Friday, August 17, 2012

New Arrivals and Tom-foolery

When I had to put my Cuckoo Maran roo down (he had a non-responsive intestinal problem), that left me with out a rooster. Ok, I have a Cochin rooster, but he seems to have gender-identity issues. With the demise of the Maran roo, he's quit crowing. Go figure. In addition, the Cochin girls are quite mean to him, so even if he figured out what his job is, I'm sure he wouldn't get any...

I searched Craigslist (you know by now that I am the CL Queen), and found some Golden Cuckoo Marans, a trio to be exact. I met their breeders this morning and picked them up. They're very pretty birds.

They're a little smaller than my existing Cuckoo girls, but they'll catch up. Right now, everyone else is locked out of this pen so they can get their bearings. They've discovered the food and water, and are happily scrounging around in the litter.

The turkeys and the "mean girls" are quite interested, and are testing out their authority, which is why they're locked out for now. I have to say, though, this roo stood up to one of the cochins before I kicked her butt out.

While I was taking this pictures, I heard the toms fooling around outside of the pen. I have an abundance of toms in this batch of turkeys - there are only 2 confirmed bronze hens (and one that I can't get close enough to check), and about 4 chocolate hens. The rest are toms. and being
 boys, they spend an inordinate amount of time checking each other out and strutting their stuff.  This is a group of 6 of them, with Mr. Big on the right. He is unchallenged for his post of top turkey. The smaller chocolates (who are catching up, but will never equal his magnificence), display because they can, but aren't really asserting anything other than their maleness. There is another bronze (on the left of the picture) who is very similar in size to Mr. Big, but he's very slightly smaller, and his head coloration is more red than blue. He also is a very nice bird, but in the scheme of things, he's destined to be someone's dinner.

One of my neighbors is captivated by the turkeys. She's been lobbying for me to keep some and not eat them all, particularly Mr. Big. I'm caving. There is something very special about him - there's actually someone in there. Since I have 2 bronze hens, and at least one outstanding chocolate hen, I'm thinking of keeping a trio or a quad. Here are the bronze hens:

They are much more feminine than the toms!

I would not have any in my freezer, but I would potentially be able to raise my own poults, either by the hens themselves, putting eggs under the peahens (they will have special "nests" for next year), or getting an incubator.

As for the cochins, the same neighbor has found a sanctuary for my egg-eating hens. This would be a great thing, because they're a) mean to everyone, even the turkeys, b) they wouldn't be around to teach the young ones bad habits, and c) I might be able to foist the gender-confused roo off onto her!

I'll call her today - that would calm things down in the poultry yard quite a bit, and make things easier when I leave next week for my nephew's wedding for 5 days .

On top of all this fun, I've been working on a weaving project. See the details here.

1 comment:

Leigh said...

I have to say the potential to raise your own turkeys would be tempting to me anyway. You certainly have the experience to do it. Turkeys are on our someday list, but we need a way to keep them separate from the chickens. We have enough pecking order battles as it is, LOL