Tag Archives: frizzle cochins

Daughter of Dinosaurs

The frizzle cochins are HUGE. And I think the two white ones are roosters.

Although they are full-grown, they have yet to either crow or lay eggs, so I can’t be 100% sure yet. Once I am, both the white ones will be rehomed, regardless of sex. I don’t have room for three massive cochins – all I ever wanted was one female, which I have in Ophelia, the grey frizzle.

I’d keep all three if I had room – and if they weren’t roos.  They are so funny, especially from the back view, when they take off running. I took a video for you. You can see a little running action right at the end.

In the Spring, I’m going to allow any girls that go broody to hatch out some more chicks for me. I want some more females that aren’t quite so large (and prone to broodiness.) Broodiness is a trait I have grown to appreciate, since it is SO much easier to raise chicks by letting a mother hen do the work, rather than setting up a brooder box, and then going through the trauma of introducing the young pullets to your older, grumpy hens – who see absolutely zero need for more mouths hogging the treats. So that’s why I wanted to add Ophelia to the mix – cochins are known for being reliable broodies.

But for myself, I need more egg layers. Three of my girls are fairly old, and don’t lay except for select months out of the year. I want to add some blue egg layers – I’m looking at Swedish Flower and Cream Legbars.  Both are extremely pretty birds, with bright eggs.

Right now in the dead of winter, none of my girls are laying…which means I’m buying eggs from the grocery store again. I utterly refuse to buy just any old eggs, though – the torture and abuse of chickens is no longer something I can morally support. Luckily, there are options these days, as people are becoming more aware of how animals are mistreated on factory farms.  You can buy cage-free and “free range” eggs, but unless you’re careful, you’re just buying eggs from hens still raised in unhealthy, unnatural situations.  “Cage-free” just means they aren’t in cages…but they are crammed into warehouses with barely any room to room, and no room at all for natural behaviors. “Free range” all too frequently means the same thing – with a tiny concrete outdoor pen.

I can’t support this. Not after experiencing first-hand the joy my chickens have in their lives. So even though it costs considerably more, until my girls start laying again, I’m buying eggs from a “pasture-raised” farm, Vital Farms.

These chickens are actually outside, in a field, eating grass and bugs.  And you can really tell the difference, once you crack those shells.

The yolks are orange and spritely, standing up proudly from the white.

“I am a daughter of dinosaurs!” Every free chicken absolutely believes that in her little chicken soul. Makes me smile every time.

Frizzles, New Kitten, and Sunflowers

We have a new cat, Bundy.

We’ve been looking for a young, black, shorthair male cat for a couple of years now, but the right one was never at the shelters.  A few days ago, we were at the gas station, when a truck pulled up at the next pump.

“Hey – do you want a cat???”

We look over, he’s offering a black, shorthair male kitten.

“Yes, please!” Clearly, he’s our cat. And he’s perfect. Sweet as anything, with the most gentle paws I’ve never seen on a kitten. But he’s also not shy or afraid – from the instant we brought him home. He’s not fazed by old cat’s dislike of him, nor by corgi Dexter’s intense, crazy adoration. We literally could not have been given a more wonderful addition to our family. The only thing he needs to learn is to stay off the kitchen counters!

The little frizzle cochins are also super sweet – the most friendly chicks raised by a broody hen that I’ve ever seen.  They like to be cuddled, and when I bring out the camera? They pose. I must have taken fifty pictures of the little fluffly butts yesterday.

Broody mama Boudica is still stunned by how floofy her children are….

Besides playing with all the new babies, we got in a third load of free wood chips, and have been busy spreading them out in the garden. We finally mulched over the whole of the kiwi/grape vineyard – going all chips, instead of grass. Less to mow! This the area where I’ll be building the newest quail coop – just out of frame, behind the blue chairs.  Also out of frame, on the opposite side, is our beehive. It’s still doing splendidly, and this part of garden will be a relaxing area to sit and watch the bees and the quail. If we ever have time to relax…

P.S. The logs in the photo above will be going inside the quail coop once it’s built. Quail like things to stand on. Tiny little birds need to feel like Rulers of Their Domain!

While gardening, I discovered a bird’s nest in my clematis.

It turns out that the male rufus sided towee who has been drawn to my garden because of the wood chips, has attracted a mate! The nest is only a couple of feet off the ground, so I’ll be taking pictures of the babies regularly once they hatch!