I may live in the city, but my heart is in the country.
This blog is about my day-to-day adventures with my chickens and my family.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pros and Cons of Having a Rooster

Well we are excited to have a Rooster, because of the possibility of having baby chicks. Blackie is a special breed, so it will be exciting to see the mixed breeds that will come from him mating with our flock.

In a matter of days we went from 4 laying hens, to 2 layers and a rooster. I was planning on selling a dozen eggs here and there, as it would take about 2-3 days to get a dozen from 4 hens. But since we are down to 2 egg layers, we will consume 2 eggs a day no problem. I would have to save 4-5 days worth of eggs to get a dozen, and that would be hard to resist.

Plus roosters are great bug catchers. The hens are already good bug peckers, but roosters are known for their bug catching eye sight. Also even though Blackie is the smallest of the flock, he will still try to protect the flock from predators and danger.

That would be a sight to see!

Now here is the down side of this all, having a rooster means it crows especially in the morning. So Blackie has been crowing at 6:10 every morning, so that means my days of sleeping in is over, because the chicken coop is right outside my window. So I hear it every morning. I will not be needing an alarm clock any more, unless I need to get up before dawn.

Never a Dull Moment Around Here

Which news should I say first, the good or the bad?

Well, let's get the bad news over with.

I'm sorry to announce that Sunshine has died. We are going to assume natural causes because she had no outward signs of trauma, no blood, when chickens see red on another bird, they can't help but peck, and in some cases "picked to death" is a real deal.

She was found Saturday morning yesterday the 14th of July. She was on her side stiff and cold.

Mr Almond, my dad and the morning hen releaser, (he opens their door before I get up in the morning) found her and took care of her.

Since sunshine was always a part of our flock, I have a few pics of her.

Here she is about 2 weeks old, yellow with her baby feathers. She was named sunshine because of her yellow feathers, Ava did not understand that she being a leghorn, she will grow up to be all white.

So fluffy, the typical picture of a chick you see in children's books.

Sunshine, rarely would join in with the flock. When I would put food down, Sunshine would be last to come over and peck at it. Then she would not stick around to enjoy it. A few pecks here and there and then she was off to check out the yard.

Each chicken has their own personality.

This is the last picture I have of her taken on 7-7-12.

And the good news is.............

Blackie is a ROOSTER!!

We have been hearing odd noises coming from our back yard for the past couple of days, not sure if it was a cockle-doodle-do because honestly it sounded more like a throat clearing. Then we thought it was Rainbow, the Lavender Bantam Cochin, because we were told it was not sexed, and we had a 50/50 chance of getting a Rooster. So we kept looking at Rainbow, which showed no signed of being a Rooster.

The hatchery, and many many chicken websites online said that within 6 weeks you will know if you have a rooster in your flock because at 6 weeks of age they start crowing. So 6 weeks came and went no crowing.

So here were are 4 months later and we start hearing half crowing, coming from someone in the flock.

About 10 minutes after Mr Almond found sunshine dead, I heard it an official cockle-doodle-do, and I went outside to see it was..... BLACKIE!!! I nearly fell over in surprise.

Blackie is the smallest in our flock, maybe 5 lbs, belting out the smallest crow I have ever heard. I took him right inside where it was still dark in the house, and put him in bed with me. (With a towel of course, no poop in my bed). He settled right down, and went to sleep with me until almost 10 am, where I took Him outside and for the rest of the day I only heard about 4 more crows.

Now if you have ever been to Kauai, Hawaii, you will have no doubt how a rooster sounds because while you are on the island, a rooster crows every 10 seconds. The island is covered in chickens and roosters, they are at the mall, the beach, in the roads, at your resort, everywhere.

So we were all in surprise when we discovered it was Blackie who was crowing.

See the tail feathers, and the chest feathers, yep Blackie is a rooster.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

They escaped!

I was watching tv this afternoon and I heard some squawking going on and then silence. Like children when your girls get really quiet, you know they are up to some thing...

So I have my back door open and I can see my patio from the couch and this is what I saw:

So I walked outside to see what they were up to and these pictures is what followed...

And then I was able to help all of them back into their run, and fix the fence.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Grapes & Figs

The grapes are getting sweeter by the day.

Chicken Aromatherapy?

So I was reading on another blog about Chicken Aromatherapy and since I had to clean out the coop today, I thought I would try it out.

It mentioned about using herbs and rose petals. I have rose petals, herbs on the other hand, I don't have much to give to the girls, since I am in the process of starting my herb garden. So they get purple sage for now.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blackie the Fashion Chicken

So I got invited to Fashion Island Mall yesterday and I thought wouldn't it be cool to take Blackie with me? One problem, I have not bought her diaper/leash yet.... so what am I going to do? After driving around to our feed store, and a few other places. I went to Pet Co and bought a ferret harness and leash.

and let me tell you it was so cute to see a chicken with a leash on.

So we (Ava, Blackie, and I) went to Fashion Island and we were the talk of the mall. (I'm sure of it) Many people stopped me to ask what breed of dog I was holding.... and the looks on their faces when I explained I was holding a chicken and not a dog was priceless.

Dinner on the 4th

Nothing too exciting going on at my house.

My girls do not like the loud firecracker things going off.

They keep hiding in their coop, or under one of the jade succulent trees.

But I made a dinner of champions for me.... see below:

Fried egg open sandwich, blueberry mint leather (homemade by me - in my new dehydrator) and fresh cherries.

Then I still felt hungry so round 2

Another fried egg open faced sandwich with ham, cheese and fresh purple basil.