Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken Herding

Well, kinda! Maybe wrangling?

I'm moving the roosters as the weather has warmed up some but still staying well below 0. The young boys from the barn are now in the outside pen and the addition of 9 boys out there was interesting, to say the least! I'm moving the hen and pullets from out there inside so I can do a 30
"cleanse", "purification" or just a roo-free quarantine so that I can pen hens with the appropriate roos and have purebred chicks hatched. I don't know what this 30 period is technically called, but the roos aren't going to be happy at all! The hens should be though! No more roo gangs grabbing hens for an orgy.

I know! It's a hen vacation... or a henacation! Gotta be! I'll go with that!

I'm looking forward to starting up the incubators! I'm getting a new, better quality one with Christmas money and what was left from selling the 17 goats last Fall. I've decided to sell the Little Giant. It is a cheaper incuabator and was great for getting me started to see if I wanted to continue incuabing or if it was going to be a one Spring/Summer project. I'll start setting some eggs the first week of March. Maybe I might even be able to sell a few dozen eggs too!

So the roos are all outside now and I'm herding chickens around and catching hens as I can to send them to the barn for their henacation.

I'm making sure I have lots of well bedded spots for the hens moving inside to have for laying. The gals in the barn already have their spots staked out and their order arranged. I found another doggy shipping crate at Good Will and it's out there with hopes the turkey hens will make use of it. The chickens can share it if the turkey hens approve.

I had gotten a couple bags of shavings for extra bedding outside and to fill inside nesting areas. I had a couple escapes from the inside goat pens who just had to be destructive and rip open the 2 last bales of shavingsand make a huge mess too. But, I think everything is again well-bedded to the satisfaction of the "inmates", in side and out. Hopefully today's new hay will keep the goats "entertained" and out of the destruction business... at least for a couple days.

In the process of all of this, one of the 3 young, blue Cochin roosters who just moved outside managed to grab an Americauna hen with his hormonal intentions coursing through his being. He thought he was something.... BRIEFLY. He grabbed "henny" and before he could swing his big body around her, she "said" NO WAY! She was willing to either kick him in the feather duster or go down trying. What a chicken fight that was! The hen is only half the size of the big fella but she's always been a "force" around here. She was also much more agile than he was too. The next thing I knew, standing there watching and getting a good giggle out of it, the HEN was on top and had him by the back of the head. She was plucking feathers out of him and still working on kicking his feather duster rear best she could. The silly young fella all of a sudden had decided he didn't need a hen at the moment and he couldn't get away from her as she was off for the ride of a life time, still holding the back of his head! As the young roo tried running under the pony cart the hen had to bail as it was too short. Bail she did, then she gave a good feather shake, rock and roll and off she went, head held high and looking around to see if anyone noticed her success in putting another roo in his place.

What a hoot! I didn't have my camera and sure should have! I'm glad I got to observe the "show" though. Young roos can sure be funny with thier antics and trying to acquire a harem!

Some of these boys need to move out real soon too. I'm having trouble deciding who I want to keep out of the Cochin roos. I've got too many nice boys. I think I may just keep 2 of the blue boys and then sell the rest. I have a couple mix breed boys who will go too.

Hopefully I can get everyone all organized. I should have some new chickens coming real soon which will make it a bit harder to organize everyone. I'm tickled to be getting the opportunity to add these new birds to my flocks. Then I have a lead on a beautiful Brahma roo for the 3 Brahma girls. He's got some of the same bloodlines as my best Brahma hen and has a nice "clean" (white) back too. He'll be an asset to the girls! Bringing them in will make pairing hens off with the right roos. The new ones will start in the horse trailer though and that will help.

I can see I really need to get some more pens made! I think I can make a couple that are just for breeding trios/groups that don't have to be huge as they'd be temporary.

Guess I better get that on a project list too and near the top! How many days til Spring or at least working-outdoors weather?


  1. Awesome story! My little Americaunas are scrappy, too. Especially Patty, the "shy" one...boy, can she really let a roo have it! I had my own little gang of naughty juvenile roos going on, and two would gang up on Patty. She could really kick their butts, and they were 2-3 times bigger than she was! (Actually, the last time I saw that was the night they got moved into boy jail. They went to the auction the following weekend. Good riddance!)

  2. Oh I love how you love your chickens!! Just wanted to stop by and say howdy! Now you've got me thinking about how much work I need to do....: -)

  3. Some of these hens are a hoot!

    The work is NEVER done! Seems we do so much of it and yet the list of to-do's just grows and grows!