I have been thinking for the last few weeks, about the marvelous Roosters I saw at the Small Farm Expo. These were majestic looking birds with wonderful plumage. I have been motivated to consider trying my hand at breeding a Rooster that may be able to compete with those at the show. I already have a great breed of Chicken, the Australorp, and it might not be too much of a stretch for me to try to get some excellent birds from my flock. To that end, I am selling some of my least conforming females to ensure that the offspring will be in line to compete…. Or at least I can practice this while I wait till I learn more about the subject.
So, as I mentioned, I sold a few chickens… 6 to be exact. I have kept two as they seem to be the best ones to carry on the family line. I was actually really surprised at the speed which these 6 pullets (a pullet is a female chicken, less than a year old) sold. I placed an advertisement online, and within 2 hours I was contacted by more people than I could supply. A few days later and I was short 6 chickens, and my pocket was a little heavier.
I should say, it was nice to have only 2 chickens. They were much easier to look after, although they were a little worried about me. I think I scared them when they saw me (or heard me) collecting the other chickens for delivery. Wow, let me tell you about that.
I was to deliver four of chickens to a person at 7am in the city. The reason for this was that I was going to be going to work so it made sense. I decided that rather than put them in cardboard boxes over night, and risk their health, I would collect them at 5 in the morning. I had it all planned out… I placed a net over the chicken tractor so that I could climb under and gather the birds in the dark with no risk of them escaping. I had boxes and tape to close them. I had a torch and working clothes ready, so when I awoke I could get right outside to start.
The morning of the gathering went fairly well, the air was clear and cool. The sky was starting to show the signs that would be rising in an hour. I carried the boxes to the chickens and moved them under the net before climbing under to begin my work. The first chicken I grabbed in the dark went easily, and quietly, into the box and I quickly taped it shut. The others must have sensed my intentions, as the next one began an unholy squawking one I picked her up. I placed her in the box and closed it with tape, only for her to continue her cries. The third was as quiet as the first, yet the last bird joined the second one in its annoying chorus. I carried the boxes to the car and once they were secured, I started to drive to the city. For the entire hours’ drive I was serenaded by the two birds sketching their concerns. I was never so relieved to see the last of those birds when I delivered them to their new owner.
For a few days, I was happy with my two chickens, yet I decided to get some more chicks to begin the cycle again. Perhaps this time I would find a bird that would better conform to the Australorp standards. I contacted my local Australorp breeder who sold me 10 chicks that were ten weeks old. They were more expensive then week old chicks, yet I think they were worth it. There are a couple of excellent looking Roosters in there (three out of the 10), so I might have something to work with for future chick production. I will then consider selling some of the females that don’t really look like they will be adding to the line, and as they are already 10 weeks old, it will mean that they will be ready to sell sooner.