Posts Tagged rooster

Flocking is NOT for the Faint

These are some of our pretties.
The colorful one is our rooster, Frenchie.

The title says it all.

It could also have read: Chickens are not known for their brains.

When I was growing up our interaction with livestock was reduced to cats and dogs. We lived in urban areas and visited relatives on their respective farms. My husband had similar experiences except he participated in 4H and kept chickens as a kid.

We moved to the country a while back and the property we purchased came with chickens, a game hen (noisy bastard), and two cats. It was a package deal and I wanted the house so we agreed. Actually I thought the chickens would be fun.

Silly me.

Two eggs from the same chicken.
Size matters, eh?

I love farm fresh eggs. I love that they come in a variety of colors because we have lots of different breeds. Chickens are hilarious to watch because they’ll try to eat anything. Sharks bite things to discover if they’re tasty and worth eating – chickens are pretty much the same way. It’s absolutely hilarious to watch them try to eyeball something because they hop around with one eye focused at the ground.

They have no common sense. None. No logic skills whatsoever. Maybe mine are just helplessly stupid…I dunno. They do have a wonderful sense of discovery. They can “discover” the same thing every day of their lives. Need an example?

OMG! Food…there’s food everywhere!
(this is the feeding trough)
 
OMG! A nice place to sit if I could shove my sister onto the floor!
(this is the roost)
 
OMG! Look at those excellent cubbies in which to snuggle!
(these are the nesting boxes)
 
OMG! Bright shiny…so warm!
(the sun)

OMG! It’s soooo dark!
(nighttime)

And yes, it’s true, everything a chicken thinks and says is punctuated with exclamation points.

OMG! Everything?!

We have eggs in a wide range of pinks,
blues, and greens, as well as every shade
of beige from almost white to mahogany. 

They love to eat leftover scraps, clear the yard of insects, eat dandelions, chase the cats, follow deer, and peck at gopher holes. Our rooster in particular, has a wonderful disposition and can somehow stay two inches ahead of our son no matter what. It’s great fun to watch them playing tag in the yard. The chickens also provide an abundance of fresh eggs and are always happy cheerful little feathery busybodies.

I’d really miss them if they were gone.

They require maintenance and can be prone to health problems, practically offer themselves up as sacrificial treats to predators, and two dozen can eat a prodigious amount of feed. Of course we don’t need two dozen, but I refuse to get rid of them when their egg production wanes. On the whole, we spend a lot more money on eggs than if we just bought them in a store, but the birds give us back so much more.

Cuckoo Maran peep.
She’ll lay chocolate brown eggs.

Our next step is to try hatching some eggs in an incubator. I know…it’s easier to let the chickens do it, but really, if we wait for them to sit on the same nest for a month – it’ll never happen. Besides, the experience will be fun for the Wee Beast – which is the excuse I need to spend the money on the equipment.

Have any chicken stories to share? Did you know most cities allow hens (no roosters – too noisy) so you can keep a backyard flock most places? You can get peeps at one day old and raise them yourself….it’s fun. Think about it!

Tags: urban chickens, backyard flock, poultry, family chicken, dinner in the yard, fresh eggs, Easter egg chickens, americauna, aricauna, cuckoo maran, rhode island red, jersey giant, welsumer, barred rock, peeps

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