Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Meet the New Girls in The Dot House

All the Christmas preparations are done so now we just wait for our guests to arrive. I love this time of year.

Today is a good time to catch up on the latest happenings around the ranch.

I heard that a couple of my young readers are concerned about Buddy living out in the cold. Well, if you think about it, Mother Nature is very wise and she makes sure that creatures that live outside in cold places grow lots of extra hair or fur to keep them warm. Horses grow a thick winter coat to protect them, and so do dogs which they then shed when it begins to get warm again. Buddy has an amazingly thick winter coat and he sleeps in his doghouse on very very cold nights. I have seen him in his house and also the hay in his doghouse has a dent in it where he curls up. The hay on the floor and the small space of the doghouse help Buddy keep warm; and, his coat is so thick and warm that oftentimes he chooses to sleep outside on the plant bedding next to the house probably because his house is too warm for him. So Buddy is fine and is truly thriving and growing into a wonderful pet (and watchdog!).

We took the old hens, both the Dots and the Rhode Island Reds, to market last week because they had quit laying due to their age. We got seven new pullets from our neighbors who had them as show birds at last summers County Fair---and they are beautiful as you will see in the pictures below. We now have one Wyandotte, two Speckled Sussex, two Buff Orphingtons and two additional  Americanas - so along with our six Black Copper Marans, one Cuckoo Marans and four Americanas, we have a beautiful, colorful flock.

The birds merged so peacefully and the Dot House is now relatively quiet with much less bickering than with the old hens. Here is what we got the first day after integrating the new pullets with our remaining flock. I didn't expect to get any eggs for a few days.

Once the old hens were gone, I put a big bowl of food and one of water in the pen while I cleaned The Dot House in preparation for the new residents. When I finished cleaning and went into their pen to reopen their door into the Dot House, I noticed the food bowl was empty! I filled it again and within the hour it was empty again. That tells me the old hens were bullying the young pullets and keeping them from full feed which explains why the egg production was off and we had NO eggs from the young pullets---another lesson learned.

Meet the New Girls in The Dot House...
Speckled Sussex - pretty, huh?, we now have two...

Two lovely Americanas...
Two Buff Orphingtons - big and fluffy... and
supposedly the ScarJo of the chicken world!...

And, one Dot (Wyandotte); the namesake of the flock!

Happy Holidays!


Anonymous said...

And, Happy Holidays to you as well. It looks so nice where you are in Neb. We have sun here today also, but it's pretty chilly.

Thank you for updating all of us on the "Chicks". Is the brown egg "dark chocolate"? lol lol lol lol

We hope you have a blessed and cheery holiday season with your guests.

Sandy in South Dakota

Anonymous said...

The ScarJo of the chicken world...Love it!

Hugs to you!

Sandi said...

Enjoyed the post and the reference to the 'younger readers' and Buddy. hehe I can't wait to see how wonderful your home looks for the holidays.

Anonymous said...

We are enjoying a wonderful holiday here. We got in late last night and talked and talked.
The highlight of my day so far was watching/teaching Delores to use the chuck it ball thrower and helping convincing Buddy he wanted to chase it! But watching the chickens was a close second....and oh, no, dinner is about to be served so that could end up taking first place.....
Sandra from Denver