Chicken Surprise (not a recipe)

I think my high school cafeteria used to serve “tuna surprise,” and I want to assure you that I’m not eating my chickens. But I did get a nice surprise this morning!

I went out to let the chickens and guinea fowl out this morning before work, and was chatting with Fancy Pants, Bertie, and Gertie as usual, when I heard the sounds of some rooster-on-hen action going on. I turned my head to see Clarence working away on a black-and-white hen. Since I have three of those, I couldn’t tell who it was until the act was finished.

hen
There’s a reason I’m running, and it’s not to get a grasshopper.

Lo and behold, it was Hedley, the former Hedy, who I’d renamed because I thought they were a rooster. Well, I guess not, since neither of the other roosters has shown an interest in each other, which rules out rooster love. This is a real relief for me, since my hen to rooster ratio is already a bit off (need more hens). AND we have discovered that Gray Gertie is a guinea cock, not a guinea hen (based on his calls, and now his unfortunate hen-chasing behavior).

Gertie is a growing boy, so now poor Hedly has to run from both him and Clarence (and Bruce, who was lollygagging in the henhouse when I took this).

Now I know who’s laying the white eggs, too, since Hedley is way bigger than Henley, the other Ancona hen, who has a pink comb (for those of you keeping notes). It’s always something with these guys. At least all is well in the world of Big Red, the hen who is a member of the horse herd.

rooster
I’m a horse. A shiny red horse.

I got this photo of her yesterday, running over to the water bucket when she realized it was her favorite time of day: when the water is fresh and full for her easy access. That is one pampered solo hen, with her special feed bag of treats and water bucket.

I hear running water!

Nothing but Goofy Chickens

Here are some fun pictures I got from the game cam. Too bad I didn’t realize I needed new batteries, so some have weird colors. Have fun with these! I hope you like pink!

Hen Looks Like a Rooster, doo doo, doo doo

That’s supposed to be to the tune of “dude looks like a lady,” which is playing in my head. You need a hen and rooster update. Of course. How are my feathered pets (I say that, because they certainly don’t earn their keep.)

Bruce and Clarence both can crow now. Bonus: you can’t hear them in the house.
Look how pretty his tail feathers are, too.

I still have just one chicken laying eggs. Good ole Bertie Lee. Not a great rate of production.

Leave me alone. I’m eating worms (Bertie is the striped one.)

Oddly enough, the fake egg in the nest box disappeared. I do hope a snake didn’t eat it. Chris put bright yellow golf balls in the nest boxes.

Sure, those look like eggs.

The other fowl are all growing away, but no more eggs. Springsteen is developing a comb and wattles than are like black cherry in color. They’re lovely.

I feel pretty.

Even Patti is growing something on her head. Maybe a rose comb?

There’s something up there. And baby wattles.

And Gray Greta, the only remaining guinea fowl, is growing in “her” (who knows) wattles.

See, I have wattles. I also hate skunks.

One issue may be that Hedy the Ancona is not a hen. I guess that makes them more of a Hedley. There are beautiful green tail feathers, and I’ve seen them try to mate. I’ve also seen Bruce jump them. So, gender neutral pronouns for Hedley!

What? I’m not pretty?
I was born this way.

We have been working for more chicken safety, so soon we can try for more. With now perhaps three roosters, the ratio is wrong. Clarence is still living outside, to his utter annoyance. So at least the 5 hens only have 2 roosters after them. Let’s hope we can fix that!

Let me in. I’m wanting to do my rooster duty.

And good news, Rip made it through the night! Kathleen is a good calf mama.

I’m still cute.

Let’s hope Miss Fancy Pants starts laying again one day. She still visits the hen house often.

I’m just here for decoration.

Tired of Rescuing Chickens

This started last night. When I came home, my normally energetic hen, Ginger, was not herself. She was listless and full. She even let me pick her up and hold her.

I was immediately worried she had a reproductive problem, since the high egg-production breeds get them. when I set her down, Clarence, the large Rhode Island Red rooster, got on her and would not stop. She didn’t seem to take it as well as hens usually do.

So, that was it for Clarence, and he is now a free-range guard rooster. Thanks to Chris for getting him out.

Let me in!

When I got home today, Ginger was the same, and had not laid an egg. I decided to put her in the old guinea cage where she will be safe from Bruce (who is not very into the ladies yet).

As I went to move her, damned Clarence busted into the pen. I hadn’t closed the door well enough. He immediately jumped on Ginger and she let out a horrible sound. I dove for Clarence, once more forgetting that there is sharp wire partway down the opening between pens.

It’s blurry, but that’s my hair on that metal. We will fix this issue.

After I scraped my head open, I tossed Clarence out rather unprofessionally. I was pretty mad. But, I got Ginger in the pen with food and water, so no one can pester her. I’m guessing she’s egg bound or something. I have no way to help.

Fancy Pants is checking up on her coop buddy.

Clarence has water and food, plus an endless supply of grasshoppers, so he’ll be fine. There’s even a coop for him at night.

Since he flies well, I’m not too worried about him.

Gratuitous picture of the black and white chickens.

And I got the blood out of my hair. The wound was not fatal! Later, I slammed a gate on myself. Stress does make you clumsy, I think.