Friday, July 25, 2014

Head Count

We've gotten into a habit of counting heads around here, especially in the mornings and evenings. It's been hard to count some of the smaller chickens because they move around so quickly. The most reliable time to count is when the chickens come out of the coop in the morning. We're still trying to get the little chicks to go inside the coop at night. They are heavily influenced by the guineas who would rather stay outside. So a few nights we haven't been able to catch all the guineas and get them inside the coop. So far they have been waiting outside the coop in the morning.

As predicted, we didn't get any chicks from the broody hens. At the end of the 21 days all but two eggs had gone missing, most likely pecked and eaten by the other chickens. Bad chickens. The two remaining were cold. Many lessons were learned. Egg production is still down to 2-3 per day. I'm not sure if it's because of the broody hens or the summer heat.

I thought I'd share our current numbers:

3 people (2 adults, 1 teenager)
3 female dogs (1 Australian Shepherd Mini, 2 Great Pyrenees puppies)
4 female goats (1 Kiko-Nubian, 3 Boer-Nubian)
30 chickens
    6 laying hens (Black Australorps)
    17 growing pullets (12 brown Amercaunas, 5  Black Australorps, possibly 2 cockerels)
    7 chicks (Black Australorps, possibly one male)
8 guinea keets

We did have a cat for awhile, but then Guv'nor found it dead in the field one day. No signs of attack, just dead. And Hopper the rabbit has gone missing.

Our sweet Australian Shepherd lives mostly in the house.

The goats and puppies wait patiently by the fence when they hear Guv'nor coming in the Mule.

Amber has learned she has to stand in the feed trough to get her fair share of feed.

The puppies have their own feed bowls.

The puppies are friendly and like to be petted.

The puppies' paws are as big as my hand.

The chickens are most active in the mornings and evenings.

Some of the pullets are almost as big as the hens.

The chickens have a mostly grassy long narrow run.

The pullets usually eat away from the hens.

The hens are less stressed without a rooster and their feathers are gradually growing back.

This hen is recovering the best.

These three guineas got locked out the night before, but were waiting around the coop.

The chicks and guineas happily share the feeder.

The guineas are sometimes slower to come out of the coop.


  1. Heh, it's hard to understand what it's like to count chickens until you've had to do it. I count ours in the evening when I call them into their pen for the night, counting as they each run through the gate.

    1. We're down to 5 guineas now. Dog was "herding" them the other day and they scattered into the woods. Three haven't come back yet.