Thursday, August 20, 2009

New kids - a chicken update

After much capturing and moving of aggressive chicks from my original flock, and the addition of three new (younger) Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chicks to the group in the main coop, there seems to be a truce in the coops.

The extra roosters have been moved to a separate dog-kennel pen in the yard and are doing quite well together, even though I'm not positive all are roosters. The three white ones are there with two black ones, and all told, I'm only sure two of the "roos" are actually boys. The others might be girls, but I witnessed them all being instigators of aggression in the big coop so all must go. They're currently listed on a chicken chat board and Craigslist in hopes someone will want them. At least they are all getting along together, so if they must stay there until they're butchering size, that'll be ok.

Once the above-mentioned five were culled from the main flock, I was left with only five pullets (future hens) and my Easter Egger cross rooster (who will also likely find a new home). Five eggs a day won't make this venture worthwhile at all, so I started looking for additional pullets. I purchased three Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chicks from a breeder last weekend and so far they're doing pretty well, even though they're so much smaller (the smallest is smaller than Teeny, the runt). They stick together as a group, thankfully, as they are sometimes chased around, but I've not seen any severe picking nor any blood on anyone in the big coop, so I consider it a success so far.

These new babies are striking, and apparently somewhat rare. The two larger ones are a slate-blue with red, and the little one is pale gray with red. They are smart, figuring out how to scratch in the dirt and eat bugs and produce faster than the rest of the flock (some of whom were afraid of halved zucchini, no joke). Wyandottes are reported to be a gentle breed, and that's my gentle my flock over time. These three seem sweet, gentle and peep softly all the time!

I'm still taking applications to fill two or three more laying slots (!) but will take a little more time to decide what breed I'd like to slot in there. I do love the Easter Eggers/Ameracaunas so if I can find some of the right age that would be ideal, but I have other options, too. I anxiously await the day we can stop eating eggs from Costco once again!


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