April 12, 2011

Citrus Rangers

I've expanded the flock! It's back to keeping chirps in the bathroom until they're old enough to move to the coop with the rest of the ladies. I've been reminded of the duties that come with being a chick nanny. 3 sweet peeps = big mess. They waltz around in the food and water, spreading fecses throughout. I now spend my free time cleaning up behind them during all daylight hours.  Since it's warm and sunny here, I've built a play pen for them to hangout in during the day just outside the window so I can keep an ear on them and keep the mess outside.

These new babes are more docile than the first batch of chicks I've raised. Combining Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons, a local retiree in Palm City developed Citrus Rangers. This breed is especially adapted to hot weather conditions. He's been selecting his best over the past 15 years for laying and table.

A new experience this time around is unsexed chicks, aka straight run. Only professional chicken sexing experts can determine the sex, and even then they are only 90% accurate.  At Ranch Feed Store, I learned an old wives tale to predict the sex of a chick. If you pick them up in your palm, flip them upside down, and their legs are fully flexed and kicking you got yourself a cockerel (male). If they are calmer and they keep their legs close to their body then you get a pullet (female). According the the tale I have 2 pullets and 1 cockerel. I'm not sure how well a rooster is going to go over in the neighborhood, but it's a homesteading adventure... We'll deal and maybe eat fried rooster.

1 comment:

  1. cuties! how long they got before being snuck into the coup with the old ladies?
    love, mimi