Anecdotes / Chickens

Around the Coop

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The days are short and the flock is slowly recovering from the molt.  Young pullets are coming very slowly to point-of-lay, and I am always hoping for a new layer’s first egg.  Going into the winter, they are getting a regular layer ration and plenty of calcium and high-protein snacks, including black oil sunflower seeds, free-choice.  They continue to range on the remaining grass and spend more and more time in the forest, digging grubs and worms from the leaf-covered soil.  Autumn lingers, and we look forward to the calm of winter ahead.

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The little cockerels roam the property in a rowdy pack.  Only a few cockerels found homes through the poultry sale this season.  I’ll need to rearrange housing or find other outlets for these boys soon.

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Rosie and most of the other girls are finishing up their molt.  I long to see her comb return to a bright, fleshy red and her legs to a bright gold.  Soon after, I will be looking for her eggs!

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These days, Mr. Pink is ruling the roost.  Like any young cockerel, he is nearly abusive to the hens as he refines his treading technique.  We’ll be keeping our eye on him, hoping that he grows into his important role soon.

 

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11 thoughts on “Around the Coop

  1. Once again….beautiful pictures. I am sure Rosie will be back to normal in no time. Mr. Pink is STUNNING!

    My Coronation roo is still pretty “clumsy” in the honeymoon suite (if ya know what I mean…lol). I put my 2 year old Light Sussex hen in with him…..and she is so ticked off that she hasn’t laid an egg since! Just my luck…lol.

    We have had very mild weather so far this cold season…and despite that…I feel like my flock is eating me out of house & home. Of course…my flock is 4 times the size it was this time last year….so….to be expected I suppose.

    Kelley

    • Thanks! Yes, I’ve wondered if his “approach” might be part of the reason for fewer eggs from the older ladies. They may have no patience for such an impertinent young fellow. My flock is twice the size I wanted to have at this point, so I’m right there with you!

      • I have had a set of EXACTLY 3 month old French Black Copper Marans who have started mating since I responded to this post. I can’t believe the cockerels “technique”…..he could teach my Coronation Roo a thing or 2…LOL. Size may have something to do with it though….I can see where a 3 month old 4 lb cockerel can be more “elegant” than a 10 lb nine month old Coro….LOL. 10 lbs is a lot of weight to throw around. I am still shocked at the Marans behavior…..already mounting up & dancing…but not even attempting to crow….ha…

        Makes me wonder if my 2 FBCM pullets will actually start laying before 34 weeks….I seem to have issues with pullets laying late. Like my 7 month old Coronation pullet….STILL not laying! Ugh.

  2. We’ve got our main flock (barred rocks, EE’s, cuckoo marans & welsummers) on commercial layer rations free-feed, plus cooked beans in the morning (about 1 cup per 10 birds) and about an hour before bed we toss a few handfuls of unthreshed wheat heads in their bedding. This, combined with 16 hours of light in their coop has them laying gangbusters. They also get lots of rotational grazing. So far the best winter production we’ve gotten from a flock.

    • Sounds like a good system! I give them extra supplements, but I haven’t made the jump to lighting. I bet they love those warm beans! I rarely give my birds anything warm, just because of timing, but when I do, they love it.

  3. They all look great! Our chickens have finished up their molt and their new feathers are so beautiful. I love when the new feathers are all grown in.

    We have a young rooster who is somewhat abusive to our hens as well. He still hasn’t perfected the technique yet and sort of terrorizes the poor girls. Our older rooster keeps him in line most of the time, though 🙂

    • I love the new feathers, too. Some of my girls are looking fantastic, and one has actually begun laying again, thankfully. Hopefully our young rooster will improve his technique. He’s had a few successful go-arounds, but he needs to learn that dropping a wing and chasing them down does not qualify as courtship!

  4. I have a question. I rescued a rooster from the irresponsible children of our barn and he has since been living as a companion to my horse. A couple of times since he’s been with her, he gets stopped up and can’t void. I put some electrolytes in his water the first time which seemed to help but he’s like that again. Any suggestions as to why and what to do about it?

    • I haven’t had that happen before, and I don’t know why it would except that he is probably eating something that he is not digesting well, like long hay. Like electrolytes, I’ve read that a little black strap molasses in the water can help with constipation. Feeding some yogurt can also help, not so much the sugary kind but something with live cultures. Also, make sure that he is getting a lot of well-chopped fresh greens and maybe add a bit of olive oil. I just looked around the internet a bit and it seems like some are using an oral syringe to feed a little olive oil – or even to give the chicken an olive oil enema. Others recommend a warm bath and an abdominal massage. I’d probably do molasses and chopped greens with olive oil.

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