Saturday, May 7, 2011

Uh oh...

Well, quick Veggie update:

Peas, Garlic, Lettuce, Beets, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale and Swiss Chard all coming along well.  Still no sign of carrots, and one or two toms still holding out.  I did find at a veggie stand wonderful strong stemmed big tomatoes, and bought 4, even though I potted up 9 more tomato seedlings the other day.  Have to hedge my bets, can't go without tomatoes this year!

Now on to the chickens.  Thought that I would give everyone an update on how much they are growing:
First up is Rosalina, our Welsummer:

Look at the wings though, she is using them to full advantage keeping her place as top hen.
Rosalina is one of the birds that is the most docile, and really pays attention when she is called a "good girl"
Hayden, our Golden Laced Wyandotte:

Calm as can be...hah, she is the flighty one of the bunch.
Twinkie, our Buff Orpington (who along with Little Red is one week younger than Rosalina or Hayden):

She is shedding (or molting I guess they call it) something awful...sorry Twinkie, I know better photos are in your future!

And now for Little Red, our Silver Laced Wyandotte.  This little chick is the reason the name of this post is Uh oh...I am more than a little concerned that this litlle chick is a Roo.  Not a hen.  No crowing yet, but look at the photo, and you may see why I think this:
This chick is one week younger than the Golden Laced Wyandotte, is much smaller than all three of the other birds, and the comb and wattles are noticeably more pronounced and larger then any of the others.  This bird, is tail end charlie in the pecking order, and is the most aggressive of the birds.  This chick is vocal, but so far, just clucks and coos, no crowing.

The hatchery says that it's 97% certain as to the sex of the hatchlings, but 3% of the time, a Roo slips through.  I'd hate it if I was in the 3%!  I had planned on 4 hens, and was building the coop for that.  I can't have a Roo inside the city, and can't jeopardize the rest of the hens.  If it is a Roo, I will try to find it a home, but if not, I will do my best to quickly and painlessly end it's life.  That is the the promise I made myself when I began this foray into chickens. They can be named, but they are dual purpose birds; eggs and meat.  They are not pets.  

I am crossing fingers, saying prayers, and hoping with all my might that Little Red is just a Hen.  And that I will not have to kill a chick.  Hence, the Uh oh...  

On a positive note, the coop is coming along nicely.  I have the back and front plywood pieces cut and primed.  The nesting box is framed and primed.  And the flooring plywood is cut.  I have the roosts in place, and with a few nice weather days should have the side walls cut and all primed.  Then It's just put the plywood together with the framing, put on the roof, and wire it up.  I may be done within the next week.  None too soon, as the chickens are getting bigger and outgrowing the Costco Watermelon box they are in!

I have also turned off the heat lamp, as I had it moved up so far, it was keeping the temp equal to that of the garage.  No sense waisting electricity, and it was time for them to get used to Dark.  

Well, it's learning every day here on the homestead.  Looking forward to what I will learn tomorrow.


  1. I have considered turning off my lamp as well. I probably will do on Sunday when I clean out the brooder... well maybe Monday when I have time.

    I'm rooting for a hen, not a roo... If it is, buy a lotto ticket!

  2. This must be their awkward teenage phase :) I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that the Silver Laced Wyandotte is a hen not a rooster.