Monday, September 8, 2008

They're Here

Please check out "The Chicken House" for background information to "They're Here."

As promised the chickens have been delivered to our home by my in-laws over the weekend, but I was warned, "They don't look so good, we've had trouble with some bald spots." Not to be dismayed with a few missing feathers I looked optimistically forward to their arrival. How bad could it really be???

Back in February I carefully selected chicks from the Belt Hatchery website to be reared by Mike's parents. The standard white "Arian Nation" chicken who lays white eggs would not do. I wanted pretty feathered-multicultural chickens so I picked a variety and settled on five breeds. So, the mob consists of Danish brown leghorns, Rhode Island reds, barred rock, golden sex-link and black sex-link. And no, I have no idea what "sex-link" means! So we anticipated both brown and white eggs from multicolored chickens. All will be well in the world.

So the chickens they cometh...Well they were missing some feathers for sure. With varying degrees of baldness the 14 chickens made their first promenade around their pen with little fanfare. Some are tail-less and a few have one or two feathers sticking awkwardly out from the top of their butts. Not exactly my idea of perfection in chickens, no glorious feathered friends, but I will be patient. It looks like the feathers are starting to poke out from their bumpy, naked chicken skin. The in-laws think the feed was not quite balanced and resulted in poor feather production so with new feed we're aspiring to greatness. Several chickens were actually delayed from the "home coming" due to their admittance into the "chicken hospital" back at the in-laws house. It seems the other birds were picking on them and they got some nasty holes pecked in the top of their rumps. I am learning the ugly little secrets about chickens: they will peck each other to death if left to their own devices. So much for my multicultural flock in harmony together, these birds are apparently blood thirsty cannibals. I am wearily watching the flock for any signs of aggression… Who knew raisin' chickens was so dab nab flabbergastin.'

The chickens just a peckin' an a scratchin.'

So I move on to the two roosters, which are Danish brown leghorn and Rhode Island red varieties. As you can see in the picture, Mr. RIR, is lacking the most feathers of all the birds. It pains me to see his naked back end and I fear that he will sunburn, but husband Mike, assures me that I am worrying like a broody hen. Ha, ha... I think Mr. D is going to be the most handsome when all his feathers fill in. He also has the attitude to kick some ass. Note to self: in photo he has his nearest leg raised as in anticipation of scratching the crap out of me. I think he is starting to size me up by the way he jauntily turns his head while surveying my height.

Observe Mr. D with raised near leg, ready to maim at will.

Mr. RIR. Grow feathers, grow!!!

It has been Mike's dream for many, many moons to have a rooster to chase the kids around the property, and I think he will soon be gratified by a timely premeditated attack by Mr. D within the next month. Nothing would delight my husband as much as seeing one of the roosters chase the boys around the yard while simultaneously launching all 4 pounds of their body weight at the kids head. Mike has educated me on their behavior characteristics and assures me that when the roosters start to mature they will provide endless entertainment. Basically, the roosters are little bad ass, attack chickens just waiting for an opening. The children don’t stand a chance.

Oh Yah! Did I forget to mention they produced 12 eggs within the first day! So much for settlin' in. They're at home already. Next time "The Chicken Wisperers..." Kind of like the horse whisperer but much more entertaining.

Wyatt and Ella trapped in a spare piece of caging wire. Maybe a good place to store the kids when I am feeling sadistic...

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