You may remember a recent post about losing most of our laying flock to a racoon (read it here if you missed it).
We had three left. The thought of having to buy eggs was a little nauseating and we missed having the flock scratching around, controlling bugs and entertaining us.
So we bought new ones. Twelve of them. They’re 20 weeks old now and should start laying any day.
They’re a laying breed called Hyline from a hatchery in Armstrong. Local girls!
We kept them in the coop with the older 3 so they could get used to each other for a week. The day we let them out was the day we brought home a rooster.
We named him Russell. As in, Russell Crow(e). He’s part silky and part bantam cochin, so he’s slightly smaller than the girls, but he’s really pretty ( I’ll try to get a better picture soon) with iridescent green tail plumage and large black eyes (as opposed to the hen’s raptor eyes).
Hearing a rooster crowing makes it feel like a real farm again. That’s one sound I’ve missed for the last few months.
If he ever does breed with the hens (if they let him…he’s kinda short. Maybe we should have called him Tom Cruise), and I ever get around to setting up a little incubator, the chicks should look interesting.
Anyway, since the older hens got used to the younger ones being around and the younger ones learned to respect the older ones, they’ve been getting along and the bug control squad is back up to 15 +1. And we still get about 2 eggs a day, mostly from the older ones, but soon we’ll be getting at least a dozen a day again! There really is no comparison between these free-range (on actual pasture) eggs and factory eggs. Did you know these eggs have over 20 times the amount of omega 3 fatty acids than factory eggs?
Be careful when you buy eggs at the grocery store. Just because it says ‘Free Range’ on the carton does not mean the hens have access to grass and bugs. Your best bet is to buy eggs from a local farmer who keeps happy, healthy chickens.