Friday, September 2, 2016

Where has the time gone?

Earlier this summer we hatched about 19 eggs. (Same old story - broody hen snatches up all the eggs and it's too hot and too long of her sitting on them to eat but we need to make her stop and we're left with 10+ eggs that wee need to do something with so we incubate them.)

Chicks hatching (seems like an eternity ago)

Chicks in brooder box...and we had some of the cutest ones!

Pullets and Cockerels running around
At stage 3, when we moved them to the little hen house, we hit our first snags. At first we only let them out with supervision, but as they grew we felt like they need more time to roam and graze. So we began letting them out more. And they started disappearing. No feathers, no mess. Just no birds. One day it would be one short. The next day two. Then one day the birds were inside acting terrified. Not long after we left them locked up and came outside to see a hawk sitting outside the door staring in...trying to figure out how to get one. We lost 10 teenagers during this time. The last one we lost, I came outside and startled the hawk. The teenagers were too big at that point for the hawk to leave with it, so it had to abandon it's dead prey. As far as I know, that was the last one we lost.

Freckles has done exceptionally well with the birds running all around her. She's wanted to chase one or two, but hasn't. She has tried to stop the rooster from attacking a hen. I yelled at both of them and they both backed down, or we might have had a very bad fight on our hands. And last week started the process of integrating the two flocks. They've not merged yet, but each night has been a little easier of getting the young adults into the big pen. I don't think they've slept in the large hen house yet, but they are going inside to eat some. It's a start.

Unfortunately I think the majority of our remaining young birds are roosters. I'm not sure what we'll do with them yet. I laughingly told Bobby last night I'd love to get a bunch of hens for each one of them, but we don't need that many birds, nor do I want to feed that many birds. We'll deal with that in a few months...unless some of you readers want a Roo to start your own flock?

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