Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chickens in winter

The eight Welsummer chicks that hatched from my own breeding are doing well.   They were integrated into the flock in the fall and have taken their places on the top rung of the perches.  I ended up with five pullets and three roos and decided to keep only one of the roos.  I am very grateful for other crazy chicken ladies--LIKE ME---who will drive long distances to trade birds and stories of our flocks and other critters.  A nice woman from Warwick, only the next town over, took one guy.  She also talked me out of a little pullet to keep him company, since her other hens were somewhat geriatric.  She has named them Romeo and Juliet.   And she graciously shared a poem she had written about her last pet rooster, named Rudy.  Rudy-Toot-Toot was the name of my little white Silkie rooster. He was sent off to Connecticut because of his fighting attitude.  (Now That was a motivated chicken lady.  Two hours up here with a toddler in the car--and back.  I thank her.) Rudy seemed to think he was bigger than the Welsummer Rooster.  And I didn't want any real fights to break out.  One guy has to be the rule in my pen.   Why would two people choose Rudy?  Remember Rudy, the football player of short stature who went to Notre Dame? Tough little guy, just like our roosters.  The other young Welsummer guy has gone to upstate New York.  That is more than a two hour drive each way, to pick him up. 
one of my four "Emilys"
To do in the coop:  figure out how to name and identify the remaining four pullets.  Welsummer hens are so similar in appearance.  I am sure they must have different personalities, if I could only tell them apart.  I have four older Welsummer hens (the mothers)--all named Emily, as I can't tell them apart.  I did rename one of the Emilys.   I can tell her apart because she has one wing with a little droop, the fox clipped her in the same Cornflake maiming incident.  So contrary to what Dr. Daughter says, I named her Lucky.  Apparently in vet clinics, any pet named Lucky, never is.  But Lucky survived the fox, poor Cornflake, the rooster, did not.  There is always a little bit of difference in Welsummer combs, but that is a hard difference to see sometimes.  (like when I am chasing them through the woods trying to pen them in the middle of the day so that I can go somewhere.)
R2-my new man

And farewell to Marsha Marshmallow--on the left.  She was six years old and one of the very first
 batch of chicks that I ever bought. She died from an internal infection.  She always had the most
quizzical look on her face.  Maybe it was her cheek muffs.  An Americauna, she laid olive green eggs.
I am wondering if anyone out there has pets named "Lucky"?  Are they lucky?  Or have they had
more than their share of problems?  My chicken with the best record of health and laying and longevity is named "Spaz."  One would think that alone would have doomed her to some horrible accident.

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