Monday, May 26, 2014

And Then There Were Four

If you've been following my chicken drama this spring, you'll know that I've had one main problem throughout: too many chickens.  First, I had to build an annex onto my brooder when the chicks outgrew it before it got warm enough for them to move outside.  Then, when they outgrew even the brooder annex, I moved them outside in spite of the weather.  When even the outside space started looking cramped, we butchered the three meat chicks.  Two weeks ago, when it was getting crowded again, I put an ad on Craigslist and sold three of the hens.

The trouble with chickens is, they just keep growing!  Plus, the boys were getting a bit rowdy and loud.  Our most Manly rooster had taken to perching on the chain link fence between our house and the neighbor's, terrorizing poor Mrs. A.  So this afternoon N and I dispatched two of the roosters.  We'd originally intended to do all three of them in, figuring that roosters are not really suited for suburban life, but I have decided to hang onto one of them for a little while.  He doesn't seem to be crowing yet, and I have it in my head that I'd like to try letting one of my hens raise a brood of chicks.

Our coop and run are designed for 3-4 chickens, depending on what source you check and how big the chickens are.  We are now down to four: three hens and a rooster.  If one of the hens does decide to raise a brood I might have to build something else - a brood nest for her to sit on her eggs while the other hens continue using the nesting box.  I wonder if I will ever be done building housing for these chickens?

A little bit of trivia that came up while I was eviscerating the roosters: I found the kidneys, and the lungs.  And I found two additional cream-colored organs.  "What else does a chicken have two of?" I asked Nick, curiously.
I'll give you a hint: the ones that belonged to the Manly rooster were 3 times bigger than those of the more timid buff.

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