My Chicken Existential Crisis... I mean journey

jwehl

Songster
Nov 3, 2020
1,127
1,895
160
Atlanta GA
I dont really have a purpose for this thread but I wanted to noodle things out outloud and get input & this seemed to be the least obnoxious place to put it.

20201113_121027.jpg
I have Foghorn Leghorn who is half American game, half Orpington, and of unknown age, though I'd say those spurs indicate hes pretty old. Still virile & still Senor Alpha Cock.

His two main ladies 20201116_152003.jpg generically called the Speckled hens. Spangled American game. One might have some Asil in her?

That's the parent generation of my whole flock (I think probably yes)

His other ladies
20200529_172342.jpg

Generic flock pics
20200724_091947.jpg 20201114_182026.jpg
 

jwehl

Songster
Nov 3, 2020
1,127
1,895
160
Atlanta GA
My flock at the moment consists of

Foghorn & whoever runs around with him free range and sleeping in trees
Tim & 5 pullets in a coop
Avary, Snowflake & like 20 unnamed pullets who sleep in another coop but freerange all day, along with some of the 9 cockrells I'd love to sell (the other sleep in trees)
Speckles that my roommate is attached to
and a couple pullets that run around with various cockrells, including ones I'd love to sell lol
(everyone with a name is a cock/rell)

I have an unknown number of chickens and a tenuous grasp on where anyone is at a given time, but it's been working for me

oh yes, I also have a hen who just showed up with 13 chicks. I suspect she runs with Foghorn


anyway, I've been slowly upgrading the coops (built probably 20 years ago) and learning the whole chicken raising and caring thing. It's been like 2 years maybe. I've dealt with various predators, upgraded coop security, etc. Honestly it's more of a horse stall than a coop. It's got a full door and everything is chicken wire/horse fence/mesh, slowly being more and more fortified as things get into the coop LOL.

& I'm slowly learning about chicken diseases as I go. Dealt with coccidiosis, Mareks (in only 1 bird though so that was weird) and histomoniasis (in only my peachicks which is also weird - its supposed to be way more rampant in chickens). No vent injuries yet, but my pullets arent laying so I just havent gotten there yet I suppose.

anyway, I'm rambling of course

I have too many chickens. This is relative - I have enough food, space and resources for all the chickens I have and then some, this isnt like a 50 cats in one house horders situation - but it's just more than I think I want.
 

jwehl

Songster
Nov 3, 2020
1,127
1,895
160
Atlanta GA
My current dilemma is that I apparently had incorrect information on how many eggs a game hen will lay in a year, so, while I knew it wasnt going to be daily like a layer breed, it is lower than I expected. I love them as broodies and pretty birds though. Plus them being fairly self sufficient is really awesome.

I've noticed the laying is a problem now that I'm trying to sell pullets and no one wants them LOL. yes, I could have seen this coming, but I didnt. the ladies are such prolific baby makers that I thought clearly they laid a ton of eggs too - and that it was just my hands off nature that was turning them into chicks instead of breakfast

Obviously no one can actually know what to expect from my mixed birds (like 1/4 orpington and 3/4 unidentified American game, but then who knows what the next iteration is) without me just keeping track, which I may start doing right now (good idea self)

I've also heard a lot about chicken with any gamefowl in them being not for the faint of heart, which is exactly what anyone will learn when they hop on Google after seeing my pullet ad, but my girls arent aggressive, they're just skittish. I think that probably sounds naive to anyone actually reading this, but they dont mess with me at all. One time I got whacked with some wings because I was next to an already worked up broody with chicks and I've only gotten pecked reaching my hand into a nest with a broody on it.
 

jwehl

Songster
Nov 3, 2020
1,127
1,895
160
Atlanta GA
I think that's all I really need to get off my chest right now. I'm just very up in my head considering cutting down my flock a ton and bringing in a layer breed.
 

Ruthster55

Crowing
Nov 23, 2013
966
1,610
271
Northern South America
I think your flock is in need of some Buckeyes!!

Buckeyes forage really well but also are pretty nice with the other flock members.

Buckeyes are more chestnut color than orange. Nebertheless, they could blend better with your flock than a barred or cuckoo or black breed.

(Don’t worry ...I don’t want my roosters messing with your birds. I have a Black and Blue Broody Flock which is very different from your goals). :wee

There have been quite a few years of work lately with Buckeyes to make them a true dual-purpose breed.

If you can’t get any Buckeyes, try New Hampshires or Rhode Island Reds. No guarantee on how they will get along with your flock.

No guarantee on egg production either. The old-timers trap-nested hens when they were of similar appearance or the same breed or mix and when it wasn’t possible to know what hen laid which egg.

Good luck working with your flock! I think you have a solid base!
 
Last edited:

jwehl

Songster
Nov 3, 2020
1,127
1,895
160
Atlanta GA
I think your flock is in need of some Buckeyes!!

Buckeyes forage really well but also are pretty nice with the other flock members.

Buckeyes are more chestnut color than orange. Nebertheless, they could blend better with your flock than a barred or cuckoo or black breed.

(Don’t worry ...I don’t want my roosters messing with your birds. I have a Black and Blue Broody Flock which is very different from your goals). :wee

There have been quite a few years of work lately with Buckeyes to make them a true dual-purpose breed.

If you can’t get any Buckeyes, try New Hampshires or Rhode Island Reds. No guarantee on how they will get along with your flock.

No guarantee on egg production either. The old-timers trap-nested hens when they were of similar appearance or the same breed or mix and when it wasn’t possible to know what hen laid which egg.

Good luck working with your flock! I think you have a solid base!
But do they have a peanut butter center? :lol:

I agree that working in some hardier, foraging layers would be a good direction for me.

And no matter what I pick, my gamehen can incubate the eggs if i dont wanna.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom