Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicken Update

Lincoln and one of our younger hens who will start laying (hopefully) by next month.

Fresh eggs...the blue ones are laid by the Dominique hens (the checkered ones). I think the blue eggs have more flavor, but that's just me. :)

Avonlea collecting eggs. She's definately my 'egg girl' and loves collecting for me. She goes out everyday around 4:30/5:00 (when the hens are done laying for the day) and checks both the hen house and Daddy's shed. For some reason, the hens enjoy laying in the hay in Rob's shed.

Here's 'Jack'. I promised some picures of our rooster and here they are. :)
We first thought that this chicken might just be a rooster about 2 months ago when we were clipping the hens' wings. We noticed one chicken who was a bit larger, had more green on its tail and was definately stronger! We kept our eye on it and one day, I got a crazy idea...I put a chicken tractor next to our bedroom window one Friday night and if this was indeed a rooster, we'd know it the next morning. Well, sure enough, at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, we heard a faint "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" and I remember Rob and I just looking at each other thinking, "Great. Now what are we going to do with him!" Where we live, you're not supposed to have a rooster due to their loud crowing. Jack's crowing was never heard because the hen house is on the WAY other side of our yard in the back.
Here's what we've decided to do with Jack...Jack is staying with us ONLY because Avonlea was absolutely crushed when we told her we might need to find a new home for him. When I was pregnant with Norah, we gave away our rabbit, our hampster and shortly after having Norah, we got rid of our new puppy (Rosebud) which was a result of our own dog, Riley. I wanted so badly to keep these animals, but none of our children were old enough to care for them independantly and I certainly didn't have the patience as I was about to give birth and begin long, sleepless nights with a newborn baby. So, the animals found new homes. With that said, Jack now sleeps in the garage at night (he has a pretty nice bachelor pad!) and stays in the garage until he stops consistently crowing in the moring (10:30 or so). Then we let Jack out. He does crow from time to time during the day, but we live right beside a large lake with VERY loud geese and the way I figure it, maybe passers-by won't be able to tell what loud squaks are what. I have my fingers crossed anyway.
So, here's to Jack who has quite the personality! It is kind of nice knowing that we can keep our chicken line going with babies should it happen. Right now, the other, older hens want nothing to do with him since he's technically part of our second flock and he mostly hangs around with those younger ladies. ;) The only negative about Jack though has been the fact that the hens' egg production has gone down significantly. I collected two eggs the other day when I normally collect 8-9! I asked Mr. Lambert last week why this is and he said that in raising chickens for 30+ years, sometimes there's no definitive answer. Sometimes a hen will simply not feel like laying, especially if she thinks her eggs are fertile and she's 'expecting' babies.
It's been interesting, we'll just say that!

Meanwhile, "Christmas and Thanksgiving" have been out and about, meeting other hens. They still stay in a warm box in the garage, but enjoy occational play with the kids in the afternoons.
Norah is particuarly fond of her "chickies".

"Apples anyone?"
~Sunny, Clemintine, Henny and Penny~

Jack again. Isn't he handsome?

"Do you think they'll like us?"

Lincoln and the 'wee ones'.

1 comment:

Melodie said...

Beautiful chickens! Just a guess but Penny, I believe, is the one giving you the "Easter eggs". She looks to be an Americana or "Easter egger".
I love fresh chicken eggs, most people just don't know what their missing!