There have been a few changes in my chicken coops lately. Namely to do with reducing my numbers. It was a very difficult choice, but I decided to put my pekins up for sale. They found a new home recently, with a grandmother and her two grandkids. She was interested in the pekins specifically because of their nice natures around children. The blue pekin rooster has a very gentle disposition too, so I know they'll all get on well.
I also found new homes for both my Gold Lace Wyandotte roosters. One will go to an established flock of Gold Lace Wyandottes, so he will have a harem of his own. The other is going back to the breeder I bought the eggs from. He was happy to take one of his own back to see how he develops. They were already 20 weeks old, but I'm told they still have a lot of growing to do.
So who is left?
The bantam Orpingtons are still with us and we plan to keep them in one of the coops. I've found their natures - especially the roosters' - are very docile and friendly. They are filling out nicely at 30 weeks, or 7 months, and they still have some growing to do. I'm getting an egg a day between the 3 girls. The one in the middle is a blue pullet (along with the rooster who is also blue) and the other two girls are black. They are developing into the traditional shape of an Orpington.
Here is a better picture demonstrating the full figure of an Oprpington pullet. They have a high tail and full breast. Orpingtons are meant to have slate grey legs and black eyes, which these guys have. Come spring, I'm hoping to get some lovely chicks from them.
Also staying are the bantam lavender Araucanas, although one of my girls is looking a little unwell. I've just wormed them, so I hope she works it through her system and comes good. This is the lavender rooster and he's quite a sweety to his two girls. He gets immensely jealous if they demonstrate any attention towards the Orpington rooster.
I've noticed however that some of the Araucana eggs have a little blood on the shell - hence why I wormed them recently. Of course it could just be due to coming into lay, and their bodies getting used to the new process. The worst case scenario however, is her organs are too narrow for the size of egg she's capable of developing. I will keep an eye on things and hope to report an improvement soon.
I suspect the off-colour Araucana is the one laying the shell with blood on the outside.
I will also be keeping 2 of the Gold Lace Wyandotte pullets and putting them in with the Araucanas at "Hilltop house". I should get a nice cross bred chook between them. I'm excited about what the chicks will eventually look like - they should be pretty hardy too. As the father will be an Araucana, his genes will influence the colour of the egg, so any pullets from this cross should lay light green eggs.
I just have to rehome 2 of my other Gold Lace Wyandotte pullets, and my numbers should be more managable. At least until spring time and I get all those lovely little chicks again.
Although it has been difficult letting go of some of my chooks, at the end of the day I did it for their overall health - and mine. Even though I have 2 coops now, I had way too many chickens to fit in them both - and be healthy!
The best part is, I found great homes for the ones I let go. Surely, you can't ask for anything more satisfying than that.