cockerel baby of "Cher".

baby "Chaz"

Now, we were getting more accustomed to the chicken lifestyle and were able to blend the old flock with the new babies. At first, the first group of hens were not sure they wanted anything to do with the new babies and the Brahma babies would not seem to learn how to "perch" in the big I'd have to go out each night and make sure they were all on perches. This was especially important since we discovered a "rat problem" in the chicken house...another new thing for us to learn how to deal with. Anyone that has grown up on a farm may feel that it is a "no brainer" that rats would invite themselves to move in where there is a regular supply of food. Well...

Baby Brahmas and two additional silver wyandottes

this was ALL NEW to us! Let me just say, Gary and I had several evenings of visiting the hen house after dark to try to catch our new residence. Gary brought a pistol and I brought a couple of flashlights and between us we attempted to catch the varmints, or at least frighten them to move elsewhere. Needless to say, we were less than successful so we had to find other ways to rid our hens of their new roommates. We tried every kind of rat trap you could buy and baited them with everything you could think of. We finally found that they really liked peanut butter and the most effective "trap" was the black plastic one that had a hair trigger and would SNAP before they could enjoy their new-found treat. YAY! Success and soon, we decided to put a motion light half way down the wall to frighten any that may have a wild hair about trying to move back in.

With our rat problem solved (and more knowledge in our base), we were able to enjoy the new dynamics of the flock we had built. This included the idea that we now had not one, not two, but three roosters. Chaz seemed to be very docile and not get involved with the other two but Bill and Blue really did not like each other and would try to battle almost every day. Before we knew it, Bill had been pinned and badly injured by young Blue. He was bleeding from many spots. I tried doctoring him and isolated him in our little "infirmary" chicken house. He seemed to be making it okay and really wanted out of the little house.

"Ethel II"

Gary also decided it would be a good idea to add a few more green egg layers, as the gentleman that took several of our roosters from the brahma hatch had some hens that needed a new home. So, we brought the new hens and housed them with a healing "Bill" as his new harem. He seemed to be oblivious to anything other than healing but didn't mind their company. We decided to name the brown spotted hen "Monica" as in Lewinsky; the white hen with brown would become "Hillary Clinton"; the solid white hen would be "Marilyn Monroe"; grey and brown green egg layer became "Whoopi Goldberg"; and the reddish colored hen became "Ethel II" after her namesake that we had lost the year before.

(L to R): Whoopi Goldberg,, Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinsky

     We had some stability now in our chicken community and two separate being led by Bill and the other by Blue (now with most of the hens in the big house). Chaz was being picked on alot by the hens in the big house so we moved him in to Bill's flock in the little house. This seemed to work out pretty well so we were happy with things, as they were, for the moment.
     We had quite a harsh winter, with alot of rain, wind, sleet, and snow, and even though we thought Bill was recuperating quite well with his new group, he succumbed to the weather (and very likely his injuries) one day this past winter. I found him under one of his favorite resting spots and found a peaceful spot for him to rest permanently in the yard. So, from that time on, Chaz was the head of the little chicken house and took to it quite well. The winter marched on, as we added warming lights to both houses and the egg production went down. All in all, the flock was doing well!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back Erica! I miss you and the chickens! I hope you are doing good and enjoying summer vacation time. I would love to get together soon! Annie


chicken house1

chicken house1
Our masterpiece ready for the chickens