Boys Will Be Boys
Remember this photo from a few weeks back?
Well, not only did Tony (on the far right) turn out to be a rooster, but Brittany became Brett, and Daisy Mae became Davy Crockett. Don’t ask me where I come up with these crazy names, they just pop into my head randomly!
These young roosters are becoming quite obnoxious, harassing all the poor ladies, young and old. Mostly Cleo, who is not even ready to start laying yet, but they are trying to “practice” on the two oldest ladies as well! Often, other ladies or rooster Charlie will get involved and chase them off, or we have to do it.
I do now remember that Charles was annoying when he was young too, and eventually he settled down. However, at this point we probably do not have enough ladies to support this many roosters, though we are trying to give them some time before we decide that the two younger ones may have to move out. While Tony is obnoxious too, he is quite friendly with us, and since he is the oldest of the young ones, he would get to stay. Neither Tony nor Davy are heard crowing very often, but Brett is constant, which tells us that he may want to be dominant. For now, we will keep a close eye on things before rushing into any decisions.
The young ladies are incredibly quiet and still mostly keep to their own group, and for some reason the boys do not seem to bother them as much (I’m sure that will change when they get older).
More Newbies Arrive
In other disappointing but not disappointing news, we only hatched 5 birds from our recent round in the incubator: two chicks and three guinea keets (out of 12 guinea and 10 chicken eggs). Obviously, we hoped for more, but we are happy about the newbies we got. It looks like the guineas will be different colors than the ones we have now, so we’re excited about that!
I mean, who could not be happy about these little cuties?
We don’t know why we got such a low hatch rate once again. It could be our incubator, although it seems to do everything it’s supposed to. Since we bought the guinea eggs elsewhere, they were promised to be fertile. The humidity level was a bit high inside at the end, because it was SO humid outside, but that should only have slowed things down a bit.
We’re done with trying to hatch for this year, even though we didn’t grow our flocks as much as we had hoped to. We’ll probably take a break from it next year as well and buy chicks/keets instead. Now that we have roosters and hens that are the offspring of our rooster Charlie, inbreeding comes into play. The chickens don’t care who they are related to, but it could cause health issues in future birds. We could buy hatching eggs again, but frankly, I’m tired of the disappointment – we spend a lot of time watching those eggs with little reward! Maybe we’ll buy a new incubator at some point, but for now we’ll just get the newbies settled in and hope we at least have some new hens laying when the older girls go into their molt in the fall.
By the way, speaking of the older girls, our Rhode Island Red hen, who is now 4 years old was laying eggs like a champ! She was laying daily sometimes, which is unusual for a bird of her age. Her eggs are also extra jumbo size, we can’t even fit them in the cartons to sell them! She does seem to have slowed down lately though, so maybe that was her last hurrah. 😊
It’s time to relax a bit anyway. The gardens are all planted, so now for the summer we just have to battle the weeds and keep up on watering when needed. We’ve been getting some nice steady rains lately, so we haven’t had to do that so much, which is a relief. Hopefully, we are out of our drought conditions and will stay out for a while.
The newbies will move out to the coop into a bigger cage in a week or two, and that keeps us busier, since it’s more food and water to keep full, plus we’ll start letting them out to run around once they’re bigger. They won’t interact with the bigger birds directly until they are a few weeks old.
I’m headed to Maine for three days soon, it will be my first time taking whole days off from the shop! It’s a little belated birthday celebration with “the girls”! One of my booth vendors will be covering for me. It’s not easy for me to leave (I am kind of a control freak), but I plan to enjoy every minute and not worry about it. Business has been picking up lately, so things are looking up there too.
Farm dog Luke is doing well, he keeps busy keeping an eye on the chipmunk population and letting us know when the birds are upset about something (the drama keeps him busy)! Poor Luke, walks have been a little scarce lately, between rain, oppressive humidity, and scrambling to finish the gardens. I got him a new toy for entertainment, and he’s always a good, patient boy! The weather is getting back to more seasonal lately so we are starting to get back to our regular walking routines now.
Life on the farm goes on, and it’s been lovely that it’s warm enough lately to spend time sitting out on our deck watching the birds do their thing!
It’s a lot of work sometimes, but it truly is the good life!