We have had the barred Plymouth Rock pullets for four weeks now. Man, time flies! They were around 9-11 weeks old when we got them, making them around 13-15 weeks old now. They are beautiful things, with their speckled cloaks. Legolas is still adventurous and curious and Gimli is still a little shy. Although they’re the same breed and colour, I’m still finding it easy to tell them apart. Really, all it takes is a glance at Legolas’ face: it’s just so red! They have grown a fair bit and I have been thinking about when to integrate them with The Big Chickens, Sam and Frodo. I think we need to finish chicken-wiring the paddock fence before we let them into the big pen though, or they may sneak into the neighbours’ paddock. Time to move that up the rankings on my to-do list.

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Legolas (left) and Gimli (right), the barred Plymouth Rock pullets.

After treating Legolas and Gimli for coccidiosis I figured I should treat Sam and Frodo’s water too, just to be on the safe side. If The Little Chickens brought a new strain/strains of coccidiosis in then it could affect The Big Chickens. And, hey, neither of them were laying anyway. There is a 10-day withholding period for eggs following the last day of Coxiprol treatment. I treated them for worms too. You know Murphy’s Law? We don’t have that here, we have Frodo’s Law. The day after I treated them she started laying again. She laid faithfully every day until the last withholding day and then proceeded to go broody. FRODO! Sam is moulting at the moment, so isn’t laying. Relying on Frodo is like trying to catch the wind. I got Frodo off her egg and into the broody breaker cage that day, so hopefully that will cool her off before she gets too far down the broody path.

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Frodo – “Mum! Why did you put me in here?! I was busy sitting on my egg! Yes, I know you took it away but I still need to sit there!”
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“Help me, Sam!” “Frodo, you nob, you were in charge of laying the eggs!” “But I got sick of laying eggs and I told you it was your turn!” “I can’t lay eggs, Frodo, I’m busy moulting!” “Will you just get me out of here, Sam?” “I can’t, but if you let me in I’ll eat your snacks. How come you got second breakfast?” “Go and eat your own, Sam.” “But yours looks better!”

On the bright side, the people down the road have started selling free range eggs, so at least we have a handy source for when our chickens are taking a ‘break’. Or a rest. Or some personal time. Or a holiday. Or a sabbatical. Or unexplained leave…

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