You knew that was coming!
But this is a different kind of chicken post.
The week before we moved to this property, I ordered some “Heritage” Rhode Island Red chicks. Why do I say it that way. Because most RIRs anymore are not the good old huge meaty dual purpose birds that they used to be. They do not lay as many eggs as the new and improved models, but they get huge! They are a deep, almost chocolate red color. They are better foragers and they grow big enough to eat. They also have a tendency to go broody. That means way less eggs over all, but it does mean that this flock will reproduce. Farming is hard work, so I love passive projects. I figure that if I can get a small flock of ladies that will give me enough eggs for my needs and over time, produce more birds to lay more eggs (or fill my freezer) then that is good enough for me.
But I kinda backed my self into a bit of a corner. I bought a dog run to put the chicks in when they were big enough to go outside. They were big enough, but too small for the dog run. So, when a friend offered to give me 10 roosters to butcher; I thought “I will put them in the dog kennel and dispatch 2 every day. Soon the kennel will be empty and I can put my little girls in it.
Well, we have had some sad interruptions around here, putting us way behind schedule. There are still 6 lovely roosters in the dog kennel at night. I allow them to roam the property and forage during the day and I fill their dish with organic chicken food at night to encourage them to come to bed at night. They actually prefer to roost on top of the coop, but I want them closed inside protected from Wile-y coyote at night. All that means that the pullets are still in the rabbit cages on the porch. I have to clean the pull out tray 3 times a day to keep the flies down and I give them ice water bottles to keep cool. That is not as passive a project as I would like. But we will get through this.
I will send these 6 roos to camp Maytag when Steve goes back to work this coming week and then the girls can go out and live in their new “coop” under the tree. Once my gardens are up, they will have a place to run free and wild.