All The New Things: Chicken Edition

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my blog!!  I’ve been updating my Facebook page, thinking I’ll catch up here at some point… Well  here’s some point!

I had gotten a rooster from a friend of mine and named him Rex Goliath. He was a good roo. Sweet to his hens and protective, but very tame and good with us. I was able to hatch a dozen or so of his offspring before he died. Something had happened to his foot, and while I was keeping him close to the house in the chicken tractor, he fell and broke his neck. I’m still heartbroken. He’s buried under the chestnut trees.

Rex and his girls

Rex and his girls

My boy! Such a good Roo!

My boy! Such a good Roo!

I was able to get 5 roosters from him. Yin and Yang were the first two. Then Brutus, Red and another that was killed after flying over the back fence. Yin and Yang, I believed at the time, had 9 lives due to their near death experiences. They survived heat stroke when I left the thermostat out of the incubator and it reached 104*. Yang had hatched only minutes before, Yin was unresponsive, but came back within a half hour with a cool water bath and water in his beak. Sadly, the other 7 (some hatched, some not) were dead. I had a blog about it, but was unable to finish it. I felt like a murderer. The next time was right after Rex injured his leg, and before we had the chicken tractor finished. I would put Yin/Yang out in the backyard under the chestnut trees in a metal dog fence during the day, with the two older chicks I called the velociraptors, and bring them back in before dark. I had put Rex in with them so I could watch him during the day as well.

One day, I had them out and went to my mom’s so the kids could swim. Before we were able to leave her house that evening, a HORRIBLE storm came. Thunder, lightning, extremely strong winds, and gully washing rain!  I had no choice but to wait out the storm at moms and pray the chickens were ok. Sadly, they were not. The metal fence had folded up and fell over. EVERYTHING that was there; water dish, food dish, towel over the top and umbrella giving them shade, was all gone. I’ve yet to find any of it! Rex was gone, the velociraptors were standing in the yard, but I found Yin and Yang under the dog fence, cold and barely twitching. I assumed necks were broken, so the nurse in me rushed them into the house and thoroughly felt every tiny bone from beak to feet. Everything was intact, so I grabbed my hairdryer and warmed them. As the feathers dried and fluffed, the chicks slowly perked up and by bedtime, they were running around the floor again. Rex had hopped across the yard and was hiding under the boat.

Baby Yin and Yang

Baby Yin and Yang

When a bunch of the chicks were too big for the chicken tractor, I moved the velociraptors (who btw are a black jersey giant and yellow brahma) and Yin and Yang down to the main coop. Of course, one night I forgot to shut the cage door. Nothing got in, but Yin must have either stayed out or went out too early. He was lying in the upper pasture by the bees with his neck eaten out. He was beautiful. Sold black except for golden tips on all of his feathers.  I moved Yang back to the tractor. A month or so later, he made the move on his own to the main coop to take over his dad’s duties. He’s a good boy, and a bit of a dork. He’s fallen head on into the water trough, which was hysterical! He’s been attacked by the hens for wanting to fertilize their eggs. He’s tripped while walking. I really need a GoPro camera to catch all the crazy.

So all in total, we have the three hens and two of the three roosters, who survived the last hatch, living in the chicken tractor, the two velociraptors, Yang, and 7 of my original hens living in the main coop.  I also have 13 eggs incubating!  I candled them a couple of nights ago, and they all have embryos and all of the embryos were moving around! I’m thrilled!

And that’s the latest on the chickens!  LOVE my chickens. They are a HOOT!

Yang telling everyone he's the man.

Yang telling everyone he’s the man.

Yang being... well, Yang.

Yang being… well, Yang.

Red and Brutus

Brutus (left) hatched in my hand. Red on the right. He has his grandfather’s red feathers mixed in.

Fuzzy butts.

Fuzzy butts.

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Roosting under the bushes.

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Free ranging buddies.

 

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