31 December 2010

The Hens Speak

Dear reader, let me begin by wishing you a joyful end to the year two thousand ten. It's been a doozie for so many people we know that we are not the least bit sad to bid it adieu. Let us all have a pleasant, healthful, and successful two thousand eleven!

Chetworth has also asked me to extend his thanks to the person or persons who sent him the beautiful wreath for Christmas. Fourteen brains between us and this household still can't figure out who the anonymous sender was. The wreath has been very pretty hanging at the entrance to the drive.

This new year's eve marks the start of a new era for our hennies and roos. You see, the girls told me the other day that they "had had ENOUGH with those greedy, sex-crazed, roosters" and that it was my job to "do something about it" or there would be no peace in the barnyard for me.

No, the roos didn't get the axe even though that is the logical thing to have done. Fortunately for them I promised someone special that I wouldn't do them in since they are rather nice roosters, as roosters go. Anyone want a rooster?

What I did do was create a little bachelor pen for six of the little men. They now have their own coop, roosts, sand bath, and covered area next to the big coop. I managed to put most of the boys in there just about sunset but they flew the fence just to prove a point. Little did they know or remember that there are fixes for that....

About eight o'clock I went out with a wee flashlight and collected them one at a time, climbed over the fence, and clipped their glorious barred wings with my scissors of dismay. Mr. Horace, our red banty frizzled Cochin, did not receive such treatment as he knows he can't fly anyway. Horace was, most sensibly, already cozy in the rooster coop. The girls will be happy.

The hennies do still have two roosters living with them as it was always my intention to only allow those who weren't too aggressive with the girls to live with them once I got it sussed out. Red is a smooth red bantam Cochin who seems pretty laid back. Guido is my pet chicken.... small, hen-pecked, and thoroughly sorry looking... so he gets to stay in the big coop out of pity if nothing else. Everyone seems to treat him like a girl anyway.

The bachelors will live in their little yard for a time while I erect a bit of temporary fencing in the walled garden. If they're going to stay then they can earn their keep by scratching the soil bare of weeds back there.

1 comment:

Lausanne said...

It is interesting to read about your gender balancing arrangements. I get in a dither in peak brooding season with our duck flock. The drakes are numerous and , yes, relentless! With our new adolescent brood coming into season this spring we will HAVE to diminish the drake population somewhat. I think it will be freezer time for a few of the males. All our birds roam te premises so caging the males separately doesn't seem fair...Last year one of the lady ducks was made permanently lame from all the sport. It is hard with a mixed breed flock like ours. Undoubtedly the largest males will be the ones to head to the chopping block, just to protect the females from displaced hips! Sounds like you have the situation firmly in hand down there.