Scout vs Ritz

Scout vs Ritz

Scout came up to Ritz, the lead duck, in full challenge mode. Ritz did not back down, but turned to face Scout bill to beak. In the blink of an eye, Scout leaps into the air, claws lifted forward in full fighting mode. Ritz, ducked under Scout, bit Scout’s tail feathers and held onto Scout. Scout could not gain his Balkan e, and could not get loose.
The other duck, Cheezit, and the three geese all joined in the fray, heads down, necks out and honking for all their worth.
Ritz let go of Scouts tail, and Scout made a run for it, Ritz chasing after.
Scout pretty well stays clear of the ducks now.

Figs Pigs and Feathers

We updated our Youtube channel

In order to better fit what we are doing on our place, we changed the channel name to Figs Pigs and Feathers.

Yes, that’s right.  We have added pigs to the mix.  Fig trees and a host of others have and will be added to select locations on our property, building an orchard and generally just adding food for us, the chickens, and pigs. 

The feathers part comes in as we also have Geese, Ducks, and Turkeys in addition to our chickens.

Sophia Red

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It is difficult for us to tell some of the hens apart, which one is which?  Particularly with the Barred Rocks.  The Wyandottes too are are very similar in appearance, but the differences are a bit easier to tell.  Except when they are all moving about with the rest of the flock, they sort of blend together too fast for us to distinguish individuals.

The solution was to add some colored leg bands, or ankle bracelets into the mix.  Being able to tell them apart more readily, individual hen behaviors become much more obvious.

Somewhere we saw or heard a description of the Silver Laced Wyandottes as the Sophia Lorens of the chicken world.  Seems an apt description.  So the hen shown above, is wearing the red color ankle bracelet has become known as Sophia Red.

By  chance, the two hens with the purple ankle bracelets, are both at the top of the pecking order as best we can tell.  The Barred Rock now known as Queen and the Wyandotte as Sophia Royale.  Purple being the color of royalty and their individual behaviors seemed to be a good match.

 

Available on Amazon.com

December 2016 Egg Production

Crazy month this December. A few big swings in temperatures, some chicken chasing going on, and the presence of a fox all made for some changes.

Production pretty steady until the 11th, which brought about a drop. The 10th was visitor day, and a couple of the young boys took great delight in chasing the chickens.
Okay, so we did get a certain level of enjoyment watching the boys and chickens on the run! The boys of course had no chance of catching one. While we did not have an issue with the chicken chasing, the hens showed their protest of the event by cutting production the next day. Well, I guess that backed things up some, so the day after that, the 10 hens laid 11 eggs, one with no shell, just the membrane, likely from the hen that laid two for the day. Another 10 days or so goes by, and another day of low production, followed by 11 eggs, again one with no shell. Not sure what the reason for the drop this time.

The 23rd, and again on Christmas eve, we had a problem with the light on the timer. Christmas day, the breaker popped, so something in the electrical system shorted out.
Low production on Chirstmas day. The electrical was re routed for the lights and back in order.

The 26th, as I was going down to the chicken house to feed them and close them up for the night, a red fox appeared, made several attempts at snatching one of the hens. It got a mouthful of hen just as I caught up to them. My appearance and noise as I came after it startled the fox. It dropped the the Silver Wyandotte, Sophia Red, and made for the woods.

On the 27th one of the hens was missing when I went to close them up, but she was there the next morning, unharmed. The 30th however, was a different matter.
The fox appeared while we were away, and killed 8 of the flock of 17. Michael heard the commotion and went out for a look, just in time to see the fox carry off one
of the chickens. Of the 10 hens that were laying, 4 were killed. All four were Plymouth Barred Rock. The fox also killed 3 Buff Orpington cockerels, and a Rhode Island Red pullet. The cockerels and pullet were 17 weeks old. The Barred Rocks were 42 weeks old.

Blue Egg count was 25

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