The little banty hen has taken to staying in the hen house all day and sort of supervising the place. She is a very sweet bird, and I set out little piles of feed just for her. When I place my chick order in the spring, I will order a few just for her to raise. Banty's make wonderful mothers.
The little banty also provides her farmer with a couple of tiny eggs each week I have eleven Rhode Island Red hens in addition to the banty. During the worst of the cold weather egg production was down to five or six a day, but that number has climbed steadily as the weather has warmed - with daily totals anywhere from nine to eleven. Today I gathered fifteen eggs - which isn't even supposed to be possible with only twelve hens. Perhaps the girls are having the neighborhood hens in for brunch - or canasta - while the farmer is busy hitting the snooze alarm!
My eight peacocks are developing into big, healthy birds. A friend who raises peacocks told me that it might be as much as a year before I would be able to tell the males from the females. (One reason I bought eight - four each from two breeders - was to insure that I would have some of both genders.) The sudden warm spell seems to have brought out a few very telling distinctions in my small flock of peacocks. I am now fairly certain that I have two males and six hens. The two boys are slightly bigger and their feathers are beginning to show a distinctive pattern. The ladies are developing greenish feathers around their necks and craws, and the other two are showing bluish feathers around their throats and craws. The name of the breed is "India Blue," the most common, and in my mind the prettiest, of the peafowl family.
Now, by the time spring really does arrive, I will learn if peacocks (the males of the species) are as possessive and territorial as roosters. It could be a real feathered brawl as the weather heats up at Rock's Roost!
And now it is raining - a cold, cold rain. Spring break is officially over!