Hi everyone! Today I’m here with another one of my pet chicken update post!
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve talked about my chicken here, but up until recently there wasn’t much to talk about.
If you couldn’t tell by the title of the post, this one is going to be a bit bittersweet for me because one of my little hens from the August hatchlings had passed away, then I had to get rid of the roosters that I had hatched last year back in May and August, and then I just received some little baby chicks in the mail last week.
When one door closes…
So, I know that I’ve talked about having at least 10 hens to one rooster if you were trying to have more than one rooster in you flock before, and going into the fall of 2020 I had a total of 14 hens and 6 roosters which was way out of proportion for the size of my chicken area and flock in general.
There was “The Old Man” who is the dark Brahma rooster I have had since 2019 and my first rooster. When I had ordered my brahmas from Cackle Hatchery out of Missouri, I had ordered 3 of the dark Brahma hens and one rooster to watch over them and the 4 Orpingtons (who are a couple months older than the Brahmas) I had bought from Tractor Supply.
From my experience with Cackle, they send an extra baby chick with small orders (of less than 20 baby chicks I believe), and the other baby chicken was another little rooster, and the extra rooster had passed away a couple of hours after I had picked them up from the post office. I don’t know what exactly was wrong with him because my chickens were held up for a day somewhere and were delayed from getting to me. And just a little FYI, baby chicks are able to go without eating or drinking for a day after birth because they are still living off of the remaining part of the yolk from when they were born.
I think the little rooster who had passed had some type of respiratory issue because he had looked healthy, but in the short amount of time that I had him, he was extremely tired. He was falling asleep while standing up and tumbling down. Then, towards the end, he was gasping for air.
Then with the other rooster, The Old Man, who survived ended up having a “bad leg” where it had atrophied to basically nothing, and I was afraid that he was either going to die or face struggles later in life with only one leg. It was so hard watching that poor little chick struggle to get around and each day it got a little worse, then all of a sudden his leg was fine and it was like I had imagined the whole thing.
The old man has a limp when he walks, but he’s strong and healthy now going on to years later.
Then back in May I had hatched 5 eggs gracing me with three roosters and two hens. The roosters ended up being a dark Brahma like the dad and two Orpington x brahma mixes (see photo to the right). The two mixed roosters were always skittish from the start, so I didn’t hold them as much when they grew up and baby Brahma was well mannered but didn’t like being held for long periods of time like the old man.
Then in August, I had initially thought I had four hens, but it turned out that two of the four chicks were roosters.
The teenage roosters from May always seemed to get along with the old man without any fighting, but once the roosters from August got older and transitioned to the main chicken area, I feel like things started to go down hill.
The Easter Egger rooster from August was the main one who started the whole “fight for dominance” within the roosters. He went after one of my mixed roosters because out of all of them those two mixed roosters were the most docile and were just chilling enjoying life. Then once he moved up in the line past the mixed rooster, he tried to go for the old man, and I had to get rid of the Easter egger before anyone got seriously hurt. It wasn’t really hard to get rid of because the Easter Egger never really showed any affection towards me and didn’t seem to ever want to be held. With that being said, the Easter egger never tried to hurt me once.
Once the Easter egger was gone everything had settled back down, and I thought may, just maybe, I’d be able to keep the other four roosters I had hatched. But again, there was a want from the younger rooster for that power in the chicken hierarchy that the old man has, and they went after him while I was at school on Monday. The buff brahma for August, out of all of the rooster went after the old man and started this round of dominance and baby Brahma had joined in. Then my mixed rooster that was being chased by the Easter egger thought he could go after the old man.
After I got home from school, I let the old man walk around the year and put the other three roosters in the coup, and surprisingly, they didn’t hurt each other because at the moment the old man was the target.
When I tell you that my child’s spirts was broken, I mean it. Out of ALL six of the roosters I’ve had up to that point. The old man was the only one who would ever try to spur me. He was always the one that made sure the hens ate first when I went to feed them every day and the last one to go to bed at night making sure that everyone was up for the night. His comb and waddle had some blood on them, but by the time I got home at noon, they had stopped bleeding and were already scabbed over.
I had watched the old man walk around the yard for a couple of hours while I tried to do a little bit of school work, but around late afternoon, I went outside and held him for a good hour. Normally, when I hold the old man, he sits in my lap like a dog laying down, but the other day he was so tired and laid on his side, and it broke my heart that my poor rooster who had been through so much of his short life was so sad and nothing like his usual self.
I was walking around the yard while holding the old man (again he was all but sprawled out in my arms), an older couple was coming to visit one of my neighbors, and the man said that he was asking me about my chickens (what type I had and all of that stuff) and asked if I was willing to sell him a pair of my chickens (a rooster and hen). I couldn’t pair with my hens, but explained to him that I had four roosters that I was looking to relocate. He told me that his brother had chickens and would talk with him to see if he could take them.
Yesterday that man came back, and I gave him my four other roosters because I knew that they had outgrew what I was able to provide for them with my area of land. I went ahead and gave the man the one mixed rooster because even though he wasn’t bothering the old rooster over the past couple of days, I knew that there could be a day in the future where he would go for my old rooster, and I don’t think the mixed rooster would have handled being separated from his brother very well.
It hurt like something fierce to part with my roosters especially baby Brahma because even though he didn’t let me hold him like the old man for long periods of time, he was my second favorite rooster. But, I knew that I could no longer provide a suitable life for all of the roosters, and the man’s brother owns enough land for all of them to live freely.
Another one opens.
So, I got my newest little baby chicks about a week before all of the last part of the rooster fiasco happened.
Click here to watch a video of the chicks right after I got them!
I’ll be honest, it’s been just over 6 months since I hatched that last set of chickens, but I forgot how cute and sweet baby chicks are.
My little chicks are staying in my room this time since I now stay in what used to be a garage way before my parents bought the house.
They came a day earlier than I had expected because of how the mail is running.
Overall, I’d say these baby chicks are pretty amazing. We’re still working on the whole letting me hold them without the chick jumping out my hands, but I’m starting to make progress because a couple of the chicks are mowing jumping in my palm and laying down.
I was kind of skeptical about having them in my room because baby chicks have a weird sleep/wake cycle in the beginning with the heat lamp always being turned on to keep them warm, but thankfully they seem to go to sleep or take a power nap or whatever it is they do when they close their eyes when I got to bed. And, either I’m to exhausted once I fall asleep to hear them peeping and moving around or they sleep through the better part of the night. Will this continue until they are old enough to go outside to meet the rest of the flock? We’ll see!
Other chicken posts:
Happy reading until next time,