Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Chickens!!!

so, I went to my chicken feed dealer to get some tasty scratch and came back with 40 pounds of lovely scratch and .... 3 pullets.  You know how it is, you get suckered into the beady eyes, the gentle cluck cluck, the iridescent blue sheen on a black tail feather, the promise of blue eggs and before you know it you have three hens stuffed into a Rubbermaid tote buckled into your front seat.  

so now what?  good thing I had the nursery coop made up for the brooding Betty's parenting adventure

set it up with a little play-pen run, tossed in a nice armful of hay to play in and skewered some snow fencing over the top and voila!  

"Villa des Nouveaux Poulets"

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 The residents are very interested 
except Ethel, 
she is busy laying an egg
in the corner of the coop 
(yes, there are nice nest boxes full of soft fluffy shavings and hay but we do not like the nice nest boxes, we like the poopy corners of the coop thank you very much.)

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So the "new girls" spent the afternoon, the night, and Saturday in their private Villa - checkout time was at about 11 pm when we tried to "sneak" 3 "sleeping" chickens into the big chicken coop.  So, fine, everyone woke up but not enough to make a fuss - slipped the "new girls" into the un-used for laying eggs nesting boxes and buttoned everyone up tight, went to bed where I promptly had a series of nightmares about hens pecking each other to death

no one got pecked to death

opened the bottom run at 7 am where "the regulars" were waiting for me - scolding me for not bringing them vanilla lattes - the "new girls" were still up inside the coop sort of checking stuff out.

by about 10 am, everyone had exited and was milling around the
mall
chicken run
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It is windy and cold, so I left the Villa in the run
the new girls are not at their best
in the wind
and are not super happy to have their photos taken

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Daisy 

Wheaton Ameraucana
lays lovely sky-blue eggs


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Delores 

Black Copper Marin
 will lay deep chocolate-colored eggs

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Dotty 

mixed (Cochin, Marin, Ameraucana???)
 looking for olive-colored eggs


 Last but not least - a portrait of the only surviving Betty Baby

Coralee

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 I'll try for a decent protrait page tomorrow!


 -L

Friday, February 15, 2013

Roosters - RIP


Well, We knew Col. Brunswick was a boy, but as it turns out we had FOUR boys and you can't have 4 roosters, forget the crowing, they will kill each other.  It was pretty awful, 5 chickens, 4 roosters:



IMG_0560, originally uploaded by lasdcm.

They were gorgeous!  I had a plan for butchering, but when the second rooster started to crow, my plan fell apart as my teachers had a house to settle on and I could not wait 2 weeks because roosters do not crow at sunrise, they start at about 2 am and just let one loose whenever they feel the urge - which can be pretty constant.  We put it off to be sure all 4 were indeed roosters and one morning the week after Thanksgiving at about 5:30 in the morning, we butchered them.  It was very hard and very awful and very empowering all at the same time.  The hens seemed relieved.