Oh my how these young ladies have grown, it has been a journey raising chickens. My 12 pullets are about 19 weeks old today, give or take a few days. They are a handful and get into a little bit of trouble around here just about everyday. Raising chickens is all new to me and these girls and I are learning as we go. Who would have thought 12 chickens would be so entertaining and I would get so attached to their well being. They haven’t laid an egg yet, but we are patiently waiting and waiting. The average laying age is 20-25 weeks, so any day now. Right?! I don’t know how much more waiting I can take.
The girls spend their days in a 20 X 20 fenced in area, where they can run, jump and do whatever else it is chickens do to pass the time. It’s a large open space that used to be covered in grass. The girls have done a great job at turning it into their foraging haven, revealing all of the rocks that our Hill Country land has to offer. Our dogs have also done a great job at keeping the girls mostly safe from predators. The girls now know to run to their coop the minute our dogs start barking. Their own personal body guards.
Our flock consists of (1) Rhode Island Red, (3) Barred Plymouth Rocks, (4) Ameraucanas and (4) Buff Orpingtons. The boys named all of the girls and are quite fond of them.
The two up front are Coco and Cheeks! Coco is very passive and sweet, Cheeks (she has those funny puffy cheeks) is very mischievous. She loves to get on top of our dogs kennel fence and give me heart attacks thinking she is going to jump in with them. She is also one of the more dominant girls in the flock, and tries to show the others she is boss.
Cheeks, Polly and Dixie these girls rule the coop! These three are the loudest and together the most dominant of the flock. They are the three I have to find every evening. The three Buffs in the back are Blondie, Daisy and Honey; we usually can’t tell them apart so those poor girls will truly never know their “names” and I don’t think we will ever get it right either.
Feathers, renamed a few weeks ago is the smallest and most docile of my girls. A few weeks ago I found her curled up in the coop on a late afternoon. She had blood on her face, was missing feathers on her neck with a huge gash. We are not sure what got to her; a sister, dog, or predator?! I had to quarantine her in my garage for two weeks. Cleaning her gash and keeping her company. When her feathers finally started coming back and she begged to get out. Seriously this poor girl got so loud when she saw me walking out. I finally took her back out with the rest. I am so happy she pulled through and we were able to nurse her back to health. She is always the last to come out of the coop in the morning. I have to coax her with a piece of bread or fruit to get her to leave the coop some days. She is very timid and doesn’t make much effort to fit in with the other girls. We give her space and the girls seem to do the same. We all just keep her as happy as possible.
Red, my sweet and only Rhode Island. I am quite fond of her beauty.