Monday, March 2, 2009

Wing Clippin' Update and Other Chicken News

Well. Clipping one wing wasn't very effective. The chickens continue to fly over into the garden and into our yard. We have some garlic planted and coming up in the garden, but Jamey has constructed a mini greenhouse-type thing to keep the garlic protected from the chickens and to make a sheltered space for early lettuces and spinach.

Chickens in the chicken run. They thought I was bringing them scraps.

I can't wait for greens again. The first spring salad is amazing- not just because it's fresh and young (we can never wait very long), but because we haven't had salad greens all winter. No, this isn't torture. I'd prefer to call it patience.

Back to the chickens. For now, they'll remain the way the are, but before other seeds and plants go into the garden, there will be another session of wing clipping. Between that and the fact that there will be tender green plants sprouting about in couple months for the chickens to munch on, we are hoping they won't want to scratch in the garden anymore.

Isn't she pretty?

In other chicken news, about a week ago, Jamey found one of our roosters (not Marv, don't worry) near dead in the chicken run. It appeared that something went after him as his head was bloodied. After speaking with chicken-wise friends, we are concluding that it was one of the other three roosters who did him in.

Jamey has noticed the roosters being more territorial with each other. He recently witnessed three of the roosters mate with the same hen one right after the other. So, between wanting to spare these hens all the rooster drama and to keep the roosters from killing each other, WE'RE going to harvest them. What's the difference? Well, since we didn't witness this first rooster being killed by another rooster, we felt it best not to eat it. But, if WE take control of the harvesting, we can do it properly and without allowing the roosters unnecessary pain.

So, just this morning, Jamey harvested the other two roosters leaving Marv king of the roost once again.

And, by the way, we have a hen that has been setting on her eggs for 5 or 6 days now. Could it be? Will she stay broody and hatch us some chicks?? I almost don't want to think about it for fear of being disappointed. I will keep you posted on her mothering.
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  1. Hey there. Finally checked your blog after reading MamaM's: very nice! Sounds like your roosters are under the influence of spring, like mine. We have a mama and 4 chicks at the moment, but it took some managing to make the clutch hatch. Once one gets the broody bug, it's contagious, we find. It helps to dust the mama (I use diatomaceous earth/pyrethrin powder) since she won't be dusting herself and the mites & lice seem to take hold very quickly. I think you'll like this:
    The woman's my hero.

  2. MAC,
    Thanks so much!! This is an excellent site and has given us some ideas of what to do differently than we were planning. Thanks, again!!

  3. Very pretty ladies, those GL Wyandottes. May I ask how you'll prepare these cockerels? I'm guessing they'll be a little tough: coq au vin? I've got two I need to get rid of... -MAC

  4. This is the second time we've harvested non-meat bird cockerels. We skin them right away- we're not big fans of eating the skin. We made the mistake of trying to roast one the first time and it was way too tough. I'm going to cook them in the crock pot- slow, all day, with a cup of water.

    We decided to move our broody hen to her own special place tonight. And, Jamey ran out and bought diatomaceous earth today to dust her with. We're keeping out fingers crossed:-).


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