May 07 Reblogged
Contemplating his existence.
Frizzle Rooster, love the wild hairdo! Whimsical.
The things no one tells you about chicken keeping, I used to have a nicely landscaped yard, now I have pots half filled with dirt and half filled with chickens rolling in the dirt.
The hen on the left is a Black Sex Link / Black Comet. The rooster in the planter is a Black Australorp. He’s romping in the planter with on the the Danish Brown Leghorn hens - who unfortunately you can’t see her as she’s laying on her back with her back with her feet up in the air.
EASTER EGGER ROO
I had newly hatched chicks when I went past the feed store and they had a kiosk of chicks out front. I was waiting for the hay/feed guy to bring out my order when I decided to splurge on a few chicks as well. I favor Easter Eggers as they look like a hawk-like version of just about anoy other breed, and they lay colored eggs - blue, green or pink.
I’d started chosing chicks when the guy finished loading my car. He came over and chose this chick. It was mostly white and I thought it would grow up to be boring to look at. I also thought it would be a hen, since they were only selling hen chicks. So, not so much.
He’s beautiful, prettier than this photo shows and has a lovely rose comb. All of his dark feathers are iridescent and he has a LOT of color on the rest of his body. I’m curious to see what his progeny will look like, and they will likely lay colored eggs depending on the hen.
Sure, he not what I expected, he’s exceeded that already. I was at the feed store today and I thanked the guy who chose him for me.
Predator attacks my NANKINS (Natural Bantam) RIP LITTLE ONE
Nankins (with a Standard Breed Black Cochin) in the front Pen
So last night the cock crowed three times and I found myself each time running down the stairs and out to the front pen. Each time the birds seemed fine. There were no predators, and no sign of entrance. It was very puzzling. This morning the birds were all freaked out. I did a head count, all were present. When I was feeding I noticed a LOT of feathers outside the pen. I went back and did another head count.
Then, I noticed a big clump of feathers outside the pen. Upon closer inspection, it contained bone shards, some tissue and the lead wing feathers. I went back in and noticed one rooster staying a bit far away. I checked all of the others and they were fine. I lured him out with cantaloupe and brought him into the house. The predator pulled hard enough to deform the chain link, trying to pull him through, but only managed to pull the chicken’s wing through the bars and ripped part of it off.
The rooster is amazingly spry for having undergone such a serious ordeal, and is likely a lot of pain. Imagine that someone ripped off your arm at the elbow. When I brought him into the holding pen, and put him with a hen with an sore eye, he immediately started courting her. Roosters, sheesh!
I’ve sterilized the wound, and wrapped it as best I could but I’m not sure that he will survive. Bummer.
I had to kill the maimed rooster. Upon closer inspection the bone was exposed, and the gaping wound was not one that I could stitch closed. I can’t imagine the pain that he was in. I’m not sure how his quality of life would be if he survived. He wouldn’t be able to fly, to mount a hen, to protect his flock. Having fallen from his lead position within the flock and may have been picked on. I held him for an hour beforehand. And I cried afterward. It’s still a soul, it’s still a life.
POST COYOTE VISIT
A coyote and I just had a standoff at the front chicken pen. It didn’t take me seriously until it noticed that I was carrying a gun. Then it bolted. Lucky that those little birds, make a racket and got my attention.
You can tell by the photo that they are over the attack and have returned to foraging. Only the Nankin Roo far right seems at all concerned.
The front pen is my most vulnerable. It’s an 8x12’ chain link dog run that has a Mickey Moused tension wire and chicken wire roof with a tarp thrown over it. It’s in an unfenced area, though set up 4 feet off the street. For well over a year now, no predator has gotten in, I don’t say that with pride as much as with surprise, and delight.
Currently residents are six Nankin bantams and one standard Cochin (shown above), as well as the Mama Silver-Laced Wyandotte hen with her brood of eight two-week old chicks - they are enclosed in a coop.
By the way, the coyote was gorgeous, with a beautiful coat, and I only use the gun to scare them off.
Supposed to be a pullet
When I was choosing Ameracauna [hen] chicks at the feed store, the man working at the store got involved. He was all excited about the color of this chick. I didn’t have Ameracaunas that were not golden/black in color so I thought what the heck, and took it. While I was away, it was here on the farm maturing enough to show it’s true colors. It’s a pretty bird yes, but it’s not a hen, he’s a rooster.*
*Roosters are raining down on me from the heavens…oh my!
This is my smallest rooster, a Nankin. This is an unommon breed today, but it’s an old breed, likely originating in China and popular in Europe as far back as the 16th century.
These are little birds about the size of a blue jay…maybe 9 or 10 inches long by 7 or 8 inches tall. For chickens they have unusually large wings relative to their body weight so they can fly well and from an early age, but they aren’t flighty by nature. As it is naturally a tiny breed, some say the smallest, many popular bantam breeds were created by breeding down a standard size chicken with a Nankin.
I bought this breed because they are frequently broody and will brood quail eggs. I keep quail. Win-win.
I am surprised however, what a joy these little guys have turned out to be. As chicks they are TINY, all yellow each with a black dot on the top of their head. Grown the hens are a buff color with black wing tips, the roosters a rich caramel color with black /irridescent green sickles on their tail.They have odd slate legs with white toe nails…looks like a woman wearing blue stockings and white shoes.
The hens are a little reserved, but the roosters do this little happy dance whenever I come out to feed or visit them and they are surprisingly friendly, trusting birds. I let them out to run around while I clean the cage or am feeding and they never go far and key to this — recapturing them is easy. I can’t leave them out as the cats will kill them.
I came out into the yard this evening to give the chickens a treat and noticed that the Leghorn Rooster, the one I call Beauty, was falling all over the place. Then I noticed that he had something some kind of string caught around his legs. He still hopped pretty well and it took me a bit to catch him, but once I did he relaxed in my arms and let me bring him in the house, where I could get a better look.
The string was about three feet long and completely fouled around of his legs. It was starting to cut off his circulation. There was some swelling which made it harder to remove. He seemed to realize that I was trying to help him, and didn’t fight me at all as I worked slowly to free of his legs. It was really slow work with one hand, a paring knife and a pair of scissors, but I finally got both legs free.
Afterward he sat on my lap for awhile, but he’s a nervous guy and started to get agitated, so I brought him out to the flock again. I watched him, and he seemed to be walking fine and not in a great deal of pain. I just checked on him and he on his regular perch balanced at the highest spot - atop the wooden coop inside the greenhouse. Disaster averted I’m hoping.
I am a little anxious what will happen to the flock while I’m traveling, but there nothing I can do about that. It will be in the house sitter’s hands and I have to trust that he’ll do his best to keep everyone alive. :)
DANISH BROWN LEGHORN Rooster @12 weeks
This is the only rooster I’ve ever intentionally purchased. He’s got so much color coming out and his gorgeous but is so very, very flighty. I don’t know if he’ll ever calm down. He runs around the pen shrieking if he finds himself stuck in a corner, or if there’s another bird in his way, or if something moves suddenly and startles him. Argh! Plus he steps on the other birds and is starting to pull feathers even though he gets plenty of protein in his diet. I think I’m going to give the other birds a break and move him, along with his 5 hens into another pen where they can live in their normal state — panic mode.