Monday, August 17, 2009

Llamas & Chickens & Sheep, Oh My!

Good Morning! I wanted to give you an update on the happenings here at The Royal Ranch. Paco and Esther the sheep are doing quite well. Esther is now running the place and all of the boys, llama and sheep, stay out of her way! Marcel has once again amazed me and has really been kind to the sheep, he even gets a little upset when Esther is bawling for her breakfast or dinner!
The chickens are doing great! I was finally able to locate some pullets (a young hen that is not laying yet) and bought 6 Rhode Island Reds that were 9 weeks old; very small and very cute. A couple of days later my neighbor found me 3 hens that will start laying soon. These are the bigger and pretty ones you see in the pics. The hens with the feathers on their feet are called Cochins, they are great layers and are also used as exhibition animals. The other buff colored hen is an Orpington and should make beautiful chicks with my rooster who is a Silkie/Orpington cross.
I hadn't planned on breeding chickens, but with all of the trouble I had finding them, and the price I had to pay, about $8/chicken, I am seriously considering it. Incubators are relatively inexpensive and I do have the space. There are not a lot of reputable chicken farmers out there, and I just might become one of them. Demand is very high for chickens right now as many city and town ordinances are changing to allow backyard chickens. I think it is a wonderful way of becoming that much closer to being self sufficient-you ought to try it!
The plastic bin that you see the babies crawling around in is the container I keep in my kitchen for their scraps. I guess they really wanted those scraps!

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