I haven't been on in awhile...cybercreeps! I had decided that I wasn't going to blog anymore, but then discovered that I missed it even if no one else is reading.
Last I left it, we had added our new Rooster Boo and his little Americauna friend Dora. Then Man brought be Brownie, Wyan, Dotts and the other Americauna.
So, I responded to a lady on Craigslist that had been told by the Poultry Police (zoning folks) that if she didn't get rid of her girls then she was going to be fined $100 per day. I graciously offered to pay $3 a bird to give them a new home....29 birds later....I don't have names for them all but we have a few with names and really neat breeds. She had just bought 6 from the Poultry Nationals in the Capital the week before. There are Gibby and Gabby, the Spangled Hambergs, more Wyandotts, Some Dominiques, a Delaware hen, some Red Stars.
Our current girls checking out the boxes full of our "new friends"
Then another lady who lives down the road a short piece, offered her 3 as she is very sick and can no longer care for them. From her we received (for free) a beautiful Delaware Rooster with the biggest comb and wattles I've ever seen. About a 2 inch high comb!!! (breed of the Kelloggs cornflakes rooster) and his Delaware mate, Bertha. And they have a mixed breed friend named, My Girl. So for those of you keeping count at home...yes....47 birds in less than 3 weeks.
Alright and heres the fun part....47 birds and I had to buy eggs this week as ALL of them have stopped laying....grrrr.
Fast forward to this past weekend....we had 11 degree weather, and 40 mph sustained winds with 70 mph gusts. Chickens do NOT like wind. So I went out and tried to shore up the house a bit more with plastic sheeting...of course the roof kept lifting off so it wasn't really warm in there. Came in to find one of the white leghorns laying dead in the middle of the hen house. Next day, I found the gray Aracuana lethargic and on the floor. And at the same time, I see blood all over the back of the Delaware rooster (whose name is Muffin, btw, his previous owner named him Stud Muffin). So I took the gray bird into the house, put her in a box and put it behind the wood burner. She seemed to be breathing fine. Then went to go get Muffin. Stood in the middle of the kitchen with this rooster, holding on to his comb with a rag to try to stop the bleeding...sitting on the internet...holding the rooster, trying to figure out what happened and how to fix it. He had frostbite on his comb. After about an hour of trying to stop the bleeding, I let him go back out with his girls. Boy and I had a playdate at a new friend's house.
We came home 3 hours later....Gray was gone, Muffin was still bleeding, and now my precious Brownie was laying lethargic on the floor of the coop. Gray was dispatched to the compost heap, Brownie was put into a nest box and surrounded by sawdust to keep her warm.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. Now we have lost Brownie too. Muffin's comb is somewhat better, but the whole edge is black from frostbite. It does not look very nice or impressive as it did. I wish I had gotten a picture of him before the bite. Luckily, now everyone else seems to be well, no lethargic birds, etc....still no eggs though.
Then today.....the lady that I bought the 29 birds from had 12 hatch from her homemade incubator!!! 10 have survived...and she brought them over for us to raise. So now we are back up. Now to 54...still not a round number so we need..Just.One.More.
Boy and his bird, SUMMER: