Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Addition by Subtraction?

A popular cowboy quote by CM Russel goes something like this: "Spending that many hours in the saddle gave a man plenty of time to think. That's why so many cowboys fancied themselves philosophers."  Well, I've come to the conclusion that too many days of rain tends to do the same thing to a chicken farmer.   Does having a few chickens in my backyard make me a chicken farmer?  Does continually contemplating roosters make me a philosopher?  Well, maybe not technically, but let me tell you about the weekend's exploits.

To briefly recap last week's discovery, Buffy the "hen" turned out to have quite the singing voice.  The kind that wakes you at 5:45 am.  Not exactly the talent that urban chickens are supposed to exemplify.  That punched his ticket out of town via Craigslist and I was happy to find "Joe" that needed a purebred Americauna rooster to match with his Easter Egger hens.  As we delivered Buffy to his new home, we quickly discovered that Joe has what my older son has coined "The Disease".  We first encountered "The Disease" about 8 weeks ago when we were shopping for our first chicks.  It appears to be highly contagious and as I reflect back on the various chick sellers, I believe every single one of them displayed various symptoms.  What are the symptoms?  Here are a few:  distinct smell of chicken when entering certain rooms of the home, various cages & boxes in the corners of the dining room, incubator in the basement, chicks with heat lamp in the living room, and last but not least.....chicken droppings all over the backyard sidewalk.
Could I have possibly escaped contracting this dreaded disease after being so frequently exposed to it?  You be the judge.....cause I've developed this odd habit of putting my fingers in my ears & singing "la-la-la-la" whenever my older son talks to me.

New addition #1- Old English Game Bantam.  This is a 5 week old chick that appears to be a hen based on the large body & small, feminine-looking head.  She is bonding with the new younger chicks and even acts a bit protective of them. 
New addition #2- Easter Egger/Silkie mix.  I sort of jumped at the chance to add another potential EE hen to the flock after losing Buffy.  What threw me was how it has 5 toes and feathered legs.  To my knowledge, only Silkies have 5 toes with feathered legs.  Then it made sense!  Why else would Joe need Buffy the rooster?  His Silkie rooster had fathered this chick.
New addition #3- Polish/Silkie mix.  Polish chickens are one freaky looking bird so mixing it with a Silkie that also tends to get a little mop on its head should create one interesting looking chicken.  Let's hope we don't have too many hawks in town cause this kind of chicken sure won't see it coming!  After the chick pic, I posted a couple other Polish chicken pics so you can see what I'm talking about.

New Addition #4- Frizzle/Silkie mix.  We know this chick has Frizzle in it cause the tell-tale wing feathers that are curled but it also has the 5 toes & feathered legs of the Silkie.  Frizzles have feathers that look like they belong in a feather down pillow.  The feathers curl out instead of down.  After the chick pic, I posted a pic of a full size hen I found on Google.

As you can see, Joe had one very BUSY silkie rooster!  My younger son never liked the look of the Silkie chickens and now we have 3 silkie mix chicks.  Oops!
So, my goal was a small flock of 3-4 good laying hens....and I'm adding small bantams and breeds that aren't known for their egg laying abilities.  Don't say it!  I know what your thinking.  La-la-la-la-la.


  1. It's creeping up on you, and I don't think there's a thing you can do about it!! LOL!!

    I started out with 8 mixed bantams, MIL saw 3 little black banties and thought they were too cute to pass up.... now I have 11 (but the sex is still unknown on them!). I just looked at my calendar and realized that the 16 Delaware & Buckeyes I ordered have been in the incubator for a week now! Oh, and the 3 Indian Runner ducks :) Don't feel bad... I've got the disease, too!!

  2. Ah yes ... The hubby and I wen't out to look for some chicks that would be 'good layers' and possibly 'easter eggers' for the coloured eggs ... and what did we walk back with? Fluffy fuzzy chickens ... they get you in the end!