I think I now have the correct formula for growing my flock of chickens without creating a riot. It took a lot of patience. I had to keep the youngest generation protected in their box for a long time, or the adults would molest them. Later, I closed up the adults in one part of the run and let the babies loose in the other side so they could get used to seeing each other. Finally, when the babies were almost as big as the smallest of the adults, I opened up the door between them and let them intermingle, with some supervision. Yesterday, I took away the brood box and heat lamp and moved the baby chick feeder to the coop where the adults fell onto it with gusto.
Now, it is up to the babies to figure out how to file into the coop to eat and to sleep on the roost under the heat lamp at night with everybody else. The warm red glow should draw them in, but it is no longer my problem to engineer. At least they are big enough to be safe.
In this picture, you can see Prince Harry in the middle, standing tall and proud with his mature male body. He is losing his white feathers and gaining a strong brown saddle and a taller comb. He crows all day long and chases down the girls when he feels like it. I’ll admit that bugs me, but it is the way of the world.
We now get eggs from at least two of the spring generation. One is a normal brown and the other is a deep olive green, so it must be from our “Olive-Egger”, named Tophat due to her tufted head. We also get blue eggs but I’m not sure if they are from old Arya or the little hen of unknown breed we call Scooter. We get three to four white eggs a day from our four white leghorns that I purchased after the fox killed most of the flock. These small four bittys stick together and are more curious and bold than the others. They come running when I appear and try to slip through the doorways or fly up onto the sill when they think there is food coming. I should appreciate them because they kept our egg supply from dwindling to nothing for several months, but I find I kind of resent them due to their not being my own hand-raised children. Strange how I react to that.
Anyway, I am satisfied that I can now relax and ease into the winter schedule. The goats, cats, and chickens all have most of their winter equipment set up and ready for the cold of winter to hit us. If I heard the weather report right, it may happen quite soon.