Friday, June 3, 2016
It was another nice day today if you were a member of the Small-Hold livestock community. About the perfect temperature of not too hot or too cold but no sun to speak of which causes the chickens a bit of a disappointment. Every time I would go out and start working on something it would rain but not enough to drive the critters into the barn, just enough to make it unpleasant for those of us without protective wool, fur or feathers.
After about an hour of attempting to wait the light rain out I gave up and just worked on little things inside the barn. This meant I got to spend some time with the newest members of the chicken flock.
Setting up the large coop and barn for chickens was about the smartest move I ever did around here. You see my mother, and to an extent my wife, love all animals. They cannot resist them and unless I keep a constant vigilance there is no telling what might turn up around here when I am not looking. I usually try and pay attention to the little verbal clues they drop during casual discussions about things and put the nix on them when they are heading off in the wrong direction.
I know they were making plans to add a tom turkey once that I managed to put a stop too. A miniature donkey was hinted around at and the whole peacock thing comes up occasionally. However the chicken thing kinda fulfills this need with them and ends up getting critters that actually have some worth around here.
Believe me it could be bad if I didn't put a stop to it.
Over the course of the last few months we have lost about five hens and, well, I dispatched Rocky the Rooster. The new rooster seems to be working out very well but then again so did Rocky until he didn't. I must say though this new rooster is much easier on the hens and smaller so they can kinda keep him in line themselves some too.
Our unwanted losses have all been the old Red Sexlink hens we bought last year. I been watching them and those hens are old I think, much older than they were said to be and I haven't seen one of them laying in months. Not that it bothers us really as egg production was second for me anyway as I really was looking for more bug control than anything else. However we have lost about five of the old girls and only one to an accident the other four just sort of laid down in the corner and died from time to time. Never showed any illness they just seemed to get tired one day and find a spot to go to sleep and never wake up.
So we had room in the coop and someone around here made the choice to bring in more chickens.
Eight new easter egger type chicks showed up last week. I got a feeling it was a team effort by the Small-Hold Women folk. They are about half grown and I wondered if the cats might show some interest in them but so far they haven't. They really are not much smaller than Chicken Burger our Hamburg hen really so I wasn't too worried about them. The other chickens appear to tolerate them and there hasn't been any trouble and no lost half grown chicks either.
The "peepers" as I call them pretty much stay together and have been using the low roost for themselves and rarely venture out of the barn yet. Trouble is you know they are not all going to be hens so we have that looming over the future. Still they are kinda cute and getting use to humans (like me) being around pretty quickly. The first couple of days they disappeared into hiding holes faster than a coyote when I held up a rifle but today they barely flinched when I would walk by.
I figure with the normal chicken attrition rate it should help keep the women-folk's animal shopping addiction satiated and pointed in the right direction.
No more goats, donkeys or anything else we don't need.
I hafta admit though I do kinda miss that goat I ended up taking care of for a few weeks last Summer. She was a hoot. I get regular updates on her from my co-worker though and she is now his favorite too and apparently just gave birth to a couple of kids this Spring.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!