Look closely at the background.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Here they all are! Peeps batch number two. So far they are all doing well and no (knock on wood) raccoon/hawk/asteroid has gotten to them.
I've tried my hardest not to get too attached to them like the last ones in the event something does happen to them- but I cant help it. They are lovely.
Out of the eight I suspect we have six roosters. Yes six. I've noticed three in particular ( a barred rock, a Buff Orpinton, and what I think is a Cali Leghorn) bumping chest and facing off with one another. They are also the ones to round up all the others and sound off their little alarms. They are a joy to watch.
Momma on the other hand has begun her official molt and has one tail feather left. Just one. The peeps as they get older are losing their fuzz and gaining feathers. I'm really hoping that at least two (aside from what I think may be a rooster) are hen Buff Orpingtons..... I've learned that they are the sweetest.
Next spring we will round up a good twenty or so pullets. This time we will be getting Buff's and Barreds. No more of Rhode Island Reds. I have lost much respect for them in their flock mentality. With space, food and water plentiful, and our entire nine acres to run around they still choose to not only pick on one another- but really beat the crap out of one another. I am left with bald hens who are bullied into not eating, or hiding. Its not just one gal that runs the flock but they all pick. There is no head chicken. One hen happened to get stuck under the fence. As David pulled her out- slightly scratched on her back and a little bloody, the other hens immediately took to pecking at her "wound," to the point of eating her alive. I removed that hen for obvious reasons.
I realize that a rooster or two- or six will help this out, but I am looking forward to seeing what a flock of more Buffs and Barreds will bring. The Buffs have been sweet, gentle, quiet, and good Mommas. If we do end up with six roosters- two will remain with the hens (the Buff Rooster) and the other four will live in the yard. I'm looking forward to seeing that dynamic as well.
Next spring we are also going to get meat chickens. I can't quite tell you how I became ok with it. Maybe it was the loss of respect for the RR that I now have. Maybe it was the phenomenal chicken we ate the other night from a friends flock. Maybe its knowing what my daughter will be eating. But that endeavour will begin next year as well.