Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hanging out with the Chickens

Our self appointed Mother Hen has been keeping a close eye on her charges. None of our previous broods have had the advantage of having a foster mom. This "Production Red" is such a sweetie. She first adopted the little Wyandotte rooster. She ran around and found the tastiest bugs--pointed them out to him and let him gobble them up. Then she would scratch up goodies--do her little cluck call and over he would come to eat her findings. Now the other youngsters are hanging closer, too. It pays! When it's time to go in for the night she nestles in the chick area and protectively spreads her wings over as many as she can. They are getting pretty big so not as many fit anymore.

It's relaxing to just sit and watch their little society. We have a big bushy tree that they gather under and hang out. Some of the older hens are grumpy and there are some territorial squabbles but for the most part everyone gets along.
Our new little crown prince is growing. He is a Wyan- dotte, but he looks like a Barred Rock hen. He is about twice the size of his sisters. I fear he might be the only rooster out of the four we started with since we have lost several to coyotes. The little fellas get bold and go to the edge of the yard which is prime hiding grounds for the predators. I was hoping to have more roosters, and we might, but this is the first one to show signs of development.

It was so blasted hot and humid yesterday that we lost one of our Barred Rock (right) hens (not this one!). The hot temps really take a toll on the older ones and this one in particular had been getting more feeble in the past week.

Don has been ordering new equipment to do some serious coyote trapping and having a dead chicken as prime bait should help.

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