A Flourishing Flock

| 1/13/2016 10:04:00 AM

Jennifer QuinnIcelandic rooster

chickens on roost

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything about my poultry flock, since I’ve been merely waiting and watching them grow. Back in the summer I wrote about losing my entire flock to predators in one way and another, and how I considered giving up the whole venture, but decided to press on. At the beginning of July I had acquired four more Buckeye chicks and four guinea keets, to which I added ten Icelandic chicks in August.

My experience with this flock has been completely different! I began taking them outside in a cage at an earlier age this time, which may have helped. On the day I released them on their own, all except one Icelandic rooster returned to the coop on their own, and have done so ever since — even the guineas! The latter seem to have benefited from being raised with the Buckeyes, and they still go around as a group, while the Icelandics mostly stay in their own group.

The Icelandics are much more independent and a little skittish around me. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, are just like cats — they want to be wherever I am and get involved in whatever I’m doing. With the guineas close behind they follow me around and get underfoot all the time — it’s all I can do not to step on their toes!

I’ve only had a couple of losses, other than the rooster who wouldn’t come in on the first night — both my own fault. First I made the mistake of putting the guinea keets out in the cage when they were quite small, and they were so frightened that one managed to squeeze through the bars and take off across the yard. I was never able to catch her after she disappeared into the weeds along the stream, never to be seen again. (I imagine ”she” was my other hen, since the remaining three included two cocks.)