Yes, we got chickens! From the top, roosting along the back of the bench are Sophia, Harry, Chanel, Coco and Pipi. Standing by her lonesome on her strong, feather covered feet is Rose. Her breed is known as the “king of all poultry” so Rose likes to think she’s the queen of the flock. The other chicks, however, may have something to say about that once they’re full grown.
Because of all the benefits and services that chickens offer on a homestead, we’ve always wanted a few of our own. We finally decided to let the gateways open and opted for two pullets that would be ready to lay in a couple of months. We found Rose and Sophia through the interweb and determined they were right for us. We took them out of the suburbs into the country where they could roam free, kind of like this free ranging chicken.
We were smitten. We only planned for two chickens but within three days of Rose and Sophia’s arrival we brought home 4 more chicks: three barred rocks and one mystery chick that may be a cross-bred sex link, according to our research. With a grand total of six chickens our flock is complete.
Let the Chicken 101 classes begin!
A couple of weeks into our adventures in chicken raising, we began to notice the prominent red comb forming on one of the barred rock’s heads (see chick #3 in the photo above). That’s Harry, our surprise cockerel. Little did we know when we first got this bunch that a male was in the mix.
Harry’s definitely growing into himself these days. His comb is getting brighter and his wattle is growing longer. As handsome as he may be and while the benefits of having him may be extensive according to this article, waking up to a cock crowing at 5am is not part of our plans. Will we keep him, eat him or give him away? TBD
When we first brought the younger chicks together with the older ones, the adjustment period was an arduous one. There was bullying and some pecking on the birds’ part and lots of yelling and finger wagging on our part.
Thankfully, the flock decided a round-table meeting was in order to straighten things out. Coco (not pictured) and Chanel, being the natural leaders and diplomats that they are, chaired the meeting until all sides agreed to a more amicable coexistence.
The meeting was long. When it was finally over we watched from a distance as they walked out of it in good spirits.
The flock has since been able to get along…or at least stay out of each others’ way.
If you have a flock of chickens, what advice would you give to beginners like us?