Turkey Tracks: Chicken Mischief Continued

Turkey Tracks:  October 12, 2011

Chicken Mischief Continued

Sister Susan asked for a picture of our chickens raiding the greens I planted in five deep blue plastic pots after we harvested potatoes from them.

You can see they visit the pots daily.  Since I’ve got a nice crop of lettuce in the cold frame, I just let them have these tender greens.  Chickens would choose greens to eat over anything else, probably, even, over a fat worm or a bug.  John says my chicken wire just gave them a really good platform from which to eat.  All of them were on the pots when I ran to get my camera.

The big girl is Valentine, the Freedom Ranger from our spring batch of meat chickens.  She gives us either a small rose-brown egg or a HUGE rose-brown egg every day, which is always double-yolked.  Sometimes the smaller eggs are double-yolked as well.  The lighter tan girl is Sally, an Americauna Wheaten.  She lays blue eggs.  Her sister Nancy has become quite “broody,” so she spends most days in the coop sitting on whatever layed eggs she can acquire from the other hens.  Both Sally and Nancy are molting, so the coop and the yard are adrift with their pale feathers.  These girls are two years old now.  And, since Pearl, the new Wheaten has not started laying yet, we have no blue eggs at the moment.  In fact, all laying is slow these days as our daylight dwindles.  It’s getting to be time for chickens to rest.

Here’s a picture of our new rooster–Pierre.  Or, Pretty Pierre.  Or, most of all these days, My Roo.  He’s just six months old now, but he’s sweet, gentle, and comes to see what is going on with whatever moves or makes noise in the yard.  He’s my constant companion in the yard as he’s so curious.  He lets me get close now, but it really scares him to be touched.  The new hens have settled in now and all will let me pick the up and cuddle them whenever, pretty much.

 The Wheaten below is our new little Pearl.  She’s quite lovely.  See her little bearded face?  And, Ninja and Annie Chickie, the hen raised last year, are with Pierre.

Pierre, who runs as fast as the wind, has taught me that our poor old Nappy had something wrong with his feet.  I think he might have been in pain.  He walked very strangely, and he didn’t like to walk.  Perhaps that’s why he was cross and took to charging people???

Turkey Tracks: Our First Flock

Turkey Tracks: April 2, 2010

Our First Flock

We got six chickens in March–a rooster and five hens.  We hadn’t planned on the rooster, but he wanted to come, and we’re so glad he did.  The roo, Napoleon, or Nappy, and three of the hens, are Copper Black Marans.  This breed is rare in America, but very common in Europe.  We lucked into getting them because they are not breeding quality.  This breed lays the most beautiful dark, chocolate brown eggs.  We could care less that Nappy has a white tail feather, or that not all the beautiful black hens have feathered feet.  The other two hens are Ameraucana Wheatens, and they are beautiful.  They are like quicksilver in the yard–quick, light, happy.  And, they lay blue eggs.

Here are our chicks getting used to their new home.

And, here is a picture of our chicken coop, which we purchased at the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers (MOFGA) fair last September from a young couple near Augusta, www.rootscoopsandmore.com.

One of the Ameraucanas, Sally, loves Nappy.

She follows him everywhere and sleeps next to him at night.  The coop roost only holds four birds, and the French babes and the other Ameraucana, Martha, apparantly have dibs on it.

Nappy leads the girls around the yard on walkabouts.  There is much discussion along the way.  They are delighted with the number of worms in my vegetable garden beds!