Well, spring is definitely in the air! Ok, so it’s practically summer – but if you ask the young males on my property if it is spring in England, and they’ll tell you in no uncertain terms that it is HERE. Spoticus had us awake at 5… the dawn chorus begins about then, and the air is alive with birdsong. From rabbit to robin to pheasant, there is much twitterpation here on our little piece of Paradise.
Some of you may recall that my flock increased by 6 chickens on March 22 of this year.
That makes my 6 Buff Orpington/hybrid crosses now officially 10 weeks old. The babies have grown like weeds, and it became quickly apparent that I had 2 little cockerels and 4 hens to eventually add to the flock (at present 1 cock, 7 hens).
Looks like at least 2 Sunday roasts are in our future… haha!
Dusty, the little pullet that I picked out of its sticky shell and saved from sure death, has become my little sweetheart. She comes when called and is a most social little bird. I have to watch her now, as she seems inclined to follow me into the house! Her flock buddy is a cockerel called Nilla (as in Nilla Wafer), and he is also very tame. He is a solid blonde and looks to be on his way to following his Orpington roots. We also have a pullet called Skeletor (don’t ask – long story), and 2 other solid blonde pullets who have yet to find their names.
Dusty in foreground, Skeletor behind her, President Logan hiding his beak and Nilla making a getaway stage right!
Our second little cockerel is called Logan, thusly named after weaselly President Logan off 24 since they share the same profile! Seriously – this chicken really DOES look like President Logan…
Now, baby chickens peep for a long, long time. Their bodies grow, but their voices don’t break into proper clucks for quite some time. When I raised my 4 Buff Orps last year, they did not find their clucks until perhaps 5 or 6 months of age, being a large, slow growing breed. Spoticus discovered his crow at roughly 6 months, at which point fertilized eggs were soon to follow.
Videos of Spot and his sisters from last year can be seen here:
At present, all 6 chicks are still peeping… until this morning! With the usual dawn chorus came the most odd croak ever. Somewhere between a creaking hinge and a sick cat. I couldn’t work out if my husband had some sinus trouble or the cat had done battle with a fox and was the worse for it. As I lay there in bed delaying the inevitable, I knew I would have to investigate.
The cats were present and accounted for, the gate was closed, and, so far as I could tell, hubby’s sinuses were in good working order. Which left…
Yes. You guessed it! Logan has yet to cluck, and there the little rotter was, standing tip-toe in classic rooster style on my garden wall, CROWING! It’s a pretty poor crow as yet, but there you have it. He is pretty certain he is reaching his roosterhood.
I’m pretty certain it is too early for that business, thank you very much!
I shook my head and went about my morning ritual… feed the cats, the pheasants, the chickens, the coffeemaker, me, the fish… and you’ll never guess what happened next.
My baby guppy males. Oh yeah. Not yet half an inch long, their fanned tails barely making an appearance, and those boys are dogging – DOGGING – the adult females at every turn. Seriously, dudes. Your little spermilators are not even developed, but sure enough, they are MALES and are convinced they can get on with the job. Fish puberty is as gross as human puberty, apparently.
Gaaaaa. What is a Mother Hen to do?
At this rate, my little pullets will be approaching point of lay within a few weeks (nooooo! They’re so young!), and I’m bound to have a massive guppy explosion in my fish tank.
Kids. They grow up waaaaay too fast these days.
And boys… well, they are BOYS.
That’s “Mamma Chicken” en français
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