Monday, March 15, 2010

There's a New Sheriff Rooster in Town

A little history of the chicken raising side of Weksny Acres...

We have been raising chickens for a little over seven months. We got our day old chicks from a very reputable hatchery. Of the 25 chicks (3 different breeds), we had 24 arrive alive and well. I must add that we ordered the chicks as straight run, so we expected about a 50/50 mix of future hens and roosters. Since then we've added 6 more hens to the flock, and lost 3 to hawks or coyotes. So as of this writing we have 27 chickens enjoying their home here at Weksny Acres.

Over the course of the last few weeks and months, Wendy and I have realized that out of 27 chickens, we did not have a single male in the bunch. How do you receive an order of straight run chicks and not have one male? That's just our luck.

This was unacceptable to us, knowing what our plans and goals are for the chickens, so I started shopping for a few roosters. One for each of our main breeds.

Our Dominique girls are the first "lucky" ones. I found a good looking Rooster in our area, and went and got him yesterday.
Here he is....

Wendy, upon seeing him, called him Buck. I liked the sound of that, so the name Buck stuck. He has since fit in nicely with the ladies. It was interesting to watch the first few hours as Buck started establishing himself as the "King of the Roost". But after a while things settled down, and he started fitting into his role.

On Tuesday, I'll be picking up a Rhode Island Red roo, so the fun will start all over again. Not only will we get to introduce him to the girls, but he and Buck will have to figure out who the head cock is. I'll keep their progress posted here.

If anyone knows where I can find a good Delaware rooster in the Carolinas, please let me know. We'd hate for any of the ladies to feel left out. :wink:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Freezer camp for the Egg-Eaters

The other day I went out to check on the chickens and collect eggs, What I found was two of my chickens were helping themselves to a fresh laid egg. Of course when I walked into the coop they bolted out the door into the yard. It's happened a couple of of times before and I could never find out who did it. We always have been collecting the eggs throughout the day, but on this day, I wad there at the right time.

Now I have a good idea who the culpits are. Back during the fall we were given 6 New Hampshire Red hens from a fellow I worked with. They integrated themselves into out flock pretty well.

I've read that in early spring some chickens will do this for the extra calcium and protein and then they go back to leaving them alone. But it can cause quite the problem if other chickens decide they like the taste of fresh eggs.

So I have two choices to get them to stop.
1) Give it some time and hope that they stop eating the eggs, or
2) Send the egg eaters to freezer camp.

Me, I opt for freezer camp!
I am keeping a very close eye on things out there now, and the moment I catch one of those 2 eating an egg, they are getting their one way ticket to the freezer.