^Rhode Island Red^
Look what arrived at our place today!!!!
75 fuzzy little balls of fluff!!! 62 yellow fluff balls, and 13 red balls of fuzz!!
I am raising some for my Mom as well… So only half of those 62 are mine. Last year I had raised 30, and they are just about gone. We’ll see how it goes this year, as the boys keep growing and they keep eating!! And yes, it is sorta hard thinking that we will eat those little fluff balls. But by the time butchering comes around, I don’t care!! They are so fat and ugly, almost can’t walk and oh, so dirty!! They aren’t worth anything else, so eat ’em up!
But these 13 brown ones are my Rhode Island Red’s… my laying hens. We started out with 8 last summer, and kept them through the winter. Only to lose the first one to a ‘neighbor’ dog.:( Well, I think she would have lived if we would have been home, but we put her in with the rest and they pecked/picked on her. As all hens do to a weak one. (We were gone for a week.)
I think they must all be mourning her lost yet… they have been really bad at egg laying. So we have not been eating as many eggs. They had been laying 7 eggs a day all winter, now it’s only about 3-5. And yes, that is barely enough for us.
So hopefully with 13 more we have enough and maybe can sell a bit on the side. (As long as my boys don’t keep breaking eggs!!)
And hopefully we can manage to raise them all to adulthood… With my boys, who knows. They are in the shop, where hopefully they can’t reach them. They have received strict orders. But do you know my kids?? (Just read my blog, you will find out!!)
Last summer we had the layers in the basement the first couple weeks, as it was only 8. The boys loved to watch and visit them. They were not allowed to without me, but you know there is always THAT one child…
He would be the one to sneak off… and do what he knows he’s not to do.
THAT day, he visited the chicks, it’s a miracle two survived. Upon discovering he had visited, I was checking them to be sure non were having a heartache or such. They all looked fine, until I started counting. One was completely missing!!! I didn’t plan on that, one looking to be in sad shape sure, but one no where around?!?!?!
He had had some containers out, that belong on the canning shelves and as I was cleaning up I thought one seemed a bit heavier than normal when empty, but thought little else of it. Until I couldn’t find a chick!!! So upon investigation, I opened that tiny little container, that was barely big enough to hold a chick, much less shut the lid on the poor thing, and yep, THAT chick was in there!!! Blinking and blinking at me and acting very stiff. She could hardly walk.
I was sure she would die, but she didn’t. I gave her a drink and she had a long nap and was fine. Then he did it to her sister… Grrr. Someone would learn I would think. Either me to keep an eye better or THAT kid from the punishment after the first round!!
But they all lived to adulthood and are still roving the place. They absolutely love to be free and out running around to their heart’s content. And I love seeing them out scratching and pecking for bugs and seeds. They will holler and let you know if you don’t let them out soon enough. But we like to wait ’til noon so they lay their eggs in the hen-house and not out in the steer shed. Not sure what it will be like having 20 hens running around instead of only
*Update* The other day That kid’s Dad caught him with a chick outside… guess he was taking him out to see the world and explore with him!!
(And for the record, do you know how hard it is to take pictures of hens?? Like good close up shots?? I finally gave up… after I got a few I could call ‘kinda good’.)