The Bumpy Road of Chicken Farming

Busy, busy, busy, and happy this morning.

Up early, at 8, so that Greg and I could drop off our son and my mom at our son’s school.  My moms is kindly volunteering because she is super kind like that.

Afterwards Greg and I drove around town hoping to find a stray dog to adopt. That was our legit reasoning behind the drive.

No stray dogs needed adopting so we checked out some homes for sale.  Not because we’re planning on moving (I love my house!) but because we’re trying to convince my parents to move to the same town as us… preferably right next door… we could be chicken farmers together and we’d buy a hot tub and my parents could invest in an inground pool.

We went to the local farm store where I was prepared to become a lifetime, voting member for $10 (and be one step closer to being a certified chicken farmer, not that I’m sure what that entails or if that title even exists).  The lady at the counter said that wasn’t necessary.  Then, just to rain even more on my parade, she told me that black sex link ready-to-lay hens wouldn’t be available until AUGUST.

IMG_0860
Curly doing his sexy dancing

Poor Patches and Flattop need some girlfriends.  Houdini, Curly, and Lonely Chicken are able to hang out with hens because there are enough to keep them mostly separated.  Houdini is now King Cock, probably due to his nasty talon-claw things that I think are at the point they need to be cut (I only watch his because I know he has the longest of them all).  That’s not going to be a fun chore. Following Houdini in the pecking order is the Lonely Chicken, who had been top cock until the ladies (hens) decided that they preferred Houdini.  Curly suddenly moved up in the pecking order, and he seems to be a big hit with the hens, and he knows to avoid Houdini and Lonely Chicken.

The only hen-friend Patches has is Freckles.  They sometimes like to go off exploring together and I would absolutely love it if they had babies together considering they’re some of my most gorgeous chickens.  But Patches, although he’s a dick and I threaten to eat him all of the time, is smart and he avoids the other cocks (other than his brother/friend, Flattop, who is in a worse boat than Patches and they don’t fight).  Patches lets the three top roos do what they do and the hens pick their own friends (yay Freckles for picking Patches!) and I think he gets more kicks out of seeing if he can psych out humans.  He has never fluffed himself or kicked or made aggressive noises at me but he likes to slowly, slowly walk towards people until they move.

But Flattop.  I’m worried about Flattop.

When my chicken count was only at 6, it was Curly who concerned me, because Lonely Chicken was becoming a serious bully towards him.  When I introduced the new 15 hens, the roosters were so happy, they were dancing around everything spilling water and food and insisting that the hens pay THEM attention instead of eating/drinking after the long journey (I don’t really know if an hour long journey is long for hens but I think they might have been packed up the night before).  It was probably within a day that Flattop because the odd cock out and now he stays in the barn all day crying and he doesn’t even seem to like it when I pay him attention because then the other chickens notice too so they bully him.

I welcome any alternatives to giving him away (too many free cocks as there is), eating him (my fuck that would be horrid), or simply getting more hens (WORKING ON IT!).  I have separate food and water in the barn that he can have without anyone else but the nesting hens noticing.  Apparently I’m not supposed to let chickens loiter in the nesting area but I feel like I can make an exception for poor Flattop.

I’m still waiting to share cute pictures, which was a big point of this blog (I’m going to make some galleries one day!), but my phone malfunctioned big time when I tried to upload them to the computer.  Lame.

I’m going to go visit my chickens again and do a bit of clean-up (move around some gravel, sweep away chickenshit, move any garbage I can safely lift, etc.) so that will be nice.  At least I don’t have to worry about the barn fucking with my phone this time because I don’t even have one.  THANKS BARN, probably your fault my phone died while trying to upload pictures of the chickens in the barn.

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