Monday, October 20, 2014

The Girls

Moved in for winter.
The reds and barred rocks- the only ones laying right now.

The whites- Chanteclers and crosses.

Each with a chantecler cross rooster.  I know, I know, inbreeding...  But they aren't big enough to butcher just yet.

 The third batch of chicks.  Sexable, but too small to do anything with yet.  I figure another month before I'll have to separate them, by which time, hopefully, the boys from the first batch will be ready to move into the freezer.

And the babies.  I think they'll have enough room to stay together until spring.

I still have four roosters outside.  One of the older roosters, and three from the first batch.  I'm hoping to put them in the freezer before it really snows, but I may have to move them to the old coop, depending on weather.

The geese are also waiting outside, though I do have a pen for them in the new coop.  They're just enjoying the last of the garden eats before they have to survive off grain and fodder for winter.

We've had a few snows now, but nothing sticking, and temperatures still fluctuating.  A lot of rain, too.  Roads are flooding all over the place.  I could have left the birds outside for a bit yet, but I didn't want to have to move them all by myself in the snow one morning.


  1. I would give my eye teeth for a laying hen right now! I have no eggs. How do you move them--carry them under your arms? Have to catch them? I just wondered because having to move three scaredy hens through the snow to their house and back to mine for safety at night was a dreary chore.

    I also like the way you put it about the boys "moving into the freezer" like they were going voluntary to a new abode. Good phrasing.

    1. We catch them- usually the Bigs catch the big roosters to get them out of the way, then the Littles catch the rest and hand them off. We carry them upside down by the legs, two in each hand.

      Thanks. :)

  2. How do you like the Chanteclares, Wendy? I've been thinking about raising them instead of the meat kings next year. My sister raised barred rocks this year and said they got to butchering size (for them, it's just her and her husband) in just 3 months. The meat kings run into so many health problems, which was great for the experience it gave me, but I think I'm ready to try something new.

    1. I like the Chanteclers in the coop. Very calm, very little fighting and pecking. The girls took a break from laying for a couple of months, but are back at it now. They seem to need a bit more protein and calcium than the reds. I was adding egg shell and oyster shell about twice a week, and the next day I'd get more eggs. I'm adding oyster shell more often now, and getting better production.

      I liked barred rocks for both meat and egg production, but they don't do great in the cold. I think the Chanteclers are better foragers though.

      The boys reached about 7 pounds by October. I still haven't butchered them. I'm not sure about their combs yet- bigger than chanteclers should be, and I need to do some research about split combs, and bumpy combs, and what's best for the cold. So, I haven't eaten any yet.

    2. Thank you for replying, Wendy. It's good to know regarding the Barred Rocks and the cold. I didn't see when you started them, so now I'm wondering how long did the Chanteclers take to reach 7 lbs. 3 months or so?

    3. They were hatched on June 16th, so about 4 months.