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Chickens want in

Cockerels want in

It’s officially WINTER, finally, and now the days get longer… Yay. Chickens and snow are the only real farm action around here at the moment, although things are going to get real busy really soon! Meanwhile, there’s always CHICKENS. On one hand, the 25 girls are productively laying away in the chilly but still kinda snug chickenhouse. They do eat eggs, with gusto, but I don’t think any of them have turned into egg-breaking fiends, although the investigation is ongoing. And then there are the guys, past their meat-bird prime, and now a bit of a puzzle—if you’re not gonna eat ’em, why are they here?—but fun to watch, especially on ice (and still really economical on feed). Every day, they come up with a new, apparently random decision on whether to head out into miserable weather, or not. Today, they decided to exit the coop, but then made straight for the main lower barn door, where they’ve been trying to get in for hours. If they want back in, why wait till dark, why not GO HOME NOW? Do they expect me to lead them? Carry them? (Can chickens really play checkers?)



  1. Coolest looking chickens I’ve seen today;) They are pretty. So they are just being they way chickens  be aren’t they?

  2. I have seen some beautiful chicken photos lately. Yours are special.

  3. I am quite sure I am never going to tire of you chickens in snow photos!  They are just the most fun I’ve seen!  My chickens on the other hand have not been out (except on brave soul) in two weeks, big babies!!! Kim

  4. Nat West

    Mike, I just re-read your posts in the “chicken” tag, about the WR Cornish X meat birds, but I only read one summary posts that you didn’t much favor the WRs due to the lack of chicken-ness. I’ve got a new 5000 sq feet to put into production this spring and thought about running some meat birds on it to fertilize and rip it up a bit, so I need a quick-maturing bird, but I also want them to scratch everything up and roam all around. Sounds like the WR won’t do the trick like I need… ? Opinions?

    • Nat: Well, you may want to try day-old White Rock hybrids that you allow out at an early age. There was some talk here on the blog, and I’ve heard elsewhere, that if you don’t coddle White Rocks, they’ll behave more normally. The one we did let out was scratching and taking dust baths. If you search the chicken threads, Cathy raises a commercial quota of White Rocks this way, and I think she commented about that. If that worked out, you’d get the field work you’re looking for, plus sizable meat birds in maybe 12 weeks!

      • FOLLOW-UP: Having tried what I mentioned for a couple of years, I can say that White Rocks do love to head out – they burst out of the door every morning – if you start getting them out early enough. I give them rationed feed as well, not free-choice, so they come in, gobble it up, and head out to scratch and forage again. Check the chickens tag again, there should be some later posts on that.

  5. Jenny

    I love this post! I just had to pull the 3 newest members of our flock out of my orange trees at dark because they didn’t want to go back into the coop on their own. Gotta love ’em.

  6. Hi Mike,

    Let me know about those roosters please. I’m definitely interested in one of them for breeding meat-birds this spring. I like Frey’s special. Grow them every year. But now I have an incubator and I have my mind set on trying some different mixes to come up with my own meat-bird.  I did send you an e-mail about this a few days back. Looks like we don’t live far from eachother. I’m close to a 150 km north of Toronto. Check the site and you’ll see.

    By the way, love your blog!

  7. Bart: I’m behind on my email, but I’ll get back to you. You can have a rooster or two, if they’re going to a good home! ;)

  8. Tnx, Mike. I’ll wait for your e-mail. Don’t need them soon anyway. Spring would be nice.

    Let’s stay in touch!

  9. This chickens-in-the-snow photo is beautiful! I tried to figure out which type of chicken they are but couldn’t be sure. Did you order them from Frey’s?


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