Hens and Roosters South Field Shed
These are some of our chickens who have taken over the south field shed, our other greenhouse, for the winter. I say greenhouse because that is it’s intended long term purpose. Right now it just has partial glazing. The roof sections around the court yard are in part sections of wall from disassembling the old hay shed that used to sit on the foundation where the butcher shop resides.
Roaster size pigs who had been using this for their sleeping nest recently moved to the south field plateau greenhouse so now it is available for several late gestation gilts who are about to move in and make it their winter farrowing space. During the warm months out on the extended pastures sows pick a nesting area out along the margins in the brush and defend it. During the winter months they can’t do that so it is important to provide them with the privacy they would naturally seek out by giving them a space away from the herds alone or in small groups of two or three. If they’re tightly synchronized we’ve had up to six farrow together in a winter paddock.
There are several roosters in this flock. Looking closely you may be able to spot two Americana roosters. Most of the hens are Rhode Island Reds along with quite a few Americana hens, some Speckled Sussex and a few Buff Orpington and White Orpington. Most of these came as hatchlings from McMurray but some have been born here and are a mix.
Contrary to many people’s expectations the roosters get along fine. They grow up together and establish a pecking order. There is a dominant rooster who goes around daily reminding the other roosters that he is indeed the dominant rooster and the rest of them square off in their territories carefully not fighting. Pretty much things are calm.
In addition to the main flock that occupies the south field shed smaller groups claimed the strawberry plateau shed and the lower garden shed down where Spitz, our Berkshire boar, and his ladies are wintering.
Pigs and chickens are a very good mix on pasture, co-grazing well. Bacon and eggs.
Yes, they turned their butt to me the moment I took the photo. Classic chicken photobombing.
Tid-bit: The dominant rooster has the longest tail feathers because he plus tail feathers on other roosters pulling them out or breaking them while they don’t manage to get his since he doesn’t turn his back and flee.
Outdoors: 24°F/2°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/61°F
Daily Spark: Perfect is a horizon. Aimed for but never arrived at.