Monday, May 11, 2009

RIP Poachy - A Chicken Update

Firstly, I'd like to say Poachy was a good little chicken. Fairly quiet, minded her own business and wasn't one of my master's of escape (which kept her on my good side). Sadly, Poachy passed away from unknown causes (although I expect a scuffle with Yoko was to blame) early on Mother's Day morning. I was a little upset in the morning, but I know she's in happier hen coops somewhere in the great farm in the sky.

The chicks are getting huge. They are going through an amazing amount of feed and water (well, compared to two weeks ago anyway) and I'm cleaning out their pool every other day as their pooping habits are equal to their eating habits. I did have some issues with chicken ninjas (or at least that's what I'd call them) who habitually hopped out of the pool and ran around my garage. I was not a fan of chicken ninja'ing, so I snagged a roll of chicken wire and wrapped the pool. They still managed to fall out as they kept trying to roost on the edge of the pool in the one damn exposed corner, which of course was next to impossible to reach once they fell in. I dropped a water filled old milk carton into the corner and wa-la, problem solved. They fight over who stand on the top of the bottle and I'm not fishing them out nearly so often.

I did however learn this morning though that chickens under duress can squeeze themselves into a rolled-up bale of chicken wire, which they then can't get out of. That was an interesting experience, that's for sure.

Now that they are getting a bit bigger and losing their feathers it's become a bit of a game to guess what breeds they are (I never did ask the people at the feed store, I keep forgetting). Gracie thinks that Chicken is a Barred Rock, and after seeing some pictures I think I agree.

Noodle, Poopbutt, LouAnne, Turtle, Drumstick, Yoko, Benedict and Scramble are the larger white chicks. Gracie thinks they might be Araucana's, but after looking around at pictures I'm thinking they are probably Leghorns. And just a note, I don't care how good tempered people say chickens can be. All the above named chickens are assholes. Yoko is the leader, and if she keeps up this attitude, she'll be the first to go to the happy hunting grounds.

McNugget, Huevo, Shelly, Omelet, and Dark Meat we think are Rhode Island Reds. I wish the pictures I took of them could really do them justice. They are turning a beautiful reddish-rust tone now from the creamy yellow they were when I picked them out. They are super sweet, a little skittish but not one of these 5 (and formerly Poachy as well) has EVER pecked me. The asshole chickens take care of that part.

All and all, my little suburban chicken thing seems to be going well. Probably this weekend the chicks will be moving out to the Logger's ranch to their newly-refurbished chicken coop, and I'm going to hose the hell out of my garage.

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