Sunday, July 10, 2016

New Chicks and Uh-oh . . .

Last fall, after giving our hens another year to start laying more, when they didn't, we decided to give them up to a local family, who's raising them on their farm. We're told that one of the Buff Orpingtons has turned out to be a good little mother hen, sitting on eggs that later hatched. That makes me happy.

On Easter Sunday this year, we got new chicks, eight of them again. Two Black Australorps, two Americaunas, one Buff Orpington, one Leghorn, one Rhode Island Red, and one ISA Brown. I just wanted a variety.

We took two of the grandkids with us to Rural King, which is where we got our last ones. We had great success with them, with virtually no problems, and we're hoping that will be the case with these too.

I thought the chicks looked older when we got them and I questioned the sales associate. She assured me they were just a few days old, that they'd just gotten them in.


The first clue was that several of them were quick to use their wings to jump up on the side of the container we started them out in. Within the week, they were hopping up there. Time to put them in the coop.

Owl, the white Leghorn on the lower left, was larger right from the start.

And then one of the Black Australorps started crowing. Crow. Ing.

When my husband first told me, I just went into denial. I researched to see if hens ever crowed. Oh yes they do! Yay for crowing hens!  With no signs of spurs growing on their legs, I remained hopeful. The Australorp kept crowing.

This photo, when posted to Facebook, yielded a number of opinions as to whether
or not one of them (or possibly both) was a rooster.

The Australorp grew beautiful iridescent tail feathers. My hope was fading.

And then I heard a crow IN STEREO.

Nooooooooooo...  NO ROOS.

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So now what do we do with two roosters, who most assuredly will not lay eggs? We could eat them, but there's no way I'm going to butcher them. And no one wants roosters. Do they? I wouldn't mind having one, just for the novelty of it, because I actually do love hearing them crow. But not two.

We didn't get them for pets, we got them for eggs. Feeding two roosters who will not hold up our end of the bargain just doesn't work. Doesn't SOMEONE want a rooster? Or two? They're really quite handsome.

The one thing that saved the day that we discovered we had two roosters was this:

Owl, the Leghorn, was the first to lay an egg! How do we know it was her?
She's the only white-egg layer we have.

I just KNEW those chicks were older...


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hope you can find a good home for your roosters. What a disappointment to have them feather out to roosters.

RobinL said...

Dumb question, but don't you NEED at least one rooster to get eggs?

Kylee Baumle said...

Robin ~ No question is dumb, Robin! And your question is a VERY common one. No, a hen lays an egg almost daily, just like women "lay" an egg monthly, both without any help from males. ;-)

Nicole said...

When I lived in Kansas, I had 24 Black Austalorp hens and just loved them. They are great egg layers and are called the timid chicken-they never peck at you and when trying to corral them back to the coop when storms were coming, they would stop and drop-very easy to carry. They have great temperments!

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