Wondered if we would have another hen set before summer was over and yeah!!!!, we have. Here sits Rosy. She sat in a nest in the chicken coop for a day and a half being nearly crowded out by other hens when I had decided she was serious about setting, I put her into one of the rabbit cages. One I had put cardboard over the bottom when the Rhode Island Red had promised to lay but I've found she often does that then changes her mind.
I added eggs throughout the day until Rosy had eight. Got a gouge in my hand for the efforts but that just means she was serious about her work. We shall see what hatches as it was really hot when Rosy made her decision and the sperm count in a rooster goes down with the heat levels. None the less Rosy has earned a spot in next years line up. Especially since she has become friends with our four year old. As I milk our grand daughter sits at the opening of the milking shed and feeds a few select hens. One kernel for her and a few for the chickens, repeated until her tuna fish can of COB (corn, oats, and barley) is empty.
Earning a spot in next year's line up is very important as I have chosen a definite nine to go into the canning bottle and a possible two more. We have far too many chickens. Maybe I should have figured out exactly who goes and who stays earlier but large numbers of critters running around over stimulates my Autistic brain and it refuses to settle and think. So the plan is to get rid of a few and then I can re-evaluate how many new hens we will have and how many old hens. That is after I get the kids all ready and in school.
As for the white hen, our oldest grand daughter swears O crowed. I have never caught her. I would think by now I would have so my fingers are still crossed. I have grown rather fond of her and have decided O is too short so to me she shall be Ophelia. It is going to be a her, right?
The new girls won't be laying for a while and will likely start in the winter if new pullets start in the winter. Do pullets start to lay that late into the year? Mine have started as late as early November but these girls are later than that. If they are not to start until later then I need to butcher later. Sometimes I feel so ignorant. How can we ever be self-sufficient with so much unknowns.
Rosy makes five hens to set this year. Three Easter Eggers and two black hens which I think are Austrolorps. So hard to tell the difference between Austrolorps and Asian Blues. Wish I had not gotten the Asian Blues as it is so confusing. Fifteen hens and one rooster is going to be my limit. I think. Who knows I might find out something that will change my mind.
I need to build a run and put in a vent into the coop but the chicken project is going well, just needs a bit of fine tuning. Gone will be the Wyandottes. I thought I would never say that. Gone will be the Rhode Island Reds. Two in particular have really ticked me off. One, Henny Penney, that gets into fights with the cat and the other one that keeps promising that she will set but then changes her mind. They don't set and are smaller in size laying smaller eggs. They just aren't making the grade we have in mind for self-sufficiency.
Our goal is hens that have a good feed to size conversion getting large enough to make a good roaster in a hurry; hens that set and are good mammas; handle cold weather, and hens that lay large eggs. The Rhode Island Reds and Wyadottes failed to make a passing grade so goodbye they go. Not that they did not pass on some genetics as some of the replacement offspring will be from them and our Easter Egg rooster. O for instance is obviously from a Wyadotte hen but has grown very rapidly. Diversity in genetics can be a very good thing.