Thursday, February 12, 2009

Little Gracie Part I

After I got Chico he became frustrated with my hens, he had been with bantam Silkie hens like himself and was able to mate with them. However being much smaller than most of my girls, he can not mate with them and began to get confused when trying to get the larger hens to sit for mating and instead began attacking them. I placed an ad for bantam hens, I thought if I could get two or three small bantam hens of any breed, that would relieve his stress. The only response I received was from a man who had one Cochin hen and wanted to give her to me. He was not far so I went to get her, I figured one mate for Chico was better than nothing. It was little Gracie.

Gracie in her protective pen.

I like the little Cochins, they look like they are wearing baggy pants because of the feathers on their legs and feet. I read where they are suppose to be good mothers. I am hoping that she will go broody for me in spring, if I can time it right I will let her hatch out a couple of eggs and also add in a couple of chicks I want to buy. I can't have too many more so if I get only two or three chicks I'm fine with that, any extras I would sell.

Melda watching Gracie, finally starting to accept her.

I feel that I rescued Gracie, she was not being abused or any thing like that, she was well fed etc. It is more that I got her from a breeder, so she was locked in a small dark cage with a rooster. There was no perch to sleep on, just the wire floor of the cage. Her comb was marked and bloody I assume from the rooster trying to constantly breed her and she was pale from no sun light. When I brought her home she could not fly and she had hard lumps of manure cemented to her toes and toenails from the wire floor and not being able to scratch in the dirt.

Gracie, not happy about a camera in her pen.

One of the first things Gracie did after bringing her home, was to scratch around in the straw the second I put her on the floor. I knew her being so much smaller than the rest was a real threat to her life, especially not being able to fly and so I had a protective pen ready for her. The thing that worries me is looking at her nails, she must be very old and if she does not lay in spring, she will not go broody and hatch chicks. I decided to treat her feet, she was not happy about being handled but is starting to get used to me now. Her toenails were spiraled like a cork screw, I guess from being in a cage. I had to use wire cutters to clip them, I also had to gently use the wire cutters to clip off the cemented manure. Some of her toes were a bit stiff but she is getting better. I am looking forward to the day I can let them out, I'm not sure but it is possible she has never been out doors in fresh air and sunshine. Even if she is too old to lay, I get a big kick out of her and I am fine with having her live out her days with me as just a pet.


John Gray said...

lovely hen
she looks like my bunny!!

Sunny said...

Really neat blog! I like your Gracie and your silkie chicken, especially. We have had cochins and silkies in the past,but now have some white w/black trim banties. If i could, Iwould have several kinds, and turkey and ducks as well!

Cottage Rose said...

Turkeys make the bestest pets. Our Gobbie had the most personality. he died last year of ( really) old age

Amy said...

She really is cute!

I would love a turkey!

Amy :)

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

John: thanks, I get a big kick out of seeing her walk around, I always want to tell her to pull up her pants!

Sunny: Thank you for the kind comment! White with black trim, sounds very nice. I would have liked to get some really fancy looking chickens but it is very hard to find anything around here. I wish I had the room for more as well.

Cottage Rose: The man next to my parents had turkeys when I was a teen, I thought they were a really cool bird as well, they even went off into the bush and hatched chicks. My parents said no turkeys, which was too bad because the man did not take care of his turkeys and the foxes and raccoons killed them all.

Amy: Thanks, she is small and much easier to take of than the others, she makes me smile the most. Turkeys are quite big when full grown, maybe better to just visit one at a petting zoo! XD