Hobby Farm Journal - 3-10-15

This week it’s finally started to act like Spring should! It’s been high 30’s and even reached the low 40’s yesterday! The Swedish Flower Hens were super happy to finally be able to come outside, although previously it has been so cold, they probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. Even still, I wish the weather would have cooperated sooner to allow them to go outside. “Little Man” Swede & I had some “lessen time” again, as with Spring comes increased ego and territorial behavior. He’s again crowing incessantly whenever I’m around, stands very tall & “stiff-leggedly” scratches the ground, while keeping his eye on me. If I make the “wrong move”, he’ll try to flog me. But since he’s one of the smallest roosters I have, it’s pretty easy to show him who’s the “bigger rooster” - usually by pinning him down and/or just pecking him on the head like a dominant rooster would do. Yesterday, I realized that when he starts crowing incessantly, I need to cut him off, as a dominant rooster wouldn’t allow that in his presence. I’m not mean or harsh towards him, have never kicked or hit him with anything, I just think he has a “Napoleon complex” - he might be small, but he thinks he’s big & mighty. I’ve learned a lot since first dealing with Michael when he was aggressive, and hopefully these sessions will be more effective. Otherwise, “Little Man” will have to go, as I won’t tolerate an aggressive rooster, even though right now he’s just borderline. Perhaps he just needs an “attitude adjustment” by putting him back in with the other bachelor roosters. The 2nd SFH rooster in command is like 100% better temperament wise, very laid back, docile, friendly (will actually let me “pet him” when he’s on the roost at night, vs Little Man who either gets nervous & flies down or tries to peck my hand). But, if I remove Little Man, I’d have to also move some of the extra Catskill Homesteader girls out too or the SFH may not be able to fertilize them all. Decisions, decisions - Lord, I call out to You for Your wisdom, as I’m lacking!

Due to the melting snow and no snow in the forecast for a few more days, I put more hay all around for everyone where there was compacted snow/ice/muck. That made everyone happy, as they always like to scratch & dig to find any treats in the hay, perhaps grass & weed seeds. Out of the two truck loads of mulch hay, I’d estimate ¾ of it has already been used!

When I took  care of chicks - removed their water tray, as they seem to be using the nipple waterer now, which will stay much cleaner. They’re primary wing feathers are already in, and some of their tail feathers are starting to push out the fluff! The one gold chick that’s a Biel/CH is a big, chunky little bugger, and has two-toned feathers coming in! Later on in the day, got some baskets & paper “grass” - took a little chick photo shoot, as they are so cute at this stage. Combined a fresh egg and one of the cracked eggs they’d hatched from as “props”. McDoogle was on the other side of the closed storage room door, as he would have liked to join me & help eliminate all those “peeping sounds”. He’s a good boy, but I don’t trust him around the chicks - he “licks his chops” too much and has the look of “just let me crunch them once, please?”