Well... it has been an interesting adventure.. this chicken raising thing. When we started, Josh got two light brahma chicks for me for Mother's Day.
The very next day, we added a third chick. A buff brahma.
When they were about 2 months old, the buff one escaped the coop (a puppy corral with a wood lid at the time.. the coop was still under construction) and met it's demise with my dog. At the time, we had a Dorkie. He looked like this:
Cute... but deadly! LOL. We finished the coop and the two hens left over moved in. We knew we wanted three hens, so we figured while they were still small, we would add a third chick back in. Big mistake. She was significantly smaller and the other two eliminated her. She was a buff orphington. She didn't last long. Sad day, lesson learned.
Time passed, the brahma's grew. The coop was complete. All was well.
And then, we learned the hard way, that the dorkie mix of diggers and hunters didn't work out so well for the hens. We found a big hole under, the wire had been torn back and we had two dead hens on our hands. We were hen free for a bit after that. We knew that we would want to start again though. Meanwhile, we were having issues with the doggie.... he was a grand escape artist and he continued to find new ways out of the yard. We learned a lesson about breed researching before adopting for sure. Lucky for us, we found someone who was searching for a pup just like him. We gave him to this fellow, knowing he was going to a home much better suited for him. We moved the chicken coop to the side of the house where the veggies will grow and decided to start again. Insert these gals.
One Silver Laced Wyandotte
One Buff Orphington
One Light Brahma
Do you watch The Big Bang Theory? We do.
As they were growing, things were running smoothly.
And then..... as they started to get older, we started noticing that Priya was becoming more dominant. This struck me as odd because she was consistently the smallest and seemingly the bottom of the pecking order. She would squabble a tad with Penny, but they all got along great. Penny was a bit loud for a hen, but she wasn't crowing... just.... honking. Priya started looking like this;
Long story short (or not... maybe it's too late...) yesterday, I found them mating. I was more and more certain that Priya was a 'he' rather than a 'she', but yesterday's antics sealed the deal.
Here they are roaming the yard.
I wondered why he had no interest in Penny though. Well... once I let them out to free range and they were allowed more distance from each other, I discovered why. Penny had started to look like this:
I didn't think anything of it though, because the hens can have almost as much of a comb and wattles as the roos. Here's a hen of that breed:
When Priya wasn't paying attention, Penny tried to fool around with his girlfriend. Sad day. My three hens turned out to be two roos and a hen. Those are pretty bum odds. Needless to say, we aren't allowed to have males where we live, so they had to go. Not to mention the fact that you should have a ratio of 10 hens to one roo.. and two dudes fighting over one chick never turns out well.........So back to the seller they went. The guy we got them from graciously took them back and exchanged them for two young hens.
Meet Ginger and Nutmeg.
As adults they'll look like this:
They're Ameraucanas. They'll lay pastel eggs. They're known as the chickens that look like hawks. Pretty neat if you ask me. They're friendly and they're good layers.
At the moment, we have them in the coop while Bernie roams around. She's a bit lonely after loosing her coopmates. Once Ginger and Nutmeg are a bit bigger, I'll let them roam the yard with her. It's gonna be a long process. We don't want any casualties like the first time. They're able to get acquainted in the large area of the yard now that the dorkie isn't around. Umi, on the other hand, gets along great with the chickens. Bernie follows her around the yard now that she has no friends. She mostly ignores the new chicks, but on occasion, she'll come by and watch them or peck at them through the wire. It's like she's saying, "who do you think you are?".
Here's a current shot of my gal:
You can see her checkin' them out here.
So, until they become better pals, Bernie will have to rely on Umi for companionship. She doesn't seem to mind so much, those girls enjoy exploring the yard together.
Hopefully we start seein' some eggs someday....