Chicken Anniversary, Bullies and Chicks

On April 11, 2015, I became a first time chicken momma to seventeen little yellow rooster chicks, and their three little brown&yellow sisters. It’s been five years since then, and a lot has happened. I’ve seen chickens come and go, added a lot of different breeds, and watched mother hens hatch out lots of babies.

We still have one of the original flock, our beloved Double Dots, who celebrated his first birthday without his sister this year. She would have enjoyed the day. It was warm, with sunshine and new green grass. Dots enjoyed but for her.

He is starting to show his age. His crow sounds like that of a little old man. The feathers around his face seem more white (gray hair, chicken style?) than they used to be. But he still walks around the coop/run/pasture with an air of purpose band and determination.

On May 5th, the handful of Rhode Island Reds we have left from our second round flock will also turn five.

Happy birthday (belated and early) to all my birds!

It’s been a stressful week.

I’ve suspected for a while that someone (or more than one some one) has been picking on my Silkie rooster, Frost.

Frost. If you can’t tell, it looks like someone has been pulling his feathers.

Frost is a timid little guy, smaller than my other roosters and a bit of a loner. Lately, he’s been hanging out a lot by himself. I’ve wondered at it, but with my new, full time job, I haven’t had a lot of time to sit and observe what’s going on. However, with Covid-19 shutting down basically every thing, I find myself on an every other day work schedule and time to watch them.

I still couldn’t pinpoint who was picking on him, but you know how it goes… Sometimes when one does to, more if them will, too.

Frost started hiding in the duck house and I’d have to put him in at night.

And then last night, I found him there, huddled in the corner and caked with mud … and blood. Looked like he’d been mud wrestling with a bear, and lost.

I brought him inside, tucked him away in a nest and began doing a head count. At the same time, slowly looking at all the possible culprits.

Our youngest rooster, Barry, a little one my RiR Maicey hatched and raised at the end of them summer… also looked like he’d been mud wrestling, but won. I am pretty sure he did it.

The pictures I am about to show are NOT pretty. And they are very heart-breaking.

I had to bathe him, which is hard because he has very brittle feathers where he’s been trying to grow them back.

So it was more like him standing in the kitchen sink while I sprayed warm water over him to get out the mud and blood.

His eyes are swollen and I’ve been treating them with Vetricyn spray. You can tell it stings him when I spray it, but it’s necessary.

He is currently residing in a dog crate on our porch. Until his eyes are a little better, I can’t risk returning him to the flock.

The bully Barry’s days are numbered. It’s time we decided who of the 8 rooster we were sending to Freezer Camp anyway, but it’s been decided that it will happen sooner rather than later. There will be four of them leaving.

Possibly five if Frost doesn’t get better. I’m worried about those eyes, but I have faith in my Vetricyn.

And DH is building a smaller, enclosed coop, that I can possibly put Frost and some of the hens who’ve been over mated by over-enthusiastic younger rooster and need time to regrow feathers. He’s doing this emergency build right now, in the snow.

I love my DH. He is awesome on so many levels.

On a happier and more exciting note, tomorrow is Day 21 for my broody Columbian Wyandotte, Winnie and her seven little eggs. I am nervously awaiting the first signs of new peeps. I will talk more about that as it happens.

3 thoughts on “Chicken Anniversary, Bullies and Chicks

  1. Aw, poor Frost! I’ve heard that Silkies don’t mix well with other chickens, but at the end of the day it’s personalities that are the biggest factor. Glad you discovered Barry the Bully’s tendencies.
    It’s so good that your husband is building a small coop. That will help in so many ways. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Silkies are kind of on the timid side. It leaves them open to bullying and their hair-like feathers are tempting to pull, apparently. And Frost is even shier than his sister, Snowbell.

      He is safe, now, though. Barry was sent to Freezer Camp this morning.

      I’m going to tell you, I keeping looking at that coop and wondering if I could use it for breeding purposes. Put Rocky and some of the barred Rocks in it and get purebred Rocks. If course, I would need a broody or an incubator.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good riddance, Barry!
        You could definitely use it for breeding purposes, if that’s something you’d like to do. You just have to make sure the breeding chickens, or at least the hens, are separated from the others for at least 3 weeks, preferably 4, to get purebred offspring. The best way to do it is to separate the hens first and keep checking their eggs for fertility until the eggs from all hens are no longer fertile. Then you can put the rooster in with them, knowing for sure that you will only get purebreds. You would be reliant on having a broody at the right time though if you haven’t got an incubator.

        Liked by 1 person

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