Chicken Update (or The Pulletzer)

Rooster

To follow my previous post about my darling chicks, who are becoming more colorful and lovelier in their scrawny-necked way every day, I thought I’d update the chicken-fanciers out there.  You know who you are!   I still wanted two more kinds.  I waited on a local feed store for their order to come in yesterday, ran over there today… and they didn’t have what I wanted.  We have, if you remember, a Buff Orpington, a Rhode Island Red and a Silver-laced Wyandotte.  I wanted a Barred Rock, which is the traditional black and white rooster that is reproduced on tea towels, collector’s plates, etc.  I also wanted an Araucana (also known as the South American Rumpless, but I won’t tell the girls that).  Apparently they have ‘improved the breed’ and renamed them Americaunas.  These are beautiful birds, with brown swirled patterns and each chicken a little different.  They lay eggs that range from blue to green (just the shells, mind you!) and are very nice chickens.  They are also extremely popular and sell out right away (so the feed stores were telling me) and the hatcheries were out of them.  Frustrated and brooding (!) about it, I felt a little peckish (!!) and had some lunch then scratched around (!!!) for a phone book and called Country Feed Store in Vista.  They had both kinds!  Off I flew (!!!!) and bought two 4 week-old Americaunas (my ladies are about a week younger, so I put them together and so far no pecking), 

Americaunas

 and two one-week-old Barred Rocks. 

Barred Rock

So cute!  I went into the Brood House there and they had so many little chickies!  I crowed with delight (!!!!!). 

When my daughter and I looked for chicks there a week ago, it was between the rains and we didn’t see what we were looking for.  However, as we were standing there in the wet straw we turned and saw a little rooster with wild wet feathers standing just around the corner of one of the pens and staring at us. 

Frizzle

 We stared back.  He kept watching.  He looked mentally unstable.  We moved on and were a ways away talking about a couple of free-roaming geese when I looked past my daughter and nudged her, “Look behind you,” I whispered.  There he was!  He was doing the same thing, just standing there just around the corner of the last pen, staring at us, feathers all crazy.  Creepy!  He eventually wandered off but I managed to take a photo of him.  Today he was there still, wandering around with feathers in a little better shape.  He was crowing mightily for his small stature and listening for a return crow from somewhere distant.  I asked the young man who was helping me ( a great guy he was, too.  It was about ninety degrees and he was loading bales of straw, helping customers and dealing with animals all with a sweet smile on his sweaty face!) about the rooster, and he said he was a Frizzle! The rooster, that is.    The rooster had come to them with messy feathers, and he said he’d cleaned up a bit.  I love that rooster.  If I didn’t think my neighbors would snap and come over with torches, I’d have that rooster just as a pet.  A mean, deranged, cantankerous pet, but so what?  I have cats who are the same way.  The store had two-day-old Frizzles, too, but at that age there is a 50/50 chance of getting females, and I want hens for eggs.  Sigh.  So the little Barred Rock are in a box next to the other older ladies, sharing a heat lamp (not today they weren’t… so hot!) and with a little antibiotic and vitamins in their water.  I tossed some cauliflower leaves in with the older girls, but they thought they were monsters for awhile, then laid on them for a nap instead of pecking away at them.  Still kids. 

The Older Girls

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