HOWDY FOLKS! Pinto the Blogdog here. I promised I’d tell ya’ll about the chickens. Now, some people may look askance when I say I like our hens. But, I do. They’re friendly little creatures, cheerful, talkative, and very production oriented. I mean, they earn their keep, unlike some of the beasts around this place, who shall remain unnamed. They each give us an egg every 30 hours or so. You can’t argue about that!
So, M’Lady has kept hens since she was 11 years old. She loves ’em. She has a nice coop, built right into the barn, which has a big outdoor pen attached to it. This way the hens can go in and out, enjoy the sunshine, and have a nice, safe place to roost at night and nests to lay their eggs in the daytime. Every few years, she’ll sell the older hens, and buy new young pullets (young females). The batch she has now are:
|The hens enjoying kitchen scraps and sunshine|
4 black Sexlink (production brown eggs layers, a cross between Rhode Island Reds and Barred Plymouth Rock), 1 Aracauna (supposedly lays green or blue eggs, but this one doesn’t, she only lays small light brown eggs), 1 Salmon Faverole (fancy, salmon colored bird with fluffy mutton-chop cheek feathers, lays light brown eggs). This flock of hens lays 4-5 eggs each and every day! Now that’s alotta eggs!
The funny thing about hens is, when they lay an egg, they let everyone in the neighborhood know about it! One hen will lay an egg, see, and then ALL the others cluck and cackle and carry on with cheers, shouting out “good job” and “you go girl!” They’re hollering, “Hey, looky here, what she just did! She laid an egg!” You would think they were doing something unusual! Which, come to think of it, I guess they are! I mean, how many creatures do you know that run around laying an egg everyday?
|Two of our hens going into their nests|
So, the hens have to be protected from killers. M’Lady used to let them out into the barnyard during the day, so they could run around and get some exercise, peck for bugs and worms, and eat fresh grass. They love that, and it adds a lot to their very boring diet. They naturally come in for bedtime, and she would lock them up at night.
Then, somethin’ really sad happened last spring. M’Lady had 5 nice young hens, they were only about a year old, and had only been laying for about 6 months. Anyway, our neighbor dog, Tux, killed one of them! He just ran over, grabbed a hen, and took it home for his lunch! Then, the next day, a FOX broke into the chicken coop, and dragged off two more!!! When M’Lady discovered it, she cried and cried. There were drifts of feathers all over the corrals and barnyard. It was terrible!
So, then she was down to only 2 hens, and it turned out that they hardly laid any eggs at all. She knew this, see, because the good-egg-layers had all been killed by the fox. So, she sold the last two hens, and bought 6 darling baby chicks. I loved those little chicks and protected ’em. We raised ’em up to the fine hens they are today. I still love ’em, and will snarl at Brodi if he chases ’em (he does that sometimes, can’t hardly help himself). They practically never get to come out of their coop anymore, though, because of the terrible-awful thing that happened last spring.
|The WeeLaddie collecting eggs.
He’s actually pretty careful with the egg basket
Oh, and M’Lady doesn’t keep a rooster anymore. You see, you don’t need a rooster in order to get eggs (think reproduction 101). You only need a rooster if you want babies. Roosters are usually beautiful, very showy, but they’re cocky! (say, do you suppose that’s where the term cocky comes from? Huh.) Their cock-a-doodle-do in the morning is also something that I enjoy. But, a rooster will bully the hens, and get everybody all worked up. It would be like this. Say you had several healthy ladies living together in harmony. Everybody knew their place and they all got along just dandy. Then, say, Matthew McConaughey moved in with them. Holy caboodle, can you imagine the ruckus that would ensue? How having him in the mix would stir everything up? He wouldn’t have to do a thing, and the ladies would be bickering and fighting, trying to flirt and get his attention, and make the others look cheap. It would be a bad scene! It’s the same with the hens with a rooster. They’re better off not knowing what they don’t miss, if you get my drift.
So, that’s it about our beautiful hens. We love ’em. Well, catchya next week!
Keep your tail waggin’!