I started last year April 2012 with 12 hens. 6 black & 6 red star. They were already laying. Lost 7 to wild critters last year and one this year. Started trapping, so far have gotten 3 foxes, 6 possums and so many racoons that I have lost count. Oh and a few skunks.
This March, I bought 18 babies. Made a brooder out of a dog house and raised them in my sun room. Had them 2 weeks, doing great had lost one tiny one the first night. My son's mini pin came to visit early one morning and very quitely got in the dog house with them and ate 16. One Rhode Island Red left. Named her Lucky. Took me 2 weeks to replace them. Ended up with 38, no 39 counting Lucky, 6 more Rhode Island Reds, 6 Black Star 12 Buff Orpingtons, 12 Gold Star, all pullets, then added 2 straight run Plymouth Rock, figured they would be roosters. I am down to 29 Lost 6 the first 3 days, 4 more have disappered with no trace, hawk, owl or fox, happens in the daytime with no sign of them, while they are free ranging. I believe the one barred plymouth rock left is a hen. So no roos.
Now I have acquired 14 grown or almost grown chickens from the OKC animal shelter. I have a friend that works there and she called and tells me about these chickens that have just been confiscated, not legal in the city and are for sale, says there are 34 hens and about 60 that are the size of my 10 week chickens and I can have all of them for $100. She says the little ones look like my 2 tone chickens, which are my gold stars. So she reserves them for me and I gather up cages to go get all of these bargain chickens. Well NONE of these are regular chickens. My friend doesn't know diddly squat about chickens. (She is a horse person.) They are game chickens, and some kind of giant white chicken, with the biggest feet I have ever seen. Well animal control has turned these adult chickens loose in a 10 foot ceiling room, with shelves all the way to the ceiling. The giant white chickens sit on the floor, of which there are 14 and there are 20 game chickens flying all around. I finally catch all of them with the help of a broom to knock them off the top shelf, put them in cages. Catch all of the little ones, which are all games & range from 3 weeks to 3 days old. THEN the lady working there says OH, one of our former employees wants half of them, He'll be here just after 5. Which just makes me really happy, since I have just spent 21/2 hrs. catching all of them. So he immediately shows up and takes all but 4 of the white chickens, while I'm catching him half of the baby chickens, which I had already loaded in my PU. Took 10 of the games. Left me with l giant white chicken 3 juvenile white ones and all of the game chickens that had half of their feathers gone.. Didn't want them with my chickens so had to throw together a hen house that night. Luckily I had started on a small one for times I might need to segregate some of mine. Had a large bird cage layed it down, put a wood floor in it, put it in the garage and haven't lost any. Lost one of the juvenile white ones to a coon.
Let them out to free range today. That is the ones that weren't already flying over the 6 ft. fence, free ranging on their own 2 of them are roosting in a tree, the others would come back to the gate in the evening and I'd lock them in for the night.
Now these white giants waddle like a duck, are lazy, walk 2 ft. and sit down. Unless they are laying game size eggs they arent laying, at least the one adult one is not. I haven't seen any pictures that look like them. Closer to white Plymouth Rock, than any other pics I have seen. Does anyone have any ideas what kind they might be?
I am getting 1 to 5 eggs a day from the games. They are starting to get some pin feathers in the bare spots. I figure more than half of these babies will turn out to be roos. Wonder if they are good to eat? Shelter distroyed all the roosters, said they were vicious. I may have a bunch
of game chickens for sale.
I think I am reliving my childhod. My Mother always had chickens and I thought I hated it.
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