Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gender reveal and Coop trouble at The Chick Inn


This is a long post about chickens J

An adorable little chick named Smithy
Smithy @ 1 week
went through this funky looking stage,

Smithy @ 3 weeks
and we had no idea if he/she was a pullet or cockerel,

Smithy @ 5 weeks
or if he/she was going to be a hen or a rooster.

Smithy @ 9 weeks
At this point in Smithy's development, I posted about him/her and several 
thought a pullet based on the comb.

Well, now we know for sure. 

Smithy is in fact a...

Smithy @ 11 weeks
ROOSTER because he CROWS!!!

Although every time he sees the camera, he stops. 
I cannot sneak up on him! 
He is a wiley dude :)

Now the big question remains...

Smithy @ 14 weeks
What breed is Smithy? 

Look at those saddle feathers! They are awesome.

Here's a close look at his neck feathers, which are changing color!

It is the weirdest thing. I promise he is not dirty! My son managed to catch him, which caused a major ruckus in the run. I thought those brown blobs on his sides were injuries or poop but you can see they are brown feathers. Here's a close-up of his wing feathers.

He was a rare breed bonus chick included in our order from McMurray's Hatchery this spring. After searching high and low on their website and on the internet, I think I have his breed narrowed down to two or three possibilities. The most probable is a Silver Leghorn but his legs have a slight slate tint to them. They are not the yellow color of the other chickens. Not that his breed really matters. We're just curious. If you know anything about breeds of chickens, what do you think?

Here he is a few weeks ago before the feathers started changing, with Gracie, his 'chick' friend. She is definitely a Silver Leghorn pullet and as a chick looked identical to Smithy except much smaller. He was huge compared to all the others!  

But we also have a problem. 

Smithy and Gracie and the four Barred Rock pullets are so different in color, they seem to get picked on a lot by the Rhode Island Reds. They have all been raised together from the time they were put into the box at the hatchery and shipped to us. I was told there wouldn't be a problem with several different breeds being together but we just are not seeing it with our flock. 

Gracie @ 13 weeks
My husband has decided that he and our youngest son will make an addition to our already brand new coop and move the six black & whites over there. Big sigh...I am not happy with this as it is an added expense but I really don't want these beautiful birds to be picked on anymore and eventually end up sick or dead. And I am not getting rid of them. They are the least friendly of the birds (maybe because they get bullied) but so pretty and I love them! 

Also, we ended up with three Rhode Island Red roosters. Two of them will be getting their own little Quonset huts to live in pretty soon. One will remain in the main coop. I'm trying not to stress over this but we are on a count down to egg laying time and I was really wanting one single friendly flock.

Hindsight being what it is, if I had to do it all over again I would not have ordered a variety. The Rhodes are big and supposed to be great layers, so I would have exclusively ordered them. Even though they aren't exotic looking, I would rather not have so much dissension in the flock. 

Has anyone else ever had this problem? 

If you read this whole post, you are awesome!!! Thanks for sticking with me! 

Have a blessed day!

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  1. What a great post! I enjoyed reading of your situation and have no answers for you, but I have to say it was worth the mixture as you have some beautiful looking chickens, and a rooster to add to the bunch!

    Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks, Debbie. Four roosters in one coop was not in the plan :)

  2. I know nothing about chickens-but what a splendid post. I really enjoyed seeing Smithy's changes and hope that you solved all the in house issues, they are all very handsome beautiful but I love S's neck feathers...

    1. Thanks, Lynn! He's been a great one to watch as his changes have been rather dramatic.

  3. Wat heerlijk dat het allemaal bij je kan,ik ben gewoon jaloers op je o wat mooi.

    1. Chicken envy, huh? That's a new one :) They are all very beautiful birds, yes.

  4. Smithy is awesome. We have often made the rooster error. I love his neck feathers.

    1. He is definitely awesome, Lisa! And huge...really huge. My husband is hoping he's a Phoenix but I don't think so.

  5. Whole post read! :)
    Smithy & Gracie are gorgeous! She looks like she's wearing the most exquisite shall in her 13 wk. photo.
    We had Rhode Island Reds years ago - one rooster and a handful of hens. They were very hearty birds for our northern winters.
    We currently have two Buffs and two black /black & gray sebright bantham crosses. Crossed with full sized chicken - so they're bigger than a banty, but not near as big as the buffs. I've noticed some quarreling & chasing when they're turned out in the yard for free time, but nothing major, & they stick together as a flock always.

    1. Hey Amanda, That's a great observation about Gracie! She does look like she's wearing a shawl :) She is a gorgeous girl and very tiny compared to the others.

      We used to have Buff's. They are great chickens!!!
      Thanks for stopping by today and reading the whole post. You did good ;)

  6. I don't know a thing about chickens! Well, I do know hens lay eggs :) I think they are cute and Smithy is adorable, especially with Gracie - how cute are they together!

    I enjoyed your post. Enjoy your week, Anne.


    1. Awww Stephanie, Thanks for commenting. They do make a cute couple. I'm hoping to get some chicks from them once we separate them from the others.

      Have a great day! {{hugs}}

  7. Your chicken knowledge is impressive, Anne. Having an urban coop is the in-thing, and I looked into it. Seems zoning in my burb may prohibit it. BTW, love the pics on your blog header and your new profile photo. Reminds me I'm overdue for for one.

    1. Hey Diane, thanks for the compliment but I feel as if I know very little. We live out in the country so there are no prohibitions :)

      I finally learned how to create my own header! I did a big happy dance.

  8. Anne,
    What a bummer with the chickens that can't get along. I have had several different breeds over the years and have not had issues comingling them. I have also added pullets to the coop with hens with no problems.

    Neat idea taking picts of Smithy as he grew and changed. Love his coloring.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Robyn. Big sigh...makes me wonder what I am doing wrong because this is what I hear from others. I'm certain it's not a space issue as the coop is pretty big and the run is huge. I don't know what to do other than separate them.

  9. I loved reading this post and I am impressed with your knowledge of chickens....I have always wanted some and really tried to get my sweet fisherman to lets get some in the mountains but we aren't here enough to take care of them...makes me sad....

    Smithy is one handsome dude and I enjoyed looking at his pictures as he grew....I don't have any answers but I look forward to reading and seeing pictures of future events with them.....

    1. I've enjoyed our chickens. This is a completely new flock but we have kept chickens for 14 yrs. They're a lot of fun. I haven't had this many before though. I may get rid of some if problems persist beyond separation.

      Smithy is a gorgeous guy, along with Gracie!

  10. Isn't Smithy a handsome fellow and Gracie well, she is just gorgeous. Lovely photos Anne! Love hearing about the chicks and the handsome and mysterious Smithy. :-)

  11. Beautiful peeps, Anne! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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