Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Welcome home Boris

Today we have a new rooster!  He will not be Mr. Bond Mk. III, he already has a name. In this case he is Boris, which oddly enough fits into James Bond just fine. So welcome Boris to the Hillside Homestead. As I mentioned a few days ago he is a Russian Orloff. While you can't see him perfectly since he's still a bit nervous and hiding behind the girls. That said you can see some of the things that make him ideal for our climate. For one thing, he's a big rooster which is good for many reasons. For a second he's well feathered, and has a small comb. Both the feathers, and the comb contribute to him surviving the winter healthy and happy.

One of the nice things about a rooster is that dropping him into an established group isn't going to have the same sort of infighting and nastiness that happens if you crash introduce a single hen. At this point I've seen Boris enforcing his new role in the flock by doing a little bit of pushing the girls around. At this point, we're at no blood no foul. Pun may or may not be intended depending on the violence level incited in you by puns. All in all we are thrilled with Boris, and are very thankful to the wonderful folks who gave him to us since their flock didn't have a place for him anymore. We very much enjoy the varied colors and looks of our hens, and look forward to seeing what we end up with in terms of chicks next year. We're going to be trying new things to keep the chickens un-predated this winter and next spring.
As for the black chicken who thinks she's a turkey, she's still doing just fine. She is very alert, and stick close to the turkeys, but she and the turkeys are VERY curious about the chickens in the coop. Soon I'm going to start letting the chickens out into the run area, and after a while I'm going to try separating the black hen from the turkeys and putting her with the chickens. Once she starts laying she won't have the lift off capacity she does now, and having the increased protection that we're going to be giving the chicken flock is going to be important.
It is all part of the reality of living in a clearing in the woods, instead of in a traditional farming area. The way you address predators where we are has to be somewhat different. The principles are the same, but we don't have long sight lines and open areas to cause discomfort in predators that dislike being in the open, and don't have full fencing enclosing the property. It also gives a lot of space for aerial predators, though we haven't had much problem with that yet. We can't assume we wont in the future though. See you all tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Boris, you are indeed handsome. Sending greetings from my rooster, Ernest. T. Bass, who is large and in charge!