This is really getting to be a chicken blog, but it's that time of year.
Our chick count in the little henhouse is still only two living chicks. There were four originally, and now 14 dead ones. Two living chicks I found dead, and another 12 killed as soon as they pipped. We tried to save one, but it died during the night. I caught the same two hens, Snowball and Flora, doing it several times. Part of the reason for this is the hens that are sitting have no protection from the others in the flock, as there are no real nests in the little henhouse. We also made it too wide, so we can't reach the corners, and though we intend someday to cut in cleanout doors on the sides, for now, we have only the one pophole in front, and two cleanout doors in the back, where we reach in and put food and water. (and clean out dead chicks!).
Here are some of them tonight; there is a group that rarely goes outdoors, including the smallest rooster.
You can see the silkie influence in this bunch, they are silkie/cochin crosses. Silka, over on the right, is the purebred buff silkie in the bunch, and you can just barely see the black cochin behind her.
Flora, the light brown bird right in front of the camera, is one of the chick killers.
While outside, the rest of the Little Bunch was eating and running around and preening themselves in the late afternoon sun.
There are some nice Brahma Bantams in the bunch, but there are three roosters and two hens. My plans are to make a group of the two purebred hens, and the cochin/brahma cross in this picture.
Here is another picture of one of the roosters, a purebred hen, and what I think is a brahma/cochin cross hen:
Sorry my shadow is looming over them. The rooster is on the left, the hen to his right, and the cross on the ground to their right. She is a very pretty bird herself. The person from whom I got them does not like crosses. I think they can be very beautiful, and as I raise them mostly for eggs and our own pleasure, it does not matter that much to me.
Tonight I have decided that I'll put the bigger chicks who were out on Wednesday in the little henhouse after dark. I can tell you that tomorrow they will be freaked out, and hopefully will stay in and not be pecked to death by the hens. If they do go out, I am going to have to net them all, so wish me luck in the very wet henyard. These are the Welsummer and Partridge Rocks. They are too big for the horse trough they are in, and the smaller bantams are crowded in their trough.
Keith got home from his week-long trip tonight, and I told him that there is something making noise in the rafters of the big henhouse. He has gone to Sears for something, but is going to get a four - foot stepladder as he has to look for eggs every night on that section of ceiling still up. He doesn't want to pull his hand out with a raccoon attached! I think it MUST be a squirrel, as a raccoon would have been killing chickens by now.
We'll keep you posted!
Linking to Farm Friend Friday and Farmgirl Friday on this Good Friday, at Verde Farm .
Tomorrow: Helpful Links for Hobby farmers!