Yesterday I processed the last three of our male chickens. We had to put one down a few weeks ago as he looked unhealthy and we managed to rehome one of the Silver Laced Wyandottes. But the two Black Australorp x Golden Laced Wyandotte crosses and the Chantecler were too much for our small flock. When the testosterone starts to flow, the flock hierarchy changes. They started by trying to out-crow one another and moved on to chest bumping. One of the BAxGLW was absolutely gorgeous, but was itching to get into a full-on fight with one of the other males, started to chase people around and tearing feathers out of the hens.
Oddly enough, we'd chosen Flinker Ban many weeks ago to be our flock roo. He matured faster than the others, has been crowing the longest and seems to be the most docile whilst doing a good job looking after the girls. What does "looking after" mean? Well, he makes sure no-one has wandered too far, sounds the alarm when something looks threatening, generally struts around looking good without being aggressive and the hens listen to him. He's also been really good with the females, and I think if we do hatch some babies in the spring they'll be a decent looking mix.
We've still got all three Buff Orpingtons - Blanche, Penny and Hillary (with Hillary being my favourite of the favourites); one BAxSLW - Poe; and one Chantecler (Shorty - who seems to be at the bottom of the pecking order). I think we're going to add one Red Comet from Mooshum's house, just to round out our hens to six.
Laur saw an interesting post on making a toy for the chickens and I think I'll put that together this afternoon. Might help to relieve their boredom come winter - they've already decided to blockade themselves in a tiny chicken snow-protest. Although, Penny and Hillary will hop up on the door barrier to receive some treats and evaluate the weather on a day-by-day basis.
Berwyn might no longer be with us, but his Chickengelical legacy lives on.