Monday, October 4, 2010
Chicken Treats, Bad Roosters... & other Feather Flappin' Hyjinks!
Well, it has been a while since my last chicken update... and I think it is about time to make one. We are currently getting 6 gorgeous brown eggs a day... one from each of my girls. This has caused our house to be filled with rice pudding, bread pudding, breakfast casseroles...and all manner of things utilizing eggs! (Share recipes, please!) I have enough stock to start giving some away to family. So, family & friends reading, please let me know if you want to be blessed with some eggs.
I love letting them run around the yard. They kindly tidied up my garden, making sure NOTHING went to waste. And I have been enjoying their warm and friendly clucking around the yard. Then there is Big Red, the rooster. He is a beautiful Rhode Island Red, but he is developing an attitude. He is almost as tall as my toddler and yesterday he chased my son to the fence. Fortunately he just chased him. He is spur-less, but still has a big beak and massive feet. If he had actually hurt my son he would be a few feet under right now (under the ice packs in my freezer, probably!) but after doing some long consideration I decided to keep the stinker. He doesn't mess with my DH, but has made the mistake of charging me a few times. I take care of my girls with a small garden rake at my side, now. I respect that he is doing his job. He would give his life for the sake of the coop... and out here I need that. We still don't have a dog yet, but know there are 2 families of foxes living close by. And by close, I mean just on the other side of the alfalfa field! I don't want to leave the hens unprotected, so for now I will keep them penned more. And never out with the kids. If he gets worse, I have been reading about taking over the alpha spot in my coop. Several online resources suggested wearing protective gear (I envision myself out with hard hat, safely goggles, work coat, welding gloves and a rake) and holding the rooster for a good 1/2 hour each day. Being gentle but overpowering is the suggestion. I think I can handle that.
And on a lighter note.... as my DH & I walked into the feed store I had to laugh at all the toys for livestock. I wouldn't think of that. I joked that they should make chicken treats. Silly me! They do, of course! They had cage balls with bells you can stuff with greens, or for $20!!!! a bag of dried meal worms. I still can't get over the price. For $3 I could stuff a bucket with compost scraps, dump in a small container of meal worms and let them multiply like crazy. $20 to me seems like highway robbery.
So, overall I am still loving the chickens. The rooster was so nice before. I am still willing to work with him. There are just too many predators out here to leave the coop defenseless. The eggs are too good! The yolks are such a rich yellow, almost orange in the yolk. The shells are so thick and strong. I love eating as nature intended.