17 Buff Orpingtons (16 egg-layers and one rooster) and,
21 White Cornish meat birds
They're growing like weeds (the meat birds grow more like our rhubarb... the end result is beautiful and delicious... in the meantime, you have a plant that can't GET enough food and that, if eaten in it's current state, would kill you. Eek.)
Here they are as chicks... Adolescent pictures soon to follow...
And the meat birds...
Now that I've successfully digressed on my digressions, back to my original thought...
I have been concerned about introducing our new herd with the old. We have (or should I say had) five Rhode Island Red hens and one feisty Banty (miniature) Rhode Island Red rooster named Hercules. (Side Note: "Herc" marches like a German General. No joke. It's hard to take him seriously while he's attacking you.) Anyways, I've been worried about melding the two herds into one. I would love to kill Hercules. He's attacked me one two many times when I've had eggs in my arms, and he comes after D any chance he gets... once he spurred him right in the back of the neck while D was bending over!!! He fights d-i-r-t-y. But mom has more of a heart than I do, and so he's still around. Our hens are getting older, and as I've mentioned three times already, I've been apprehensive... well... nature took it's course last night I'm afraid.
I got a call from mom this morning that began with four words you never want to hear at 6:30 a.m.
"Death on the farm."
Sure enough, a raccoon got into the coop last night and drug away two of the hens. A third was left dead under the laying boxes. She'd been sick, and even coons don't like dirty meat. Needless to say, Hercules' harem just got smaller, and if this keeps up we won't have to worry about what to do with the mingling of herds.
There was another death on the farm. Names are being withheld for now until the deceased's family can be notified... more on that soon. Ugh.
***Just to lighten things up a bit - mom went to the store this morning to buy milk. She reached into her pocket for her credit card and pulled out two fresh eggs instead. The lady behind the counter just looked at her and said,
"Uuummmm... we're ALMOST to the point of bartering again, but not quite yet!"
Oh if only things were that simple. ***