Chicken News and a Free Rooster

First off, just look at these future egg-layers.  I can’t call them chicks anymore, can I?  At 6.5 weeks old, all the fluff is gone and they no longer even resemble the word.  They’re pullets now and will be called hens when they begin laying in another several months.

And by the looks of them, they are indeed pullets . . . whew.  That’s what they were labeled, and that’s what we paid for, but I saved my receipt just in case because you never really know until they grow up a bit.

In other chicken news, we are looking for a new home for our beautiful Ameraucana rooster.  He was given to us by a friend after our old roo Morgan, the most gentle bird ever, up and died on us for no apparent reason.

You may recall the big boys putting some rooster psychology into practice in hopes of making sure this then newcomer knew who was boss and didn’t go the way of our first rooster, Tricky.  It seems to have worked, because he has never once gotten aggressive with us.  Naming him Beta must have helped, because he seems to know he is not the alpha.

Isn’t he gorgeous?  He has a nice crow too.  So why would we ever part with him, you may wonder?

Well, kind as he’s been to us, we can’t say the same regarding the hens—well just one hen in particular. He’s downright vicious to poor Penguin, one of our old hens, jumping on her and pecking her ruthlessly, and holding her down so all the other higher-in-the-pecking order hens can join in, which they do.  I know it’s the way of chickens, but still.

Broody Penguin in 2010

Old Penguin is probably not laying well anymore, and yes, it would be easier to dispatch her; however, she was our first broody and therefore has remained a family favorite, particularly with the younger children, and I promised them long ago we would never ever cull her.

So, do I have any takers?  If friends do not want him, Beta is going on Craig’s List, and if no one there wants him, then I’m afraid Nathan will get to put his pocket knife to good use, which he’s been itching to do for two reasons:  1) no one likes a bully and 2) teen boys are always hungry.