Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chicken Adventures - Bravest Chicken (That's like military intelligence ain't it?) Goes To?

Things have really settled in around the Small-Hold once again. The humidity has finally declined enough to be comfortable and the temperatures can only be described as nice. The nights have been cool and just about every critter on the place is pretty damned content right now.

The sheep are playing, the rams are not yet all anxious for breeding season, the dogs are playful even the chickens seemed in a good mood today. Rocky and Bullwinkle appeared to be acting a lot more gentlemanly today and the hens were actually kinda perky.

About midday Littlebit, the Hamburg hen decided she was going exploring. My guess is poor littlebit is the low hen in the pecking order being that she is so small and the only hen without at least one other of her breed to hang with.

Letting the guy I bought the original five hens from talk me into this one little hen was a mistake I think. The other hens all seem to stay together with their own breed but Littlebit is odd one out and the smallest one to boot. So she wanders off on her own I think to get some peace and quiet. She made her way to the back of the barn lot following Rocky and then went over into Frazier our Mule Terminal Ram's paddock where she stayed hanging out with him until sundown.

This is an awful picture of her but she is standing among some rocks and bricks I been collecting to use in an erosion ditch I want to fill in. That brick behind her gives you a good idea of just how small she is. The guy I bought her from said she was laying but I think he lied. Littlebit and the two Amerikunna Easter Egg hens have not laid an egg yet and interestingly enough neither of  the roosters appear to be very interested in them. I suspect they are not quite to egg laying age yet.

So far she is the only hen to actually leave the secondary enclosure on her own and do some actual free ranging though. So she wins the bravest hen award.

The Rams paddocks are a magnet to critters who are not near the top of the food chain. They have long been a problem area for dumped and abandoned kittens as a matter of fact. They know none of the larger land predators are going to come in there and I have seen the rams actually chase possums out of their paddocks a time or two. Twice I have even found dead possums inside a paddock which makes me more than a bit curious how they got dead. So any stray cats will hide in the ram's paddocks to feel safe.

Since Littlebit was outside while all the other chickens were inside she didn't come home to roost until after all the other chickens were asleep. So she got to be the first one to meet the four new additions to the coop.

Four Barred Rock Hens.

The four new hens are from the same place Rocky and Bullwinkle came from. The lady said they are about 6 months old and may not be laying yet but they hit the coop with a storm this evening. Rocky got down off the roost for them when I opened the cage and the four Black Hens that had been the dominate team of the coop were pretty much shoved out of the way for team Barred Rock.

Oh ya Rocky joined the other chickens tonight in the coop rather than going back to the bachelor roost.

I am hoping that there won't be any major dust ups tomorrow since the girls really didn't have time to fight it out this evening before they were forced to roost. I plan on leaving them in the coop most of the day tomorrow so the new girls will learn this is home.

This brings my total hen count up to 13 so I still need at least 3 more hens. No body I call seems to have more than 3 or 4 hens to part with at a time so I have been forced to patch this flock together. So far no fatalities yet.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. Oh they will come into lay with flourish there little combs will go red red when they are coming into lay then you will be collecting a dozen eggs a day and it will be eggs with everything :-)

  2. Eggsiting days ahead. I have had hens that stay off to themselves, usually smaller ones that are different from the larger egg layer breeds. There isn't a whole lot to be done as they must be a little feral at least in spirit. Around here brave chickens die first it seems as they try to nest in the weeds. I finally got tired of losing birds and eggs so I built a fence around their area made out of the black wildlife netting that is 100' x 7' for $14 at lowes. I have been canning tomato sauces so our birds have been getting lots of tomato scraps lately, they convert a lot of our high quality garbage into eggs. I trimmed some of the fat off of a roast and gave that to them and it was a real circus for awhile as the chased each other to get a piece. They are entertaining to say the least.

  3. Those silver spangled girls are tough. Ours is often by herself and does great. I would not be concerned with her.

    I would also suggest an egg hunt. Look in all the corners and dark places. She may be laying in a different location away from the bigger girls.

  4. A little chicken education for you, Mr. PP (if you don't already know by now) ;-) Hamburgs are, by nature, flighty birds... meaning they do not like to be kept confined and love to wander. And they don't get very big as compared to the Rocks or Eggers. Our dear girl would wander down the hill to the neighbor's house to dirt bathe in his flower pots by his back door. So much so that he took pity on us climbing a couple of fences (with broom in hand) to go clean up the mess she made that he left a broom down by his door. And they are very good layers! Feathers is 7 yrs old and still lays at least 3 eggs a week.

    #2: If your Eggers are still pullets (under 1 yr old and haven't laid an egg yet) they are probably not going to lay until next spring (2016). None of our Eggers ever laid eggs until they were over a year old. Have no idea why but that just seems to be the norm for Eggers.

    #3: It is late summer. Around here we have feathers starting to fall instead of leaves. Your hens will start to molt soon and won't lay an egg until either late fall or next spring, whenever they complete their molt. Plus daylight hours are starting to get less with autumn approaching so that will affect egg lay rate. They need something like 14 hours of daylight to produce eggs.

    And #4.... they may have a super secret spot to hide their eggs that you won't find until you are using some sort of powered equipment while weed abating or discover when moving a bale of hay. Kind of like a feathered easter bunny.

    Long reply, sorry... but I had to come to the defense of those poor ol' girls. hahahaha :-)

  5. Please name one of the hens kymber.


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