Let me Introduce You…

When I originally got my Ameraucana chicks, the breeder also had Welsummers, so for variety I ordered 4 Welsummer chicks.  They grew into 1 hen and 3 roosters.  Those 3 roosters were the sweetest roosters I have ever had, not a mean bone in the one of them, I decided to keep one because they were so lovely.  That was difficult, I didn’t know which one to keep and I really don’t know why I have the one I do, but he is wonderful all the same.  The other 2 boys easily found homes.   We named the rooster we kept Cletus and named his sister Henny Penny, but if we were going to breed we needed a new blood line.  We were lucky enough last summer to find a lady in Nova Scotia who had them and we finished the season off with 7 pullets.  In the early fall I had an opportunity to get another cockerel from a different breeder, not wanting to regret passing up the chance, we now have a second rooster, and I am very grateful for that, as you’ll learn.

Let me Introduce You to my Welsummers:

 

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Cletus: My daughter accurately calls him a big “marshmellow”, he is the sweetest rooster ever, not a mean bone on him and not even a little bit aggressive or regrettably assertive either.  Yes, I did say “regrettably not assertive”.  Taking a special interest in roosters has helped me understand their behaviours, this summer helped me understand that there are some behaviours that are necessary in building the most ideal rooster.  A rooster should not be aggressive, but should be assertive.  It is in my opinion the most important attribute be assertiveness, and sweet Cletus lacks this.  His fertility was not spectacular this past season, and he got fired from overseeing the main run as he  was unable to keep a bunch of cockerels in line because he lacked assertiveness.  He is a wonderful sweet character who is adored by each member of this family, so he is safe here, mostly as a pet.

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Merle: We got this young lad this fall from a breeder in New Brunswick.  I was happy to see that even though I did not raise him from a Chick, he was very lovely and sweet.  He is very easy to handle and not at all aggressive.  Down by the Bay Backyard Poultry made a couple TV appearances on the local news and we were also featured in the local newspaper and Merle was the star.  I also put on a Backyard Chickens Informational Seminar in November and Merle accompanied me and allowed several people to hold him.  I will most likely take Merle to the local school when I participate in the Agriculture Department’s education day.  He definitely is assertive, but he needs to work on his romance skills cause his ladies are not big fans of his just yet, they like Cletus better, and I guess if I was a hen, I would like Cletus better too!  I have great expectations for Merle this season!

The Ladies:

Henny Penny: She is Cletus’s sister and she is quite a character. She is a bit of a loner, not in a sad way though, and was the lowest ranked hen, but she has never looked pathetic, never whallowing in self pity. I think she quite enjoys her solitude, not playing fiddle to the hierarchy of the other hens, and staying out of reach of the rooster.  I would enjoy her company some mornings, as she’d join me as I sifted through their bedding to clean up the poop, she’d be happily beside me scratching away.  In the early fall she fell rather ill with a respiratory infection and spent almost 3 weeks in a sick crate in the garage.  Life was miserable for her when she got put back in the coop, she was the target of significant harassment by all members of the flock.  It was difficult, but the only way she could regain any position in the flock, she’d have to  endure and I’d have to leave her to it.  One fantastic day (for her), I introduced the new Welsummer and Maran Pullets to the coop.  I don’t think I have ever seen a happier hen, back to her old self, except now she takes great new found pleasure in being a complete jerk to the newbies, as if she’s earned the right 😉

Vivian: We haven’t had much of an opportunity to get to know our newest members, but this lady has stood out.  She is not at all shy and wants you to notice her.  While you are in the coop, she will get up on the roost so that she is face level with you and you cannot resist picking her up and giving her a bit of a squeeze.  If you find a hen at your feet and it is a Welsummer, you instantly know it is her, it’s always her.  She is a sweet little hen who has very quickly become a family favourite.

Marj and Fern: These 2 ladies are busy trying to fit in and hold their own with the older flock members.  With caution and respect, they approach the food trough and eat quickly, and they’re not afraid to attempt perching on the second level roost, very brave if you ask me.

Lucy, Billy Jean and LouLou: These 3 wee girls are the smallest of the pullets.  They were spending their days seeking shelter from the older members of the flock, who revelled in their smaller stature.  I have since put them in a breeding pen with Merle for the winter so I can ensure they get fair share of food and water.  I must say though, they are thick as theives and band together to stay away from Merle, poor Merle!  Lucy has always been know to curl her feet up and snuggle in when you pick her up.

I look forward to getting to know my newest members better over the new season.

 

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