Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Roosters are All Grown Up

You may remember that last fall we were given two purebred roosters by Happy Mountain Farm. The photos of the newcomers were pretty unimpressive back then, since the boys were confined to the quarantine pen and you couldn't get a good look at them. Since we're snowed in and the hens are refusing to go outside and are napping on the perches instead of being photogenic, I think this is the perfect week for the update. Luckily, I took some photos of the new boys two weeks ago during that brief spell of warm weather.

This is Billy. 

Billy is an Ameraucana, which is a breed that lays blue eggs. His awesome color pattern is called "wheaten" and it's just about my favorite color ever for roosters. Since he carries the blue egg gene, I plan to breed him to my white Leghorns in the spring. The Leghorns lay the large white eggs, so I'm hoping that a cross between Billy and a Leghorn will give me a hen that lays large blue eggs.

Billy is second in command right now. He's always trying to be sneaky and breed hens when Bruce isn't looking!

This is Blue.

Blue is a Marans, which is a French breed renown for laying very dark brown eggs. Blue's color pattern is pretty unusual--he's a lemon blue cuckoo. "Lemon" is the yellow color in his hackle and saddle feathers (neck and rump), "blue" is the blue-gray color over his body, and "cuckoo" is the way those hackle feathers are patterned to look like they're made up of lots of little lines. You can even see some cuckoo patterning in his tail feathers.

Blue is a very quiet bird who doesn't even try to make waves with the other boys, so he's low man in the pecking order. Even the hens shove him around. I do think that Bruce had better watch out, though--Blue is turning into a very big boy. He'll have the body weight to give Bruce a run for his money for the top spot come spring.

Luckily, right now, all my roosters are getting along beautifully. Bruce rules all, Billy has his own little harem, and Blue acts like one of the hens. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for peaceful coexistence all winter.

I hope you're enjoying the snow! My family sure is!