Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yes, but what color are their "I"s?

Last night, Nathan bought 8 pullet chickens from an Amish farmer in the next county over. I've wanted to get some more layers so that we can actually get enough eggs out of our flock and not have to be buying them. These should start laying very soon. So along with my three Susex and three Silkies, I should have 14 layers (with three Silkie roosters to beat up shepherd them). In theory. Not that they are that dependable...

They're pretty birds. Scrappy, though. We've got all the chickens cooped up together in the "chicken tractor" for a few days to get to know each other and their new home. They're not happy about this arrangement.

I've been googling around because I had never heard of "Eyes o' Brown" chickens before. I tried all different spellings... I finally tried "isa brown" and learned that it's a hybrid sexlink type. Duh. (I'm such a dork) I thought they sure looked like Red Sexlinks... :-D I told Nathan, "Their name doesn't have anything to do with their EYE COLOR!" and he said, "Uh, yeah. I know.. ISA Brown... what did you think they were?" OKay, I'm a little slow sometimes... And to think that I was a "chicken champion" in 4-H...

I was very sad to see that they're debeaked, though. (That's where they cut off the end of the beak in battery chickens to keep them from picking at each other in close confinement.) How barbaric! I thought these were farm chickens! I'm really praying the beaks will grow back. I've read different things about it this morning-- sometimes they grow back if they weren't cut too far, but often they're cut past the growing point. I guess I'll have to consider them "rescue chickens".

These are the original birds of our flock, the Black Silkies. They're very cliquish and not keen on making friends. We call them the "black supremacists." (Can I get in trouble for blogging that?)

My sweet (primadona) Sussex hens were not up for a photo shoot this morning.

And this is the Momma that I have right now. She sat on 7 eggs and only one hatched. (That's the way it's been going all summer. I don't know why.)

Aren't they cute?

I love my chickens. I could watch them all day. --insert contented, self-satisfied sighs here--


  1. Chicken tractor. Man... haven't EVER laughed so hard at a Wiki entry. Did you write that one? Or your neighbor jack Amish guy who came over and used your computer?
    I was like "no way this link about a chicken tractor goes anywhere." Then, I followed it and realized the level of boredom in the midwest.

  2. "Chicken tractors may also be used to house other species of poultry, but the moniker is most often applied to chicken enclosures."

    Thanks for making my day, once again...

  3. Hey, now. Chicken tractors are quite legitimate and make a serious contribution to pastured poultry. It's a movable chicken coop. Ours was given to us by some wonderful friends and is much bigger and heftier than the one on the Wiki page. In fact, it's very hard to move. Maybe I'll post a tour of it.