Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What the Cluck? 

                                                           Chicks a day or 2 old when we picked them up.  They don't stay little long!

Greetings and thanks for stopping by!  I want to start by saying that after afew years of begging and pleading to get chickens, I finally swayed my other half on the project.  We are now 5 months into this and enjoying every minute of it.  I will try to reflect on how we got to where we are and current progress in the flock.  I wish I would have started this months ago, but here we are now!

Our milestone for the this week was major.  After 5 months of nuturing our 6 chicks, we have finally seen the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel!  We returned from a weekend away camping in our VW Van (probably our biggest thrill in life!) to find 2 light brown eggs in our nest boxes!  Since we did not bear witness to this epic event, we can only assume what is going on.  The egg came from 1 of our 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks.  I am convinced that only one of them is laying at this point as we've been getting 1 egg a day since.  They are a medium size and I do expect them to end up at a large size as the hen matures.  They are perfect inside and out!  I fried 3 up for breakfast yesterday and everyone enjoyed them. 

The flock:  Barred Plymouth Rocks:  Rosa and Weiss
                  Ameraucanas aka Easter Eggers:  Prissy and Flower
                  Welsummers:  Grun and the WHOOPS rooster, Lila

The black and white chickens are our Barred Plymouth Rocks, Rosa and Weiss.
The lay light brown eggs and should be our most frequent producers.

                                                                 Here is Prissy, one of the Easter Eggers...fine purveyors of green, blue or pink eggs!
                                                                    Notice her 'beard'.

Grun, our only female Welsummer who will lay lovely terra cotta/chocolate eggs.

                                                                   Flower, the other Easter Egger.

                                                              Lila, the lucky boy who gets his own harem.

Don't Get Cocky!

Our chicks arrived the first week of May.  I ordered all pullets, but alas, afew weeks later and some internet research revealed our little Lila was going to end up a Roo.  The kids adored Lila, so I had to make some promises since we are doing this under the radar.  Nothing like a freakin' Rooster to blow your cover!  About 10 weeks old, the little bugger started crowing.  At first, he was almost quiet and squawking (think teenage boy voice here) but now he's developed a bright and loud chant.  The coop is right outside my bedroom window and when my alarm goes off about 5:30 does Lila.  Needless to say, I don't keep my window open much, but he is nice to hear....just makes you feel like you are on the farm.  He actually reacts to noise similarly to my pet of 19 years, Picasso.  Picasso, my cockatiel RIP always used to go through his whole repertoire in the morning and also would perform when there was lots of noise in the house.  The chickens have rekindled my love of birds...they are just alot larger than my little buddy who sat on my shoulder and picked food from my mouth.  Lila reminds me of him.  Along with a 'teenage' rooster comes a mess of activity.  My 6 and 8 year olds adore the chickens.  Lila has gotten to the point where he is becomming aggressive.  He hasn't hurt anyone, but he is definitely a larger bird than the hens.  He has broad shoulders.  He'll stare at you and then his long neck feathers start to stick out....then he'll assume a position and whammo....he's coming at your legs many times in a row!  He's quite intimidating and so far, I haven't been able to really stand up to him.  I pretty much knock him out of my way by pushing him with my foot.  You can't trust him.  He even will get you from behind when you aren't even looking.  He has gone after me, Kenny and the kids at different times.  I keep telling him not to push me....or I WILL eat him!  I don't think he really cares.  I'm hoping he calms down once he starts mating.  I have not seen him at this point on any of the girls.  Life is sure interesting these days and it is relaxing to sit with the birds and call them back when they roam into the neighbor's yard when they are out free ranging.  I will attempt to recreate the last 5 months of life with the chicks little by little.  Hope you enjoy our story!

Clucks and Crows