Remember these guys? Our last batch of chickens are now 32 weeks old, which is around 7-8 months of age. They started laying at the end of autumn, so we've been lucky to have an egg-glut through winter. Between the new guys and their parents, we average around 10 eggs a day!
Is this guy trouble?
Above is "trouble" the only rooster we decided to keep from the batch. He's not exactly trouble at all. In fact he's absolutely a dream, as far as roosters go. He looks after his ladies and always makes sure they eat before he does. Even when the other roosters pecked the girls away from the food, trouble always made sure he saved his food for them.
Sarah has since renamed him Tony Stark, aka: Ironman/Avengers style. He is a utility bred, black Australorp, Australia's only recognised breed.
We ended up with 7 girls and 6 boys out of the 13 that hatched. Do you remember lucky last?
I'm feeling clucky for chicks again
And indeed they were lucky as they almost didn't hatch out of the egg. We called them Omega 13, because they were the last to hatch out of 13 chicks. I really thought they were going to be a boy because they've always been so lanky. But I was wrong...
Not so lanky any more
Lucky last, Omega 13, turned out to be a girl! She is the one most likely to stray from the group. Maybe because she's the only white hen in a flock of black ones? All her brothers which turned out to be cross-colours like her, weren't as nice-tempered as Omega.
It wasn't a hard decision to dispatch them. Because once trouble/Tony became lead rooster, flock life became a breeze.
The above hen is the only one (apart from Omega) now, who has a slight colour variation. She has a chestnut hackle. I'm guessing she's likely a cross between her Australorp father and a New Hampshire mother. Can you guess what Sarah decided to name her?
From this particular batch of chicks, I learned crosses with Isa Browns leads to very unruly (unrooster-like) boys. Roosters shouldn't be aggressive, unless you're breeding the game variety. Roosters should put their flock first, which also means respecting those who bring the food - us. The boys which came from the Isa Brown and Australorp crosses, were not very nice in temperament or how they treated the hens. One in particular (psycho boy) hen-pecked absolutely everyone. His favourite victim was trouble/Tony, because the girls loved him and the other boys respected him.
When psycho boy turned on Dave, as he was leaving the coop, that was the last attack he was allowed to make. He became Indian butter chicken, for dinner. Mmm...yummy.
So if finances allow from now on, we'll stick with the Heritage breeds.The Australorps in particular, seem to be very domesticated.
So placid is this particular flock in fact, I was able to round them up into their coop, by myself, without a flutter or a squark! Which I put down to our not harassing them and Tony Stark's adoration of lovely ladies. He loves on them all day long, even when he's not after the score.