Wednesday, September 8, 2010

5 Months and Loving It

It's only been 5 months but it feels like I've had chickens forever.  Sometimes I get asked if I'm liking my chickens.  My answer is:  I'm loving them.
I went out and took pictures today.
Buckeye pullet.  This girl is wonderful.  She is larger than the other buckeye pullet.  I think she is sister to the huge male I have.  She is a watchdog and very protective of the other birds.  I have seen her chase the cat away after she lets him take a drink.  She also thought the sandbox was a chicken thing and tried to chase the kids away.  I corrected her.  She lays me an egg every couple of days.
Up close and personal.  She is an interesting bird.
The little Buckeye pullet.  She gets picked on a bit but not too bad.  I tend to watch over her somewhat.  She lays me an egg almost everyday.
There she is again.  She tends to stay fairly close to the larger buckeye pullet, who is quite protective.

This is Rosie.  Yes, she has a name.  At this point she is the only one who has a name and we are trying to keep it that way.  The reason she has a name is that she was the first one to fly over the fence and wander the yard around the house all day.  She was also the first one to lay an egg.  She laid an egg a day for several days before the others began to lay.  She acts differently than the others.  Much more inquisitive about us and extremely friendly.  She will hang out on the deck and run to me when I call her name.  She is a self-made pet.  She will probably get to live to a ripe old age as long as she can stay away from predators.
This is a picture of the inside where the nesting boxes are.
Ok, so I told her there was a box two doors down.  But she insists that this is the box for her and if her sister doesn't like it she can jolly well move.
Mark built a barn for his boat.  Rosie the white hen decided it was the best place for her to lay her eggs.  She would go behind the door and lay so I put some straw there.  She did this until something scared her and now she lays in the coop with the other girls.
He also installed a fan in the side of the coop for those hot windless days.  Painted it for winter and insulated the roof.  It looks much better.
He also made a gate for the boys pen.  It is completely movable.  I would like to take the fence down before winter.  The gate could stay there I suppose.  Might look unique.
No matter what the weather they do not go in the shelter, they sit on top.

Here is my big buckeye.

Roosters don't take much at all.  Food, water, grit and plenty of foraging space.  They have there own thing going on.

They do like it when you take an unneccessary trip back there to see them.  But don't bring the net or you won't see them.  They know what that is.  I never go in there pen without a short stick or broom.  They are curious but also defensive.  I keep control that way.  Never use it but just the idea of it keeps them respectful.

This is a fine looking buckeye for 5 1/2 months old.
Here are the two darker ones.  They are the same age just smaller and slower growing.

They look perfect to me.  I'm not seeing red in the eyes but the golden color is getting darker.  So maybe it's gets more red the older they get.

Serious looking bird.
There aren't as many WPR roosters as there were.
Only a few left.  This is what happens to roosters.  They get to grow, have fun, enjoy the life they have.  Be as natural as possible and then they get harvested.  And we are so thankful.

This is another view of the shelter.  They sit up there and keep an eye on the hens and there surroundings.  They can fly right out of there, but don't like getting caught so they mostly stay in.  The ones who wouldn't stay in are in the freezer.

I just love looking at these birds. 
Maybe you do too. 
So here's another picture.

So we've had very little rain since the first part of July and a lot of very hot days.  The pullets have used up there yard and since they are laying eggs now and I'm bragging that the eggs are better because they eat grass, I started feeling bad for them.  My blog is called "Chickens in my yard" after all and there's plenty of grass there for all.  So I opened the gate and let them all out.  Here's what happened.
Chickens everywhere.
They love the playcenter and the sandbox.

They were so happy.

In the ferns.
He gave them some bread.  Now they are friends for life.

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