Sunday, November 1, 2009
Our Adolescent Teenagers
My sister finally came to visit the chickens. My niece commented that they were no longer babies, but were teenagers like herself....developing and blossoming. And it is true. The yellow fluff is being replaced by white feathers. Their necks are getting longer and they are looking a bit awkward, like the classic awkward middle schooler.
My boys and I sit on the hay bail in the chicken house and watch. The males are starting to strut and fight. We think they are potential roosters. It is quite exciting when they fly to roost.
I'm loving the book I recommended a few weeks ago: Your Chickens by Gail Damerow. I keep renewing it at the library, so I think I need to find it and order it--used.
Here are some of my favorite facts:
The skeleton of a chicken looks like the skeleton of a dinosaur.
A spent chicken is a chicken who no longer lays eggs.
The chickens we bought, White Rocks, are endangered. Many dual-purpose breeds are on the endangered list.
A chicken might attack you if your pants flap in the breeze.
Avoid feeding your birds strong-tasting foods like onions, garlic, or fish, which can make their eggs and meat taste funny. Yuck!
One way to tell if you have a good laying hen, is if you can press two or three fingers between the public bone, and three fingers between the keel and the pubic bone. And they have moist vents. Anyone want to test this out? I've never liked the word moist.
A laying hen can have as many as 4,000 eggs in her body! Woe!
Cockerels learn to crow at 6-8 weeks.