Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chickens Check'n Out

Sunday I found a teeny-tiny egg in one of the nesting boxes.  Although I thought it could have just be a "fluke" laid by one of the older hens, maybe an egg without a yolk which isn't that uncommon, I'm pretty certain that it's a pullet egg.  Because the next day there was another tiny egg in the same  nest box.  The new girls (and guys) were hatched four & a half months ago so I guess it's about time to start keeping an eye out for eggs.....or egg hiding places.

The main reason that I first thought it might just be a tiny egg from the older hens is that it was in the nesting boxes where the older hens roost.  The newer hens still refuse to go in with the older gals so they are roosting in the small kidding pen.  If I were to find a pullet egg, I would have expected it to be in there where they roost.  I've tried hand-delivering the younger birds to the other side, but it gets really, really old doing that night after night.  And at one point I locked up the barn so the younger hens couldn't even get into the smaller kidding pen, but they just sat in front of the barn door, on the ground.   I could have left them there overnight, but I'd just as well have put a sign that said "KFC Buffet Open Tonight" as they would have been eaten by the local nocturnal wildlife.

I usually don't have this much difficulty in getting the younger hens into the main roosting area; I just close off the place they normally hang out and make sure the light is on in the main area.  Then they just "go into the light".  Not sure why this batch isn't getting it.

I've also got an excess of roosters.  There's Blackie (I just now came up with that original name), the rooster that was attacked by the no-longer-here dog.  He's a nice rooster and although he's still a little gimpy and on the lower end of the pecking order, he's still getting it on with the hens so he can stay.  Then there are two Barred Rock mix roosters, one with a limp (not my fault, I swear!) and the other is a nice big'un.  Then there's Mr. Flashy (again, just came up with that name).  And I know that there are probably another six immature roosters running around the place.  There's a young black rooster with a rose comb that has just started chasing after the hens as well as another two Barred Rock mixes and a really fugly looking one.

So.  Who to keep?  Who to eat?  I'm sick of shoveling out chicken feed like it's going out of style so at least half of the roosters have to go.  I'm thinking the limpy Barred Rock, and all the younger roosters except the black rose-combed one.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to try Susan's Chicken Taco Soup and Mama Pea's Chicken 'n Dumplings, so I've got at least two on death row.


  1. I am so glad I only have one. If I had to add all that crowing into the already migraine-causing Guinea din, I'd be homocidal. I try to pick my "keepers" on temperament and attention to duty. I've got the ideal rooster now, as he is afraid of me and not too pushy with the hens. Good thing, as he has 5 inch spurs...

  2. We had two, but recently had to give one away. They started to fight a lot.

  3. Ut Oh......Mama Carolyn is going to cook some chickens. I guess their all going to be on good behavior to sway your decision on which will go.

  4. Why is it that we all seem to procrastinate when it comes to getting rid of the excess roosters? Just keep pouring the feed into them when all it does is cost $$$ and cause disruption in the chicken yard. In our case, I think it's strictly a male thing. Papa Pea has a million excuses . . . "What if we lose a couple to predators?" "What if one turns out to be . . . um, uh, ineffective?" "What if one gets sick and dies?" I don't think we've ever lost a rooster that didn't die of old age. Except those that I've decreed MUST go into the stew pot. (I'm such an old meanie.)

  5. Love those original names. You are such a hoot! Or a cluck, I guess, as the post would have it. I would go out and explain to those roos and chickens what's gonna happen. Maybe some of them will MAN UP and step forward to sacrifice themselves.


  6. Cute cartoon! I think the roosters would be an excellent addition to either one of those yummy recipes!
    My new hens (now 15 months old) STILL refuse to roost in the big hen house at night. When we had our really cold weather last week, we herded them into the big house for 6 nights in a row and closed the little door to keep them in. The first night we didn't put them in, they went right back to all 10 sleeping in the little dog house. Jeez...

  7. Susan, there is something to be said for a One-Rooster farm. Like, "Peace & Quiet". Oh, except for your guineas.

    Kristina, we have enough hens to "go around", so there really isn't much fighting between the older ones, just the newer roosters get put in their place until they learn....or get bigger.

    Sandy, Oh, they are already on the list. I don't care if they send roses & chocolates, they're soup!

    Mama Pea, I'm not sure if Paul is like that. I think he's more of a "Wow, that's some yummy soup" kind'a guy.

    Mama Tea, oh yes, I'm so very original. (Big eye roll)

    Candy C., You'd think after almost a week that they'd "get it". Stupid chickens.