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.
|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!|