Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chickens Update


So here it is September already. Summer has come and gone for the most part; where did it go?! I've kept busy all summer, though apparently not quite busy enough when I stand back and see all that I did not get accomplished (that I'd hope I would) this summer.

I will give a quick update on the 15 chicks that hatched this spring (rather than blather on and on about what I didn't get done this summer!). And I promise, I WILL write about other things in this blog besides chickens....I don't want to have to re-name it "Chickens In The Mist."

Of the 15 eggs that hatched this spring (3 different batches), 10 were cockerels and only 5 were little pullets. What are the odds?! The roosters were all gorgeous and varying combinations of Welsummer/Ameraucana/Golden Sexlink/Speckled Sussex crosses. I wanted to keep them all of course, but I've already got 2 Ameraucana roosters and with 12 roosters crowing all day long, it was getting to be a little much. So, I advertised on Freecycle requesting that they go to "pet only" homes; I couldn't bear the thought of these sweet little boys ending up in a freezer or stew pot somewhere. I ended up parting with 9 of the roosters. I kept "Squeak", a handsome Welsummer/Ameraucana cross.

Squeak is the stunning result of a Welsummer/Ameraucana crossing

Squeak was so-named because he was the second to hatch in the first batch, the first being named "Pip"....Pipsqueak. Get it?! Anyway, Squeak is colored just like a Welsummer, has a Welsummer comb, but has these big, fat Ameraucana cheeks. What a stunning combination of characteristics!

Who's yer daddy?! Ameraucana cheeks, but everything else screams Welsummer!

Currently Squeak is the sweetest rooster to grace the earth. He follows me around like a lost puppy, making constant chittering noises. He sounds like a senile old man muttering to himself. And it's just non-stop. I will be devastated if he turns mean like Ding Dong, but I know that's a possibility.

Of the 5 pullets hatched this spring, 2
("Biddy Boop" and ""Zoe") look like full-blooded Welsummers. Three ("Meep", "Guinevere" and "Smidgen the Pigeon") look like full-blooded Ameraucanas. I will know for sure when they begin to lay eggs; egg color will be the deciding factor. I'm really, really hoping for some Welsummer/Ameraucana crosses, as their eggs should be a wonderful dark olive color.

Guinevere appears to be a full-blooded Ameraucana

Meep, another pullet that appears to be all-Ameraucana. That's Domino in the background. He's a Speckled Sussex/Ameraucana cross.

So, with the 6 new additions to my little flock, I've now got a grand total of 33 chickens; 30 hens and 3 roosters. I've got all the new hens (pullets) integrated in with the rest of the girls. Squeak and the lame Venus still have free range of the yard. I worry that if I put Venus in with the rest of the flock that they'll pick on her. And Squeak, well, the other 2 roosters are very, very jealous. Someday soon though, I'd love to get all the chickens under one roof. Life would be so much easier.

1 comment:

  1. Squeak looks to be a fabulous cockerel! Great pics again! I used to have a white cockerel called Monty and he was an exceptionally gentle character.