Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Fowl

This post is about the male fowl on this farm. As I stated in my previous post, I have been raising chickens for about 18 years or so. We started out with a few chickens at our first country property, just for eggs. We have had as many as 40 chickens, and been down to as few as 2 when a raccoon got into the coop once. At times, I have debated getting rid of all of the chickens - as I did earlier this year. However, right now, I find myself enjoying them once again. By the way, I am allergic to feathers - only mildly though - as long as I don't stick my face in their feathers - or sleep with them - I am fine.

As far as roosters go - I try not to have too many at any one time. However - sometimes it's hard not to have several at one time. I find that if you have an average of 6 hens per rooster, then there is less fighting amongst the roosters, and the hens don't suffer as much from overly-eager roosters. In other words - give them all their own little harem - and they're happy.

So here goes: This first fella is our largest Rooster on the farm. He's a dorking - which is an older breed. If you notice - he is standing beside a couple of regular size Hens. "Cuckoo" stands about 18" tall. He also has 4 toes, which is a distinguishing character of this breed. I am currently looking for some dorking hens for him - as he is doing a number on the feathers of my much smaller hens.
This next rooster is an Americauna - which is a cross of the Aurucana. He is my last Americauna rooster that I have left. At one time, I had 14 of them. I'm also down to only one Americauna hen, so I am looking for some more of them as well. Although he is smaller than the Dorking Rooster, he isn't much smaller. He stands around 14-16" tall.
This little fella is a bantam rooster. Like the Sebrights - he is small - and feisty. He's probably about 6 years old now - and doesn't mix it up like he used to with the other roosters. I do like the bantam roosters as they are very proud little birds.
This little buff Silkie rooster has just left us. No, he didn't die. I sold him to a young fella just outside of London, Ontario who also likes the silkies. Note , he has a lovely walnut comb. He was a feisty young fella. One night as I was gathering eggs - he came up behind me and just nailed my hand so hard I thought he had broken it. I wasn't really sorry to see him leave after that incident.
This old guy is my white silkie rooster. This poor guy is notorious for getting tangled up. If there's a piece of string anywhere in the barnyard - he will find it. He has deformed spurs, so string does get wrapped around his feet easily. He's getting old, and is relatively gentle. One thing I find is that the silky roosters don't engage the other roosters at all - but the others will pick on them.
This little fella is my favourite rooster. He is a buff cochin bantam. I just got him from the young fella near London. I hadn't planned on getting any roosters from him - but this fella just caught my eye. He's very docile and loves to be petted and held. I like him so much that I am going to pick up his brother this weekend.
And last - but not least - and not a chicken - is Norman. He is a Toulouse Gander. In my last post, I mentioned that Norman is getting attached to Alice. Norman came to us 4 years ago after his parents were killed by dogs. His current owner noticed our nice pond and asked if we would like him. I just happened to be looking for a guard goose and said yes. Norman is my pet, and will follow me everywhere - when he's not following Alice. He will walk by your side and chat to you as you wander through the woods or the pasture. He does on occasion get angry and mix it up with one of the sheep. But for the most part - he gets along well with everyone.

That is it for the male fowl - oops - I'm wrong. We do have some drakes on the property as well - but they didn't want to come up for pictures tonight, so I will have to talk about them another time.


Nancy K. said...

Your roosters are beautiful, Tammy! I can sure tell that my rooster is NOT a silkie! Maybe he's an Americana? I'll have to post pictures of him one day...

I used to have a Toulouse gander! I enjoyed him very much and he was a great "watch goose" but he used to attack my husband and the neighbor's dogs (he would actually wander over to the neighbor's yard to chase their dogs ~ big Rotwiellers and a yellow lab! They were terrified of him!!)

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

If you have six hens for every rooster (or plan to), that's a LOT of chickens! I love seeing photos of different varieties that I didn't know about, like the dorking.

Tammy W. said...

Well - I try to have 6 hens per rooster Michelle - right now - I'm shy on hens, and I'm working on that.

Nancy - we really like Norman a lot. He hasn't attacked any of us - but he used to tease our border collie - and there are a few sheep that he's had a run in with. Mostly he's pretty docile though.

Would love to see pictures of your rooster. The chicks are really cute.

Deborah said...

What beautiful chickens you have!