Friday, March 9, 2018

Introducing...and 10 month chicken update

We ordered more chickens y'all.  Because chicken math.  These three, plus the three we already have, technically max out our coop space (depending on whose numbers we choose to believe), but the way chicken math works, we may find ourselves with more than six soon enough.

Hazel ~ Calico Princess
The Calico Princess is a relatively new breed developed in the Czech Republic.  They are fairly hardy, and are prolific layers.  The climate in Czech Republic seems similar to ours, so I think she'll do just fine.  Ours is named Hazel, because of her color, and after a character in one of Bubby's favorite book series.  Hazel will lay large cream colored eggs.

Indigo ~ Sapphire Gem
The Sapphire Gem is also a relatively new hybrid developed in the Czech Republic, and they are prolific layers of brown eggs.  We're naming ours Indigo, for her color, and also because it's a lovely name.  Yes, she will actually be blue/lavender!  Both Hazel and Indigo are sex-linked chickens, which means the male and female chicks are different colors.  Therefore, we know for sure that these two girls are, in fact, girls.

Koko ~ Black Australorp
Our hen Austro was a Black Australorp.  She was so sweet and pretty, and was both Bubby's and my favorite, so we decided to get another one.  Black Australorps are cold-hardy, and are considered to have generally docile dispositions.  Ours is named Koko, which is of Native American Blackfoot origin, and means night.  Koko will lay brown eggs. 

We picked them up from the feed store, and they were peeping away the whole ride home.  Now they're snuggled up under their mama hen heating pad (they've been sleeping a lot), and Bubby is waiting~ sort-of~patiently for them to come out and play.

The other three are still doing well, although I think they're a little tired of being cooped up.  I keep seeing and hearing hawks, though, so I'm not willing to let them out by themselves until we have a secure area for them.

 I have been taking the girls out to a relatively snow-free patch of forest floor for about an hour at a time, and they've enjoyed scratching in some new ground.  They've found a few pieces of still-green grass, and some bugs.  Esther still likes to hop up on my knee, and she was eyeing my head the other day.

 Toasty is laying 6-7 eggs per week, and Rocky has ramped up production to 5-7 eggs per week.  Still nothing from Esther, but she is definitely submissively squatting, and her comb and face are red, so it should be any day now.  Hubby joked that maybe she'd lay her first egg on Easter.  We'll see.

Toasty Crunch
To combat boredom in the coop, I made some chicken toys out of peanut butter jars (once again, my obsessive saving of empty containers pays off).  I poked two holes, about 3/4 cm in diameter, on opposite sides, near the tops of the peanut butter jars.  Then I put sunflower seeds in the jars and affixed the lids.  The girls peck and scratch at the jars, and as the jars roll, the seeds drop out of the holes.  Poor Esther is still at the bottom of the pecking order, so she doesn't often get to play with the toys--the other two chase her off.  I tell Esther to stand up for herself, but so far she hasn't.  Maybe she'll have more confidence when she starts laying.

Speaking of boredom, my friend Bert recently sent the girls a xylophone to play, because their lives were dreary and meaningless without music (thanks again, Bert!).  Hopefully we'll be able to get that, along with the chicken grit and oyster shell dispensers, installed in the coop soon.

I think that's all for now; I'm off to tend to sit-and-watch-for-hours the babies.

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