Eowyn's Chicken Chores!

Eowyn needed something to do this weekend, so I sent her out to the chicken coop to clean out the nesting boxes and lay down some more hay. She was excited about making new nests for the hens, and she did a really good job.
Look at how clean these boxes are! She was pretty proud of herself too.
We've kept the hens in the coop to train them to lay their eggs in there. We've left all the roosters out and the hens seem to appreciate the break from the roosters', ahem, needs. We've also trapped kept two of the guineas in there. We don't know if they are laying yet, or even if these two are hens or not, but we want the guineas to know the coop is home. We're down to nine guineas, but with the two in the coop, the other seven are staying closer. Eventually we'll get some more in the coop, but they've turned skiddish about going in.
The hens were a little worried with all the cleaning going on. So they stayed in the corner. They are good little hens though, and give us 5 eggs a day. It's wonderful. (And what would be more wonderful if all those eggs would make it to the house, but Gideon seems to be a bit clumsy about collecting eggs. One day he came in and said "Sorry Mom, I cracked all 4 today!" And that was the last day Gideon was allowed to collect eggs.)

We have 6 roosters. No wonder the hens needed a break! These boys are full of themselves. They don't like being separated from the hens, or being so close together since none of them are willing to get very far away from the coop. We're planning on having a culling soon. I'm not sure which one we'll keep, and we might keep two. They are just so pretty!
I love the coloring on this one. And the two Plymouth Rock roosters above (I was really hoping one of them was a hen, but nope) with the black and white specks. Everyone wants to keep a different rooster. Although, we all agree that the Rhode Island red roosters (there's 2) are going in the stock pot. They are NOT nice.
They all hope the hens are going to come out. But the hens really don't try to escape.
We do enjoy watching them though. When we throw out food to them, they are so watchful of each other, like a fight is going to break out any minute, but none of them actually want to fight. They just don't trust each other. Another reason we have to have the culling, I don't want to have cock fights here. That would be a waste of perfectly good meat.

Any votes on which one (or two) we should keep?


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8 comments

  1. What a great chore for your daughter! My husband and I talk about getting chickens, but I'm such a germaphobe that I'm afraid I'd never touch them. Are they a particularly dirty animal or do they tend to be clean?

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    1. I am a germaphobe, too! (I really wish I weren't, and I am getting better about it.) Chickens aren't terrible about being dirty themselves, but they make pretty big messes everywhere they go. Which is gross. They poop everywhere! And you really don't have to touch them that often, unless they get out. I've really surprised myself by touching them occasionally, and dealing with the mess they leave behind. Like I said, I'm getting better about it. I sometimes have to chant "germs are good, building immunity" though.

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  2. Didn't she do a great job?! Chickens are a great responsibility for kids to have - my six year old loves looking after the chickens and loving them to death. He had a pet rooster who followed him everywhere. I would definitely keep the gentlest one as I've had some nasty roosters before and they can do some damage when they are cranky. And nothing puts kids off more than being attacked by a rooster. I love Plymouth Rocks so I would vote for one of them, dependent on temperament.

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    1. I love the Plymouth Rocks too, but my husband doesn't think they are very nice to the other chickens. They're just so pretty though. Our two bantams seem to be the most docile. And the kids prefer them.

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  3. I love how she helps out! It's so awesome to be able to teach kids respect for animals and where their food comes from! My son started helping 5 years ago when we first got chickens, he's 14 now and can tell you more about where food comes from then any kid in his class......and we live in farm country so that's kinda sad.

    I would definitely do your culling before they start to fight. Once it starts it's hard to reverse. Get rid of the mean ones and if the rest are all the same temperament either pick the prettiest one or do a random drawing of sorts so nobody feel bad if their rooster doesn't get to stay. Good luck!

    ~Lisa

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    1. Thanks Lisa! We're working on the culling plans now. I feel bad that the hens are still cooped up, but the roosters go nuts if one gets out.

      It is pretty amazing what the kids are learning and their whole attitude toward farm life. Of course, I'm learning so much too, but I'm also having to overcome my old attitude about food and life. It's freeing and scary all at the same time. And it makes me incredibly grateful for what God provides.

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  4. Your daughter has done a wonderful job and it looks great. We have too many roosters too but they don't seem to fight but I do feel sorry for the hens. Our roosters are mainly ones that I have bred myself and some of them are really pretty. I like Australorps and plymouths. Thanks for sharing this great post at Good Morning Mondays, it's always great to hear what chores our children can do. Blessings

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    1. She really did do a good job, and she was proud of her hard work which is also wonderful. Our roosters have started fighting this past weekend, and it's awful. I've heard good things about Australorps before. Maybe we will wind up keeping a Plymouth, everyone seems to agree about their temperament.

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