Monday, September 28, 2009

Its a boy boy boy girl girl!

I'm sorry about not posting much these days, there is no internet access at my parents farm but I will try to change that. My mom is not coping well after the loss of my father, she has memory issues and the loss of Dad has made things much much worse. I will have to move back to the farm until mom can sell it. For now she wants to wait until next summer, too many changes for her right now and I agree.

No pictures at the moment but Gracie and the kids are having a great time. Gracie who lived in a breeding cage when I bought her, now has an 80 feet long by 36 feet wide barn to run around in during the day. When I'm not around they have to stay in a coop that Dan built in the barn for them because raccoons have been know to open the windows and get in, it is for their protection. The chicks are four months old now so I can see for sure what I have regarding male or female. Let me say first that the sexing trick of picking them up and watching if they lift their feet (meaning rooster), did not work for me. Some of the chicks that went limp turned out to be boys instead of girls as the trick said hen chicks drop their legs.

It turned out that three of the chicks are roosters and only two are girls. They all have feathers like their mothers, none are silkie looking like their father Chico. One of the boys has a bit of purple colour in his comb and wattles like the silkie. The girls look like silkie hens however with their little puffy hair dos. I mostly call them "the girls" because I can not tell them apart anymore. I had called one Tina after Tina Turner with her spiky hair and was going to call the other one Edna ( I think Edna sounds like a funny chicken name) but I stopped since they look too much alike at the moment, maybe later something will change. I think they should be good mothers next year being silkie and cochin mixed, two mothering breeds. Yes, Gracie still tries to feed and take care of them, talk about a real "mother hen" some of the boys are crowing and she still wants to baby them! Next year I will separate her from her batch after 8 weeks so that this does not happen again. Still no luck in finding certain breeds that I would like to have. A lot of people in this area are all selling the same thing, Silkies, hybrids, Ameraucanas, Polish chickens or chickens that are all mixed.

As for the garden, for the first time ever, we did not have frost until a few days ago. Gardens usually are finished in our area by the first week of September. I did not get a picture but it looked good and we were getting a lot of meals out of it, that is until one night when a family of raccoons got in and chewed up everything. They ruined almost the entire garden but they should have learned there is a catch .22 to most situations! This year the bears are very bad in our area, the wild berries failed and they are hungry. We don't mind sharing our apple trees with them but they really are a stupid animal. They broke off the smaller trees and destroyed large branches on the bigger trees just to eat a few apples and then move on to the next branch. There will be no apples next year on these damaged trees and then what will they eat. I think they deserve to become rugs.

10 comments:

Bubble said...

I love to see that you have done a post!!

I am pleased your mum has you. it must be hard for her.


amy xxx

Tracey said...

Bears? raccoons? Oh my! What a fantastically unsafe place to be!!! It really is like something out of a movie. Have you no siblings to help you out with your mum? She must be proud to have a son like you.
Tracey
XXX

Odette said...

hungry bears can be dangerous, so don't cross their path. i think your mom is coping well because of you. but she has to leave the farm so she wont' be haunted by the memory of your dad. not that she wouldn't want to, but only so the pain of losing him will ebb.
xoxoxo

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Amy: Thank you, yes she is taking it very hard and there are so many things to think about now.

Tracey: One of my mistakes was to give away the dog, Mom was suppose to move so I found a home for the dog. However she did not sell and we have no dog to keep away the wild animals. The bears are the scary part, sometimes they walk into the yard with us there! I have a sister but her work keeps her tied down, she took a lot of time off when Dad was ill. I lost my job due to the bad economy so that is why it fell on me. Oh she is so lucky to have me for a son! ;) Haha!

Odette: Trust me, when a bear comes out of the bush, we head for the house! One day a huge one came out and he was really bold, I happened to be on a tractor with a round bale spike out front, lets just say it was 'his' turn to run! True about her moving, she always said she would move the second something happened to Dad, now she wants to stay, I think part of it is too many changes but also part of it is she feels she would be leaving him behind since his memory is there. Also the grave yard is a half mile from us, on land that used to be part of the farm years ago.

Amri said...

I'm sorry so many of them were cockerels! What are you going to do with them?

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Amri: That is a hard question and I see you had your own sad decision to make. Well I am going to keep one for sure, he has a nice sounding crowing. I may just keep them out of the pen away from the girls. Since they are related and are only half breeds I don't want to use them for mating and I don't want them to harass the girls. There is enough space in the barn plus they get along with each other. Also they are so small that they eat almost nothing. Some people around here have said they like to hear a rooster crow so if I can, I will give them away. I don't think I could eat them now that I named them but if someone wanted to take them for that, I would prefer not to know. I do eat chicken so I'm trying not to be a hypocrite about it but when they are little and cute it is hard. I have in the past kept roosters from the pot when they turned out to be my buddies and were kind to the hens, however if they turn mean I feel betrayed and it does not bother me to roast him in a nice pan with gravy! Even Chico the silkie rooster, if only for him belonging to my friend Dan, I would have sold him long ago. I do feel however the best thing we can do is treat them well because even if we are going to eat them, they deserve the best care we can give.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

steve..
nice to have you back!

roosters are a problem...I have just killed three for the freezer and hated every minute of the cull but keeping too many males is unfair to the entire flock ....

peace.....

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

John: True and to be honest I don't even like to have one rooster around my hens, I find the hens happier without a rooster. I think I mentioned before about a time when a group of roosters killed a hen on me. We used to always kill them before or sell them to people who wanted to finish raising them. They certainly do taste better than store bought chicken. I just hate killing something I raised.

Steven said...

hi. Thank you for your help with Achmed. I am very pleased he is well now.

I have an award for you on my blog.

Steven

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Thank you Steven!