Saturday, August 20, 2011

HEN HAPPENINGS: Secret Roosters and Happy Hens

I'm learning a lot about the world of chickens. For instance, sexing chicks (by the way..not a good choice for google keywords, but this IS the term farmers use in the industry) is not an exact science. Feed stores have two categories to choose from: pullets and straight run. Pullets are guaranteed 90% hens. Straight run is 50/50 and you could do better playing the Lottery. Sadly, I bought 6 pullets and 2 turned out to be roosters! So today we said good-bye to....
BELLA our Buff Orpington. She's going back to the store.
BELLA..or should we say BILL?

The secret to taming roosters...feed them wheat bread while you sit with them! It's an irresistible treat.

Personality: Though sold as a hen, Bella never acted like one. The charming, docile, even loveable personality that Buff Orpington hens are famous for never materialized. Instead, she was distrusting of people, wary, keen on hunting for food, and a loner. And now I know why...she (he) was always a rooster. You see, you can't really tell hens and roosters apart until the age of 4 months. Then dramatic changes occur in the roosters while the hens stay docile and even enjoy being picked up and petted.
Bella starting crowing this week, got her (his) feathers ruffled a lot, and got pretty bold about taking first place in the pecking order. I wish I could keep roosters, but our neighborhood and my wife don't appreciate Mother Nature's Alarm Clock.
Roosters are beautiful, but not too practical for city folks.
(image source: wikipedia)

So, who's left? Time for some fun hen humor.

Today I put some mysterious items in their hen house. As you can see, they studied these carefully and are now deep in thought as to what they could possibly mean. Come on girls, you can figure this out. :-)

By next month we should get our first eggs from Hoot (brown), Zeebee & Phoebe (zebra stripes), and Gwen  (black).

I'll post the first egg sometime in the future.

1. wheat breat
2. watermelon rinds
3. corn on the cob leftover cobs
4. pulled up St. Augustine grass (they eat the entire leaf & stems!)
5. popcorn

Thanks for stopping by.
David/ :-)


  1. Sooner or later, they'll get the picture :)
    We are waiting for our hens to get the idea, too.

  2. Your post reminds me of what happened today when I goggled 'Sinn Danielle' (should be Sinningia 'Danielle', I thought the shortform would suffice) a whole lot of rather erm..unrelated but interesting pics popped up!

    Your chickens are cute! I like them too, but it's not ideal, keeping them in an apartment! When I used to work in my local animal shelter, I passed every chicken that ended up on the shelter's doorstep to a chicken-loving friend of mine...I wanted to save them all..She ended up with a whole bunch of noisy roosters, which she claimed annoyed her so much with their ruckus she got fed up one day and covered one with a cardboard box just to have some peace and quiet while she studied! LOL. The impression of most people that roosters crow only at dawn is totally wrong - they crow every five minutes! =D

  3. Loved this post, David! You are going to enjoy those fresh eggs so much!

  4. When they fill the carton, they can call up to the big house and get you to bring them an empty...


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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