Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Chickens

We have had a lot of ups and downs with chickens. There have been issues with predators, getting the chickens to roost where they should, and never being able to find the eggs because the hen keeps moving them. We have a temporary chicken house that our chickens won't use, and a more permanent one in process. Just when I swore we would not get any more chickens until the chicken house was done, an acquaintance offers us free chickens.

Well it is hard to pass up free livestock, especially when they are only one season old. They are beauties. Most of them are Buff Orpingtons.

There are two Light Brahma hens, and a mixed black hen, and a New Hampshire Red rooster.

We got these chickens Saturday, and today found their first eggs! We also found eggs from our little hen that hatched this spring!

For now the new chickens are only in the temporary house. We do want to free range them though. Since there are more Orpingtons than we have Rhode Islands, and because the Orpington rooster is very gentle, and our red (Alpha) is not, we've decided to get out the stew pot for a few roosters, and incorporate our other two hens with the rest. The stew pot is waiting for Alpha, his male offspring that got away the last time we butchered, and the new red rooster.

After the extra roosters are gone we will let the others free range. We have a light on a timer in the chicken house, and are hoping that will draw them in to roost where we want, and that our other hens will follow. Think it will work?


  1. They're so pretty! I can't believe I'm saying that about chickens! LOL Poor Alpha! Let that be a lesson to the other fowl... maybe they'll be better behaved! ;)

  2. how exciting!!! Could you herd them into the house for a few nights and close them in till morning? I bet after a week they will go in on their own.


  3. That rooster is beautiful.

  4. I hope it works for you.
    Chickens can be a lot of work. I remember when we hatched some out. As soon as they were all out and in their little box with their light and food, I realized what I had gotten myself into. I will never forget the day we found some of the dead from some sort of bird :( was a sad day.
    Anyway, you new ones are healthy and clean looking!

  5. Oh! What pretty pictures! I'm glad it worked out that you could take them! I wish I could get my men folk to make me a coop, I'd love to keep a few in the back yard!

  6. Mary, I hope so! ;)

    Mommy Mommy, We had tried that with our first chickens. The one hen particular never would go. The others followed her. The only time she cooperated was when she had chicks. Hoping she will now with the larger flock.

    Sherri, We lost pullets and 4 of our hatched chicks to raccoons. I was livid! I guess it is all part of the process though.

  7. Oh they are pretty chickens. I've never tried to have chickens, although the fresh eggs would be nice. But I could never stomach butchering them. I get woozy over cut fingers. Although the dogs would probably take care of that for us . . .

  8. Hey Stephanie- Just wanted to let you know that my mom has been "crowing" about how pretty these chickens are, I'm going to be teaching her how to post comments soon -- she LOVES these chickens ;o)

    * Joann *

  9. Joann
    I can't argue with her. They are lovely!

  10. Your rooster is gorgeous!

    You know, I constantly wish I could have chickens...but I'm not sure I could be as patient as you with their quirks. *grin*

  11. Ducks are easier. I love the ducks, they are pretty much maintenance free, but they don't lay as much as the chickens....Ah I guess you just can't have it both ways!

  12. I know what you mean by having trouble with predators we have lost a lot of them this year. Hopefully with the new year we will have better luck.

  13. We had Buff Orpingtons, too. (25) They are a friendly breed and lay eggs well. But, ours got to the point where would eat their eggs before we gathered them. We ended up losing half of them to foxes. It was so sad that I gave the rest of them to a neighbor who has dogs to guard them.

  14. I used to have some chickens that looked like Buff Orpingtons only darker with more coppery gold than yellow.

    They were sweethearts and were most amusing.

    Sadly they were given to us and the people who had then previously didn't know anything and so when we got them they were picking out each other's feathers and eating their eggs and were kind of ill, so we had to get rid of them. :*(