Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Friend George

Our 4-H club had the opportunity to incubate eggs and hatch some chicks. We wanted to add to our laying stock so we borrowed a rooster to fertilize some eggs for us. He was low rooster on the totem pole at his home so he was enjoying life here. We didn't enjoy his noise as early as 4:30 AM and as late as 1 AM. So when we had all the eggs we needed he went home.

There was a bit of a mishap with the incubator and only about 18 of 70 eggs hatched. N fell in love with a little black fuzzball and bought him with some birthday money. He came with 4 other chicks. So we brought home 8 baby chicks: 1 old English Bantam and 7 Americanas (the bread we currently have). We were also given 4 Rhode Island Reds from another club member. The club will be trying to hatch more, but we don't have the rooster to get more eggs. The one we borrowed isn't coming back anytime soon. And we only wanted 4-6 more laying hens (odds being that more than half the babies would be male and become dinner) so club members were generous in helping us build our laying flock.

The baby chicks came home when they were 5 days old. We tried to have them in the garage, but they acted very poorly so we brought them into the laundry room. I like having them in my office and got to know them a bit. One in particular would stretch its neck out to see who was looking at it. I started calling it George since is seemed curious.

I would get him out and he seemed quite content to sit with me as I drank my afternoon iced coffee and checked my email.

Not too long after these pictures were taken the chick smell began to overwhelm the office and they moved outside. George has forgotten who I am and runs for cover when any human gets close to the chicken tractor. Oh, well. The good news is that it appears that George is a pullet (girl) and I won't have to eat my friend. Amazingly of the 12 baby chick we brought home only one appears to be a cockerel (boy). Come October we may start a small egg business or more to my girls' liking a bakery specializing in rich desserts containing lots of eggs.

No comments: