Thursday, July 23, 2009

cheecken tv

Okay I have to admit it - I love watching my cheeckens outside in their little pen. The conflicts to establish pecking order have begun and boy it's fun to watch, of course it hasn't gotten particularly violent yet. It seems that Ralph the Rhode Island Red Rooster is definitely getting himself some testosterone. He has begun that rooster strut and the confrontational stand up with fluffed neck feathers. The girls are quite patient with him, though some will not take his attitude - they fluff right back, though they are usually the ones to back down or run away, unless Ralph gets bored with the whole thing....One of the barred rock hens just totally put Ralph in his place - she basically chased him into the coop.

They come and go in and out of the coop all day if the door is open to their yard. I really want to begin free ranging them, but I'm afraid they may get hit by a car - our road is rather busy and the cars move at 40 mph or faster (usually faster) - I'm also worried they may wander into the neighbor's yards - we have 2 acres, but the lot is narrow and neighbors on both sides. The yard on either side in between houses is heavily wooded and I'm hoping they won't go through. I know ultimately I have to just let go and take the risk, but I love my cheeckens and they are still young yet.

We found a family farm about an hour north of here that processes poultry through Thanksgiving and even have chicks and poults (baby turkeys). I've been wanting to get some more chicks for the freezer, but mail order is so expensive and many places have minimums of 25. I want 6-10, but the places that will sent that few charge more for shipping then for chicks. Driving an hour may be well worth it to have no antibiotic, naturally fed, free range chicken.

The rest of our "homestead" is really languishing a bit - I have carpal tunnel and am having a hard time doing many of things I enjoy including this blog and my gardening. The kids have been helping out as has my hubby, but it just isn't the same. I did with the help of hubby make some jars of rosemary olive oil to give as gifts this holiday season, so that was fun - using up the surplus is nice. At least something will have surplus.

1 comment:

  1. I know you probably don't make it back down this way, much, but you might also check out the folks at Longhorn. They'll order chicks for you - in any amounts with a selection of several different breeds. They're fairly reasonable with regard to pricing, and I've had 100% success rate with the chicks I've bought from them (which would be all of the ones I've had ;).