Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chicken Stuff

Legs Diamond, a Keeper.
Please note Legs' comb.  See the black along the tops?  That's caused by cold weather.  It can be helped by putting Vaseline on the comb when you know the weather is about to dip (like tonight, for us).  It's 45 now, but will be 29 as a high tomorrow.  I have had roosters nearly lose their combs to cold, and the Mediterranean breeds suffer more than others.
This is one BIG rooster.
Do you know about Kathy Shea Mormino, the Chicken Chick?
She wrote a great article on quarantine, and why we should all do it.
You can find it here.  After you read this article, you will know the importance of keeping new chickens isolated from your flock for a while.  Do we all do it?  I venture that most of us don't, even though we should.  Do I?
Ummmmm...... no.
Don't do as I do, do as Kathy says.  In fact, her blog is chuck full of great information and ideas.
We are facing a crisis here.  We have seven little roosters in the little henhouse.  I have been moving hens out of there since the henspa opened.  Six of these creatures have ganged up on the two year old partridge cochin left in there, and a battle royal has been going on daily.  It's time, unfortunately.
Keith can do it, though it is unpleasant, so our resident fox is going to have some good meals for the next week.
Once these guys are gone, the last five hens, the three Welsummers (two of whom have started to lay again), Rockette, the gold penciled Wyandotte, and Fluffernut, the little home-bred brown girl that I hatched last summer in the Brinsea, are moving to the Henspa.  That leaves the little henhouse empty except for it's resident mice.  At that point, I'm going to thoroughly clean it out.  (except for the mice nests)
Two of the worst fighters, and their friend Fluffernut.
Another view of Legs, who is a huge rooster, and some of his girls. Oh... and Rosie.
I got these out of the henspa an hour ago.  I will tell you that my friend's hens are definitely laying, and some of my little girls aren't.  They are just taking a day off, though, as I am getting plenty of bantam eggs out of there.  The two oldest girls, Mack and Mable, are laying often enough to justify their being there, too!
Should I be getting 22 eggs out of there daily?  I guess in a perfect world, I would... and we may have to address that problem someday soon, too.
(22 hens and four-roosters-soon-to-be-three in there).
We are expecting snow here tomorrow, and bad driving, so I'll be staying right here at home.  I'll share a good recipe with you, too, that I made today. 
I hope that this post hasn't depressed people... it depressed me a little to write it, but in the middle, I went outside and found yet another rooster fight.... it's time.


  1. i have a dumb question...can't you eat roosters?

  2. My grandmother used to keep chickens and sell the eggs for her pin money.,,that was years ago. But I liked hearing you talk about yours. I remember she had some bantams. But what others she had I don't remember. I used to love gathering the eggs when we would go for a visit. When I was very young I wouldn't eat eggs, until she told me she had some special rooster eggs that I would like, and I did. I have loved eggs ever since. We had a high of 24 here today and it'll be in the low 30's tomorrow. Winter is definitely setting in.

  3. Sounds complicated, Mary Ann. Maybe I'd better tell our son he better think twice about chickens. I'll watch for the recipe!

  4. I know you gotta do- what is necessary,,,,,
    the chickies are so pretty. It cold at your farm and cold here too.

  5. Fighting roosters is never any good and when there are too many, it is inevitable. Your post is not at all depressing, just the way things are when keeping chickens. Stay warm!

  6. Mary Ann, just a note to you on this last day of 2012, thinking of you and hoping that 2013 will bring many joys and rewards. You two be kind to yourselves--I know that you are so kind to all of your dear critters there on the farm.

  7. That is one handsome rooster, Mary Ann. I was wondering also why you can't just turn the others into chicken soup? Call me naive, but is there a reason why you can't?

    Hope you and Keith are tucked warmly away tonight on this last night of 2012. J. and I are wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  8. My 2 hens haven't laid in a while. Am going to wait till I retire before replacing them.


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