Monday, June 8, 2009

Peeps--Two Months Later

Welsummer cockerel--Dumpling

Gone are the fuzzy little fluff balls that I picked up at the post office two months ago, and in their place are fine looking young chickens, all grown up looking but still very much just teenagers. It will be a while yet before we see any eggs from the girls, and I have no idea when the boys will attempt their first crow.

I had ordered six Welsummer pullets and six Welsummer "straight run", which means they just grab a hand full of chicks and I get whatever sex happens to be in the mix. Turns out eleven of the twelve were pullets, and I've got one handsome Welsummer cockerel, named Dumpling at the moment. He could end up with a more majestic name later on.

I also had ordered six Specked Sussex pullets, but turns out one of them is a little fella named Noodle. He's a sweet little roo and likes to hang around me when I'm out there tending the flock, but he's becoming aggressive towards the other chickies and I think he's trying to, uh, do the nasty with the hens already. I didn't really want a Sussex roo, so I think I'll be finding a home for Noodle. I can't bear the idea of turning him into Chicken & Noodles, if ya know what I mean. He is a beautiful bird, though.

Noodle, a Speckled Sussex rooster

And last but not least, I had ordered 6 Ameraucana pullets and six straight run Ameraucanas. I still have no idea how many cockerels and pullets I've got, but I think I've got two roosters and the remaining eight (I gave two pullets to Marlenah, my son's girlfriend) I'm thinking are pullets. I'm guessing about the two roosters simply because their combs are bigger and redder than the others, and they themselves are much larger than the others. Time will tell.

Ameraucana pullet

Besides the mail order chickies, I've also got four Golden Sexlink pullets that I got from our local Tractor Supply store the same day I picked up my post office peeps. These four girls are sweet and friendly, though they can look fierce, as the following photo demonstrates.

Who needs gargoyles when you've got chickens?! This is a Golden Sexlink pullet, trying her best to scare off predators and other nasties

Now that the chickens are all grown up, or so they think, they've been spending lots of time in the baths...dust baths. They're loads of fun to watch, but they just make me laugh when they're bathing, which involves much fluffing of feathers, rolling about, shooting dirt out from beneath them (as the photo below shows) and just enjoying what most kids like to do...getting covered in dirt.

Dust bathing chickies...Ameraucana on the left is shooting dirt out from beneath her as the other Ameraucana and the Speckled Sussex relax

We were away all day Saturday, and when we got home I found one of the Welsummer girls with a lame leg. I have no idea what happened to her, but she's very gimpy and hobbles about when she does try to get somewhere, which isn't very often; she spends most of her time sitting. It was suggested that perhaps the Sussex roo was trying uh, mate, with her already and she just didn't have the strength to support that much weight. I'm thinking this is very possible, because yesterday when I went out to check them in the a.m., I saw the Sussex roo, Noodle, just pounce on her, poor little thing. So, I've removed this girl from the flock and put her in a dog crate. I put another Welsummer hen in there with her for company, and they seem happy. I chose this particular hen as a "nurse maid" because she seemed very concerned when I removed the injured girl, and made attempts to follow me. I'd like to think that they're buddies and that this chicken really was concerned about her comrade.

Injured Welsummer pullet in foreground, with her "nurse maid" in back

Here's hoping my little Welly girl heals and gets better soon!

1 comment:

  1. I have a little chickie who's name is Twistie, and her bottom beak (?) is twisted off to the side, and it has been that way ever since she was like a week or two. No other chickies seem overly concerned with her tho. But she is tha sweetest little thing you;d ever see. She's tinier then the others (probably because she doesn't get as much to eat) but she goes after the food and water all the time. I feel bad for her. I'm not sure how long she will make it. I will get her pic on our blog soon. Your "kids" are beautiful, btw!