Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Green Eggs, Anyone?

Well, it's been awhile since I've written about our chickens. For those of you who enjoy these updates, read on. For those of you who could care less, I'm sorry. Check back in a few days and I'm sure I will have written about something other than chickens. Probably.

While we were away over the holidays, our neighbors used our house for guests and kept watch over Somersault and our flock. I had warned them that our newest flock was coming up on five months of age and could start laying soon. This included our Americanas, the breed that lays eggs in shades that range from green to blue. Sure enough, when we got home, this is what we found in our fridge left by our neighbors.

Also, Jamey made some changes in the chicken house. He rigged up a heat lamp over their water to keep it from freezing so our neighbors wouldn't have to lug water into the chicken house every day. When we got home, he rigged up (he's good at rigging) a light with a timer in the roost to extend their daylight hours. Chickens lay less in the winter because the days are shorter. Our original flock was laying even less than that lately because the girls were molting. Prior to the light in the roost (and the newer flock starting to lay), we were getting only a few eggs a day.

After the FIRST night with the light, we collected 11 (yes, eleven) eggs in one day. Holy eggs. Needless to say, we have started supplying a couple families with eggs again (in addition to our own).

Here is one of the lovely ladies responsible for our gray-green eggs. She's fleeing from me. This newer flock runs away from us. They haven't caught on to the fact that we feed them yummy scraps. It's funny to watch- when I head outside with scraps, the newer flock runs away and the older ones run toward me. I wonder how long it will take them to learn....

The chicken company really messed up our last order. They got our Americanas right, but instead of the Silver-laced Wyandottes, they sent us Golden-laced Wyandottes. That's okay, our original flock are Golden-laced, but we wanted a variety. Also, we ordered only hens. They sent us two roosters- one Wyandotte and this young feller...we aren't sure what he is, but he's very pretty. If you have an idea of what he may be, please let me know. He, too, is afraid if me, so I had trouble getting close for a picture. We feel kind of sorry him. The other roosters bully him a bit, so he ends up flying over the fence to get away and Jamey has to chase him through fields, cow pastures and even some woods to get him back in. Okay, I feel a bit sorry for Jamey, too. If I see he's out, he stays out. My chasing chicken days are over, at least until the baby is out.

Here is our original flock- Marv, the rooster, and hens. As you can see, Marv and one of the girls are in the garden. Don't worry, they are allowed. We let them in to fertilize the soil and stir up and in the straw we've put down.

Here's the extra Wyandotte rooster (not quite as pretty as Marv yet). Well, one of them. As I told you, the chicken company sent us one by mistake. We've adopted another (they are impossible for me to tell them apart) from some friends who said he was chasing their kids. He's fenced in here and has caused no trouble, so he'll stay with us until our next harvest day.

Well, I guess that's the scoop. Everyone seems to be behaving well enough. They all roost together at night even though during the day they seem to form two distinct families with a rooster heading each one. Then, there are the two bachelors who seem to be on the outs most of the time. I guess the two roosters with 'families' don't appreciate when the bachelors try to get a little nookie from their girls.

The next thing I'm watching for is to see if our original hens (2 years old this spring) will turn broody and set on their eggs. My hope is that they hatch babies when I do. Well, except I'm only hatching one. But I'm just fine with that. Pin It


  1. These eggs and gorgeous! I can't WAIT to have my own chickens...!

    Thanks for the sweet comment over at my blog...it's good to be back in the swing of things!

  2. I don't know what your new rooster is but he sure is beautiful!

  3. I think he is a salmon favorelle but it is hard to see him. Does he have 5 toes?


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