Remember those cute, fluffy little yellow chicks we got at Easter? The ones adorably peeping on a pile of eggs and hopping around the daffodils?
They’ve grown and now are about 3 1/2 months old. They were all supposed to be blue-egg-laying hens: Frost Legbars, Super Blues, and one Snowy Egger. We got seven, and sadly lost one, so we were down to six. We had a little trouble telling who was who, even with the help of the experts at MyPetChicken.com, and it seemed there had been a mixup in the order, since we were supposed to get 3 Legbars and 3 Super Blues, but we clearly didn’t, since they identified our surviving six hens as 1 Legbar, 4 Super Blues, and 1 Snowy Egger.
I named the Snowy Egger hen Snow White.
And then this happened.
Snow White is a rooster.
It starts to beg the question: how many roosters can one flock hold? We’ve heard different answers, from “no more than one” to multiple, as long as you keep a ratio of 10 hens per rooster. We’ve already got 2 grown roosters (Marcus and Sven) and 4 very big teenage roosters (the Liege), so how many more can we handle? The roosters all seem to get along, at least. They hang out calmly around each other and don’t fight. In fact, Dyberry Creek Farm seems to have an uncommon level of calmness, inter-rooster and interspecies.
Here are all the roosters (plus a few hens and one cat) chilling at the barn entrance on a rainy afternoon.
Three of the Liege roosters seem to be best buds and hang out together almost all the time. They cuddle up together at night to roost. Big, snuggly warriors that they are.
It’s good that the roosters get along, since they’re spending an extra lot of time together lately. We’ve been keeping the hens on ‘egg lockdown’ in the coop until midafternoon, trying to break them of the habit of laying eggs in god-knows-where places in the yard and to lay in the nesting box instead. In the mornings we go into the coop, pick up the roosters, and let them out of the coop one by one (while the hens try their best to make a break for it). Then, as the day goes on, we let each of the hens out as soon as they lay. By midafternoon, we let them all out, regardless, because we can’t stand to have them cooped up instead of out roaming and free. Often the roosters loiter around the coop door, each with his own ulterior motive. Marcus seems to be waiting for his girls (the true ladies’ man). The Liege want to get back into the coop to eat (true teenagers). When the door opens, the hens barrel out of there and head for their favorite hedges and dust baths. A rooster, or seven, had better get out of the way, or be trampled!