Sunday, December 26

6 Degrees and Possible Roosters

It is bitterly cold out today with that wind chill hovering around 6 degrees. I have been checking on the ladies periodically throughout the day and they seem to be taking it in stride. Although, I think these days of being "cooped up" are starting to get to them a little bit. They are still producing eggs - about a dozen a day - but I can see signs of frustration. There is obvious bickering and subtle signs of physical skirmishes, but nothing serious.

I keep bringing them extra bread scraps and cracked corn when I check their water three times a day and I have been layering more straw down a little over once a week to provide more bedding and insulation.

I still get some strange looks when I enter the coop bundled up in winter gear....

I am afraid that I may have at least 2, maybe 3 roosters in the mix. Of the 6 most recent additions, 4 of them are absolutely huge. They have grown so fast and are so big that they tower over the other ladies. They have the plumage on the tail feathers and they are slightly aggressive in their nature. I have heard no crowing yet but I am worries that if they are roosters that being confined in close quarters for a few months might bring on more aggressive behavior. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will try to get some better pictures of the chickens in question. But here are a couple pictures of them:

Here is one of my original 6. They are all doing well and Hildred had recovered from her moulting.

And here are some of the 12 Golden Comets we raised from chicks this past spring. All 12 are doing well and seem to be happy, and producing eggs. They are small, compaired to the 6 Rhode Island Red (maybe) roosters, but they are very friendly and do not mind being picked up, held and petted.

You might remember that last summer I built what amounted to a buffet table for the ladies with a long board held about 6 inches off the floor of the coop by some left over chunks of 4x4 post. I was trying to get the feeders and fonts off the floor to prevent straw and dirt, among other things, from being kicked into them by the girls. This worked in getting things off the floor but the ladies soon decided that standing on the board was more fun then standing on the floor. So I had the same problem, only 6 inches higher.

I made a barter deal with my neighbor and got a bunch of used cement blocks for some eggs and baked goods and I put each font and feeder up on its own block. No room for perching, high enough to limit the amount of debris, and low enough for the ladies to comfortably reach the goods. I also put all the nest boxes up on blocks too. they had been on some old metal racks we found in when we moved it but they were not as sturdy as I would have liked and they were hard to clean around. Sweeping around cement blocks is much easier.

I will post some good pictures of the roosters in question soon - any advice would be appreciated. I do not want roosters, or even 1 rooster. I do not want the aggressive behavior towards the ladies and my neighbors would not appreciate three alarm clocks.

1 comment:

  1. We have golden comets too! But no roosters. Those bigger ones sure do look like they might be roosters though. We have been feeding greens to the girls (mustard greens, turnip greens) and they really love them. Changing the diet a little bit seems to keep them happy. Ours are outside most of the day although did NOT like the snow. We actually had some snow for Christmas here in Alabama. The girls stayed right near the coop and wouldnt get their feet wet. Such Divas LOL.