Friday, June 11, 2010

Always late with the chicken!

Okay, get off my back! I know I'm late with the chicken pictures. It's been a busy week. What week isn't? I transferred the cockerels to the coop last week. Last time I had broiler chickens in the coop I lost about 20 to a patient hawk. The hawk would perch atop the layer coop and lay in wait until one of the broiler chickens would stick its head and neck through the chainlink trying to get a morsel on the outside. The hawk would pounce or dive or whatever hawks do. It would kill the chick and eat whatever it could pull through the fence. If the hawk had dinner after I had put the birds up for the night, a fox would come along and try to get whatever the hawk couldn't. Nightmare, I tell ya. At any rate, this year I built a smaller chicken wire fence inside the coop until they were larger in hopes of foiling the hawk. They have graduated from the smaller yard inside the coop. They now run amok inside the coop yard and the coop. The still eat as if they've been wandering the desert for days without an oasis. They are getting big fast. They've got feathers but nothing like the layer chickens. They were 4 weeks old on Wednesday. Four weeks to go before beer can chicken. I am getting very excited.
Other things about the ranch are busy as usual. The Nubians finally kidded out. I don't think we will be expecting any more babies around here for awhile. Tawny had a boy and a girl Wednesday afternoon. Ivory decided to show no signs of labor and had a boy and a girl around 1130 that evening.
All are doing well. Along with babies, I've been finding lamb's tails about the barn yards. We band tails with a castrator band at about 3 days old and now they are dropping like flies. I try and pick them up and throw them in a trash bag or toss them into the grave yard. If left, one of the dogs will sneak them off for a treat. A treat for the dogs means a long smelly evening for the family. Fun on the ole rancho.

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