Once cold weather returned to Lilac Hill Farm I culled non-Buckeye chickens, cleaned out and stored moveable pens and moved the flock into the winter coop.I removed the Buckeye X mixed Brown Leghorn birds because of their skittish nature and because I wish to have a purebred flock at this time. The winter coop is a remodelled solar wood drying kiln, roofed and outfitted for chicken comfort. During the Buckeye's round the clock stay in the coop they ate a diet rich in protein to promote healthy feather regrowth after the fall moult. I also started turning on the lights so they had 13 hours of illumination to encourage winter laying.
Yesterday I removed non-Buckeye roosters and selected two cockerels to stay with the flock. Since the Buckeyes are listed as a threatened breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, I tried to select the best birds for breeding stock. Acquiring new breeding stock can be difficult so keeping two cockerels as well as last year's rooster improves the odds that I will have breeders for next year. I also hope that these younger birds will immitate the older rooster's gentle yet protective nature. The rooster spent much of his day out clucking near the coop, serving as a beacon for the hens as they map out their ranging territory.As the sun set, I headed out to the barnyard to locate the stragglers that did not return to the coop. Last night there were only two pullets wandering the barnyard to retrieve..
on 2012-12-05 12:19 by Vivianne Lapp
After only three days of day ranging, all the Buckeyes tucked in for the night on their own.