I guess I can't count - Dave just informed me we have 37! chickens (not 38)... so I had to quick change this post.
We are now down to 37 chickens. Dave and I were fed up with one of the Buff Orpington roosters because he was constantly attacking all the others. So he lost his head last week (not him in the picture). Turned him into a Beer Can Roast on Saturday night for dinner. Dave didn’t enjoy dinner too much – not because of the taste… because of the guilt. We just might have to find a local Amish farmer who will handle the rest in the fall.
The amazing part was that he was the biggest of the bunch … and weighed less than 4 lbs when fully dressed! If you recall when we butchered the Cornish Cross birds after just 2 months, they were 6 & 7 lbs fully dressed. I guess these still have some growing to do. Some of the roosters are becoming beautiful looking birds. Like this Ancona – the iridescence in his tail is stunning. And he’s not fully grown yet! We’ve known for a while that choosing the one or two roosters to keep would be a tough job. I think we now have it narrowed down to 4 (he is one of them).
We have been letting them out of the run for at least a couple of hours every night. When that door goes open – watch out for the stampede! They love being outside! Charlie leaves them alone … for the most part. When they start hanging around a bit too close for his liking – or they head off in directions they shouldn’t, he becomes a herd dog. Well, not really. He just likes chasing them.
They’re getting braver every day. Some wandered all the way around the house and some have headed towards the neighbor’s yard – but for the most part they’ve stayed within viewing distance of their safety zone. We just need to figure out some type of barrier for the garden. There could be some dead gooses (or chickens) if they attack my vegetables!
See the wonderful corn crop that Dave started? No? Neither do we. I guess we planted too close to the chicken area and it got to be too much of a hassle to shoosh them out constantly. We’ve had to watch the grape vines carefully … and yesterday I caught one reaching up and trying to eat leaves off the plum tree! They love their fresh greens!
We had visitors earlier this week. Our niece Hannah will be attending UW-L in the fall and was here for registration. She had a blast feeding and petting the chickens. I don’t think she wanted to leave! That’s ok – we’ll bring her up to the “farm” this fall and winter for home-cooked meals and then she can collect eggs for us :).