Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's that crazy chook lady again.....!

About time for a chooky update I think, it has been a loooong time!

So .... the cute little balls of fluff all grew up, made it outside to reside in the chook pen with our existing 5 girls, and after a little bit of chasing and pecking, everyone knows their place and is happy! We currently still have all of them with us. I did have 2 friends lined up to buy some around Christmas time,  but both fell through for different (and genuine) reasons. Really I didn't mind either, as I wanted to watch them all grow, and it took us quite a while to judge the girls from the boys.

Finding a comfy seat - age 9 weeks

Of the 13 chicks, 7 are Australorps and 6 are Rhode Island Reds.

Australorp pullet (hen) 15 weeks

RIR pullet - 15 weeks

Of the 7 Australorps - we have 3 hens and 4 roosters (average odds)
Of the 6 RIR's - we have 4 hens and just 2 roosters (better odds!)

It doesn't take a maths genius then to work out that we have a cockadoodle-doodly total of SIX ROOSTERS with us at present ..... OMG! Luckily they all seem to get along fine, with no macho fighting displays as yet.

And since we are talking crazy numbers, the grand total now in the pen- old and new, guys and dolls- is a whopping 18 chooks!!! I think I am a very strong candidate for crazy-chook-lady of the mountains :-)

....and quite a few out of shot.....!

The young ones are 15 weeks old today. Which means the cockerals will start probably start crowing in the next few weeks and officially become roosters. Obviously we can't keep 6 roosters, but I am glad we have kept them this long. We are planning on keeping one, and have a firm favourite of the Australorps. He is a very handsome young chook, the biggest of the bunch with stunning feathers and a lovely temperament. He will sit quite happily on our laps or in arms for a pat as long as we want, as the others will too. 

'No. 1' rooster guarding one of his ladies from the camera!

"and look, I can do comical feather stuff too!"

But the RIR boys are lovely too! They are very happy to be picked up and handled and I don't really want to say goodbye to them. I would like to keep one but 2 roosters is probably too many for the 12 hens we will have. It would mean that we could breed both Australorps and RIR's in future years though......

One of the 2 (identical) RIR roosters, getting his lovely feathers in

Clearly I am not good at culling (!) and we are still deciding exactly who to sell. The roosters will probably have to go soon, especially if they start crowing. I might sell 2 to3 of the hens, or perhaps a hen and rooster as a breeding pair. They are good stock lines so it may be an option.

Speaking of options, we are considering if we can't sell the roosters that we may 'dispatch and process' them ourselves. Not a option we like of course, and we haven't done this before, but if no-one wants to buy them for breeding and they are going to end up in a pot, it may as well be our pot! Hens will always find a home of course, seems a little unfair doesn't it?

POT??? Is that why we're lining up??!!

No 2 black roo - how could anyone not want this handsome creature?!!

You may have realised from the photo captions that we have NOT named this hatch lot yet. It has been a long time but it has worked to lessen our attachment to individual chooks, so when selling/culling time comes it should be less emotional.
In theory.

BTW - do you remember I had to splint one of our chicks legs? I am happy to report the band-aid splint worked perfectly and just a week afterwards I had lost track of which chick it was! So it is now one of our healthy happy chooks with no leg problems :-)

Anyway, I will leave you with a couple more photos from today.

Miss A feeding the hungry beaks

3 girls having a rest :-)