Nixie Knox says, what’s all that racket?
As of Wednesday, 3 June, our household has 74 feathered creatures. The tally: 50 day-old chicks (40 meat/10 egg), 5 teenaged bantams, 3 teenaged egg-laying chickens, 7 egg-laying chickens of various ages, 3 guineas, 3 turkeys, and 3 geese, with Mother Goose sitting on 10 eggs which are probably duds.
That is a LOT of poultry, people!
Chicken Patty, doing time in solitary confinement
The grand experiment for the day? Chicken Patty has gone broody again (!!) so I put her on a nest in a dog kennel and then stuck a chick under her last night. Shhh. It appears to be working! Another chick tonight…
Baby Goose is called Jeffrey (from Charlotte’s Web of course), though it’ll be a long time before we figure out if he’s really a he. This gosling was hatched out by our ever-patient turkey hen Ruby on Mother’s Day. She ignored him as she had her own little baby to tend to, so he went right in with his parents the same day. Considering Yoli (Yolanda, the goose) was sitting, I figured Mel the gander would either attack him or would care for him: let’s just say that hanging out with Dad all day has been great for Jeffrey. He’s HUGE. Mel’s done a great job.
Ruby and baby, quite happy in the meadow
Baby Turkey has no name other than Thanksgiving Dinner. S/he is doing so well with Ruby. Ruby flew into the pen with the geese and our tom turkey Earl a couple of days back so they’re all happy together in there. In general, parent-raised poultry is the best thing ever. They may be shy of people but I swear their brains and their bodies grow much better this way.
The bantams. Ah, the bantams! I have three roosters of the 5 birds, and I have no idea: they could ALL be male. Sigh. They moved in with The Big Girls about a week ago. The guineas hate them, but they’re too fast for even the guineas to peck. The three are trying to crow but it sounds like a bunch of chicks with headcolds.
The three egg-laying chicks used to be four, but we lost one, one of the two Buff Orpingtons. I have had the remaining three spend their days in the garden and greenhouses, nights in the temporary coop. Living in a little temporary coop all day makes them stupid, I think: letting them out and dealing with what little damage they do out there is fine as a half-step (kind of like finishing school) before life with the Big Girls. They’ve learned to forage, scratch, and get dust-baths, all without fearing for their lives. They move from the temporary coop to life in Gen Pop on Friday.
And the fifty peeping babies. Sigh, babies! With luck this will be the absolute last year I have to order chicks. (With luck, crossing fingers, burning sage, doing a voodoo dance, etc.)
Verloe says, come join my flock!