Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Little Bunch's Progress

In the little henhouse, we have eleven chicks, born in September.  Their mamas were Rosewitha, Flicka and Silka.  Silka is a purebred silkie.... Rosewith, a cross bred here four years ago from my original Japanese bantams and one of our larger hens.  Flicka is a cross between a silkie and a frizzle cochin, with particularly beautiful feathers.  She was born on Super Bowl Sunday.

The three little hens all sat the fourteen eggs faithfully, in a corner of the henhouse.  We had had a big hatch earlier in the summer, and all those chicks were given away, but for one rooster.  Yes, I kept another rooster!  We had a purebred frizzle cochin, Curley... who couldn't have weighed two pounds dripping wet.  One night a snake suffocated him in the big henhouse.  He left, however, a legacy of frizzle coated chicks.

 One, Ratchett, we kept, yet another rooster.  Ratchett is the one we kept in the Big Henhouse for a week in the rabbit hutch, because he had been beaten up by the bigger roosters.  In the rabbit hutch during that week we found not one but TWO eggs.  We have always referred to Ratchett since as "The Hooster", since we were not sure if he was hen or rooster!  I have actually read of hermaphroditism in cochins.  Ratchett appears to be the father of some of the chicks, as they have frizzle coats.  So far, I have counted two cockerels, and the rest appear to be pullets, or young girls.  They are eight weeks old now, and doing fine, strong and healthy.  Silka, in fact, has left the mothering to Rosewitha and Flicka, and is now going outside with the other June hatch survivors, and laying eggs in the old duckhouse. 
The duckhouse was formerly used by the geese as their living quarters, especially through the severe winter last year.  It's bedding is still the mix of straw, hay, sticks and rocks they dragged in for their bedding.  Silka does not know I have seen her slipping in there to lay.  Yes, that is blood on one of the eggs... sometimes hens pass a small amount when they lay, easily washed off.

The new brood looked like this six weeks ago:

And today, they look like this:

The black chick is in front of Rosewitha... it's a pullet.
The gray chick is, too. (not in this picture)
There are at least two frizzle-feathered chicks, they are taller and have brown feathers.  They are in the center, back.
There is a cockerel in the front!  There may be one more behind him.

Definitely a cockerel!
(hear me scream)
Could this be his daddy?

One and Nanny, two of my Japanese white/blacktail bantams mixes left. 
And finally, Ratchett the Hooster:


  1. We need some more hens, just afraid I'll end up with some more roos and definately don't need any more of them.

    I'm sure this time when my husband said dumplings concerning any new roos, he'd probably mean it....

  2. I have to find someone to butcher the McNuggets... I have a friend who does her own, and will do mine for pay. She needs to earn money for Christmas, too... the problem is, the only two I want butchered right now are TOO LITTLE (the babies). The funny thing is, the little roos are the perfect size for a dinner for my husband and me, we don't eat much. I bought pullets when I bought the chicks in September.


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