Saturday, December 4, 2010

Easter Chicks All Grown Up

Today was a rain break day, so I took down and cleaned out all the swallow nest gourds (20 of them) and then, not feeling terribly ambitious, took photos of the chickens. Last spring I bought 2 pullets each of 5 breeds. Neighbor Irv raised them from babies for me until they were old enough to not likely die on me. I am not as dedicated as he is to wiping chick bottoms and making sure the fragile little things are warm and eating. However, a predator got into our chicken house one night and killed one of the two Buckeyes, so I'm down to nine pullets. We also lost Mighty Mouse, our wonderful Bantam Rooster, to a predator. We lock the chickens in every night now.

Although I have not watched to see who is laying which egg (pictured in a previous blog: Deviled Eggs and Drippy Weather), I'm sure the Americaunas lay the blue and green eggs, and I'm fairly sure the Buff Orpingtons lay the lighter brown eggs. The SexLinks lay something in between, I'm guessing. Below is a Sexlink on the left, Americauna in the center, and Buff Orpington on the right.

The Barred Rock must lay a typical brown egg because we have one old Barred Rock and her eggs are your standard brown.

The Buckeye has a pea comb, which is a flat comb with bumps on it. I think she lays the darkest brown egg.

We also have, from a previous year's purchases, one "exotic" rooster. At least, he was supposedly an "exotic chick" thrown in for free with my 25 fryers. He looks a lot like a Rhode Island Red to me. He doesn't lay eggs but he does make sure they're fertile. Neighbor Irv took some of my eggs that were fertilized by this handsome fellow and got all red chicks. It will be interesting to see what they grow up to look like, with a mixed group of hens for their mamas.

This is the peachick that our banty hen raised. We gave her the four peafowl eggs after some predator killed the peahen when she was on her nest in the arboretum. Only one egg hatched. The banty hen doesn't seem to notice that her baby is now at least three times as big as she is.

The turkeys spend most of their time in the chicken yard, too, although they are perfectly capable of flying out. Perhaps they like the protection afforded by the sentinel Buff Orpington. This hen seems to think it her duty to sound out an alarm whenever, well, whenever she feels like it. I could not see any danger today when she began her warning cackles and jumped on her pile of goat manure to alert everyone about... something. They certainly listened when she headed to her mound saying, "Attention!"

Who knows? Maybe there was a hawk overhead that I didn't see. Or maybe she just likes having all those turkeys and chickens paying attention when she climbs up on her rostrum and speaks.


  1. Oh I do love a good chicken post! I've been meaning to do one of my own one of these days.
    My buff orpington lays pinkish eggs---they are brown, but with a rosy tint to them.
    My chickens aren't laying much at all right now because of molting and general disruption. We took in two hens to "foster" while their owners are in Guatemala. One is old and the other is the same age as yours but not laying (I think she is too fat). I just hope they live to go home again. Eleven chickens is a lot for the city.

  2. Um, Ingrid, so what is the legal limit in the city? Or shouldn't I ask...

  3. 3, but I have a permit for 10, and they move so fast that hopefully no one can count 11.