Monday, January 10, 2011

Ginger and Muffin Jr find new homes

Last year we had 2 roosters, Leggy and Muffin.  Leg and Muff, as we came to call them, work well together.  They defended the flock of 13 hens from hawks, vultures flying over, deer looking in, and the pesky little songbirds that love to steal their food from the pen.  After the chicken pen was roofed, the roosters continued their watch, not understanding they were safe from aerial assault.  The boys continually searched and scratched for food, clucking to tell the ladies when they were successful and then stepping aside so the ladies could eat.  They didn't fight, as they both knew their place in the rooster pecking order.  The hens didn't take a beating from the roosters, as the roos didn't compete to show who was "the man" by trying to get frisky continually with the poor hens.  In fact, sex was almost non-existent in the chicken pen.  The hens loved not having bald backs and necks caused by rough roosters.  All was peaceful in our chicken world.

Then, everything changed when we raised 13 chicks last summer.  It was all good til autumn, when 7 young roosters grew out of those cute little fluffy chicks.  Of course, over half of our chicks turned into roosters, when we didn't need any more roos on the farm.  Such is our luck. 

It's fun to review the genetics on our young roos.  We named them as follows:
Muffin Jr - son of Muffin
Brownie Jr - son of the rooster Brownie
Brownie Jr II - another son of Brownie
Leggy Jr - son of Leg
Ginger - my fav cockerel who loves to be held! Believed to be son of our former roos Fred or Ricky
Blackie - son of the hen Black Betty and unknown rooster
Big Red Jr- son of the rooster Big Red

We don't want to give them unique names, as we are not going to keep them!  I don't need to personalize birds that I'm not keeping, it makes it too hard for me to get rid of them.  Unfortunately, I made that mistake when I first started raising chicks and named all the young fluffy cutie-pie chicks, and so they were stuck with cutesie names like Muffin and Leggy even after they grew into big boy roosters.

And now the young cockerels are fighting for their place in the rooster pecking order.  Since Leg is the second rooster, with Muff being the lead rooster, it seems that everyone fights with Leg first to push him out of his status.

So we are going to get rid of some roosters.  The first to go are Muff Jr and Ginger.  We really liked both these birds, so they found a home with a family who wanted chickens for eggs and as pets.  They have young kids and wanted friendly but hard working roosters, and these cockerels were a good choice for them.  Chickens are new to them, so we are assisting them to build their flock.

Muff Jr and Ginger in a cage in the car
It was a cold winter day as the roosters were put into a cage and it was packed into the car and covered with a towel.  The boys were scared as they were driven to their new home.  They had never been away from their beloved farm where they were raised.  Everything was about to change for them!

Roosters in their new home: Ginger on Left, Muffin Jr on right

The boys spent a night int heir new coop alone, adjusting to their new home.  Then, the next day,  some new pullets were introduced to our boys.  The cockerels were so excited to have ladies to take care of!

3 white pullets were added to the new flock

We got 6 pullets for the new flock from the local farmer's market.  We weren't sure all their birds would get along, but hoped for the best.  And to our surprise, everyone got along perfectly!
3 Rhode Island Red pullets were also added to the flock

The cockerels immediately started clucking, telling the new hens where the food was located, within minutes of the hens' arrival.  And Ginger immediately started feeling very frisky.  The hens wanted nothing to do with that!

Ginger attempts to dance for a lady while balancing on the roost bar.  She thinks he's out of his mind and runs away!
Gathering at the waterer

The first full day the 6 pullets were in the coop, they laid 3 eggs between them.  One of the white ones is an Araucana and laid a green egg!  The other 2 eggs were brown eggs from the Rhode Island Reds.

And so, 2 of our boys have a new home. Good luck, Ginger and Jr.!


CaliforniaGrammy said...

What a show Ginger put on with his dancing act! Beautiful feathers . . . have a good time with your new girl friends Ginger. Be kind and keep them happy.

Knatolee said...

AWWW, hope all goes well in their new home! They look really happy. :)

Kritter Keeper said...

ah, good for them! i would hate having to get rid of any animal raised at my farm, but i understand. that little ginger sounds so sweet. have a great day!

Farm Girl said...

They are beautiful roosters. I wish I had kept one, now that I don't have any, but there is always this year right? I haven't mentioned it to my husband yet. :)

Verde Farm said...

They are so beautiful. How wonderful that they are going to family for egg laying and experience. That is great. I am sure they will adjust very well. Your names are so funny-loved them. Son of Leg--that cracks me up :)

Terry said...

Good for you for finding your birds good homes. That's wonderful.

AJ-OAKS said...

It is always so hard to make the decision of who has to go to a new home. Glad you found a perfect home for them and they settled in nicely.
Like you, I have to name every animal. Just seems more personal I guess.
How's the weather there?

Christy said...

They are very beautiful roosters! And they are lucky to be getting eggs this time of year. Between my 10 girls I'm getting about 2 eggs a week!

Razzberry Corner said...

Ca Grammy - Ginger is a dancing rooster! I think he's doing his best keeping everyone happy!

Knatolee - both roos were happy. They get to be the lead rooster and #2. Before that they were very, very low in the pecking order.

Kritter Keeper - That's life, we can't keep all the roosters!

Farm Girl - Good luck! I wont say a word!

Terry - We try! :)

Cindy - I've been trying not to name the chickens, but it's tough! The weather is cold, cold, cold! I'm hatin it! :D

Christy - I hate how the egg production has gone down. It means to me that the chickens are not happy. They're just trying to stay warm! Poor chickens. In the summertime, I'll be getting SOOOO many eggs!!!


Country Girl said...

It's nice you know the roosters have a good home. Now will you be looking for some more homes for more roosters?

Razzberry Corner said...

Barb - yep, we'll have to look for homes for those other roosters now. We want to get back down to 2 or 3.