Today I would like to introduce you to my laying flock of hens. This morning was dark and dreary with the promise of rain so my pictures are not the best but hey...I just started so hopefully the pictures will get better.
I have had chickens for nearly eight years now and have had several different kinds. This last year I decided that I wanted to just have the Rhode Island Reds for my laying flock. I love the breed and the large brown eggs they produce. So I started selling all the hens that were not RIR and ended up with RIR hens and just one cross bred yellow headed rooster. Since I wanted to be sure that all new chicks would be RIRs I kept selling the eggs. Well the little yellow headed roo went to live with one of the ladies of the riding group I am associated with and is enjoying a group of his own hens about 2 months ago. That left my two nice RIR roosters so I decided to let some of the hens set their eggs. One girl sat and hatched...one chick!
I have another RIR hen setting so hopefully I will have more chicks soon. We have two nice (I think they are nice) RIR roosters. One comes from old stock from someone here in Alvin that has been raising chickens a long time. This roo is very large and has a rose comb so we call him LC for Little Comb.
The second RIR roo comes from a lady that shows RIRs and places well with her birds. He was actually supposed to be a hen but surprise! I had another roo. I am glad though because he is very pretty. He has a large comb so his name is BC for Big Comb. He is the low man and spends alot of time running from LC. He almost died a about five months ago when he flew over the fence into our dogs pen and we found him hiding behind the dogs water bucket between the bucket and the fence. He was pretty beat up so I penned him separately from the other chickens and doctored him and just gave him a warm, dark place to recoup. I think he recovered nicely and stays very far away from the dogs.
Right now I have the 2 RIR roos and 12 hens but I am picking up 10 more of the old style, dark red hens from a local gentleman who really raises nice chickens and I want to make sure I had some of his birds. He is about 90 years old and his health is getting bad and he has slowing gotten rid of his goats, dogs, cows, horses, and now these chickens. He is a wonderful person and I know he hates giving up his animals.
My chickens are free range birds and enjoy the freedom of roaming around the 3 acres and roosting in the barn. We have a very sturdy 2x4 mesh wire fence with a hotwire on top to keep the coyotes out. We have lost a few to the hawks that come every spring but they are pretty sharp about running to the barn when the hawks are around. I have plans on my DH building a hen house so they will quit laying eggs everywhere. I love having them in the barn because they pick up all the grain the horses drop which helps keep the mice down. They also eat the bugs and snakes around the barn. I just love watching them because they are so fun to watch. Every day after dinner I go to the fence and call to them so they can get the scraps and any other vegetable I may have for them. The come running that cute chicken waddle run to see what's for dessert and it puts a big smile on my face
Anyway that is the laying flock here on our little farm. I have banties but that will be another blog.
Tomorrow I will let you know about these 3 ladies.
That's all for today...come back soon!