Sunday, January 17, 2016
Sunday Reading - Chicken Adventures Update
It's been a while since I did a full chicken adventures update so I thought today would be a good day to get it out of the way since it's too cold to go out and do much.
A few announcements though. I recently started a Twitter feed addition to the blog. Not doing a whole lot with it right now but you can find a link to my Twitter page to the right. I plan and doing a daily Tractor Time pic and mostly just links to articles I find interesting. Maybe some other tidbits as I get used to using it. If you are in to that type of thing hit follow over there. Maybe we can get some readers to start Tweeting to it as well.
The chickens appear to be doing well for the most part although attrition lately has been high. We have lost three in about the last month and a half. One Red Sexlink was hit by a truck when she decided for some unknown reason to venture into the road while another just up and died on us for no reason we could detect. One of our prized Rhode Island Reds was killed by the neighbors dog when he showed up as well.
It appears we have successfully managed to convince our own outside protector dog (Named Miles) that yes the chickens belong here, yes they are valuable, and no they are not for sport. I have to give that dog credit once he figured out he was going to get in trouble when he killed a chicken and that the chickens fit in the same category as the sheep, he has shown amazing restraint. Some of the stupid poultry barn Sexlinks have even been seen walking right up to him without fear now. More than likely that is what lead to the one's death when the neighbor dog came visiting however.
We are averaging about 10 to 12 eggs a day even in the dead of Winter, although I must admit it hasn't been all that much of a Winter so far. We have 27 hens left so they are laying on average every other day I guess. Of course I am not convinced all of them are actually laying to be honest as I think a few of them are a bit older than they were advertised as being.
Rocky the rooster is in complete heaven however. He is convinced he is king of the world and the only stress he seems to be under is the annoyance factor he gets about the Poultry Barn Sexlinks. The Sexlinks appear to still prefer to think of humans as the dominant specie and it drives Rocky crazy when they ignore him and follow one of us around. He almost kills himself trying to herd these hens away from me when I am out working on something.
Splitting firewood is a real pain in the butt now however. The hens (especially the sexlinks) figured out real fast that the only reason I am splitting wood is to provide them with bugs. They are not one bit afraid of the engine noise and now mob the splitter whenever I start it up. I split a truckload yesterday in preparation for this in bound Northern Clipper that rolled in last night and I finally had to have the Mrs. just keep the area clear of chickens.
All but two of the remaining ten Sexlinks now use a roost pole. It took them about a month to move from huddling together in the corner to actually jumping up on the low roost. As I said two of them however still won't go into the coop, they huddle together in the dog crate so we just lock them up in there now.
Of the remaining ten sexlinks only about four of them consistently go out into the barn lot yet. The other six are still content to just stay in the barn unless I open up the front door anyway. As long as I open the door and am nearby they will come outside they just don't seem to want to do it on their own for some reason.
So all and all the addition of the chickens has worked out well for us. Plenty of eggs, enough extra to sell some to locals and not a bad survival rate. Only one predator attack in months and that was the neighbor's dog. In fact not one wild predator attack at all so far with only one hawk flyby that could even be considered interest.
Now I just hope one or more of these hens go broody this Spring.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!