OMG! It's a Roo!

You'd have to say it all started at the beginning of April when we picked out our chicks at the local tractor supply store. I was picking out two buff orpingtons. One was already in the box. I picked up the next and its wing was covered in poo. So I put that one back and grabbed a nice big healthy chick. I even remarked to the salesperson, "Wow! That one's really big!"
A couple weeks later I got suspicious. Kate, as the chick was called, developed her comb and wattle fast. They were much larger than everyone else's and they were red. Plus, she was our biggest chick.

I began to wonder if I was a statistical "victim" of a chick sexing mistake.

Then, on Saturday, my husband and I were in the garage putting the chicks out for the day. We both froze in place as we heard a faint but distinct "cock-a-doodle doo." We waited. And we heard it again. My suspicions had been confirmed. We have a buff orpington rooster!

I looked up information about roosters, and sure enough, our rooster is right on track, beginning to crow at exactly six weeks old.

I'm still in a bit of shock because I never intended to have a rooster. I'm worried that when he matures our rooster will be mean. I'm hoping that since this is currently one of our friendliest and calmest chickens, he'll stay that way.

In the meantime, we're all preoccupied with naming our rooster. The list is growing with Hershey, Doodle and Roo in the top three spots.

I know my flock is now going to change; I only hope it will be for the best.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Gray Treefrogs Making More Frogs!

We found this pair of Gray Treefrogs on the ground beside our pool. I eventually had to move them to a nearby tree since the chickens and our cat, Beth, really wanted to eat them. They were a pretty cool sight to see!

It's amazing the size difference between males and females.
The by-product of their efforts!
Since the pool cover is coming off soon, I've spent the last few days moving tadpoles and eggs to a pond in our local State park. This way they've got a chance!

Meet Our Newest Chicks

Meet Poachy, Sunny and Scrambles, the newest additions to our flock! Yes, I know, we already got chicks this spring. By the way, they're doing great! But, on Saturday we went to the grand opening of our local feed and seed store. They had about 20 "leftovers" from their last batch of chicks. (As a testament to just how popular backyard chicken keeping has become, they sold over 600 chicks this spring. Wow!)

It just so happens that three of those chicks were Rhode Island Reds; my husband's favorite chicken breed. And, one we don't have in our current flock. So, before I knew it, my husband had scooped up three and declared we were getting them.

The worker was thrilled with our purchase and kept the chicks at the counter while we shopped. He was so excited that during this time, he gave our chicks names and wrote them on the box. Frankly, the names were perfect, so we kept them.

Poachy, Scrambles and Sunny are settling in quite nicely. We took them outside yesterday and they loved it. In a week or two, they'll meet the other chicks and become a beautiful part of our backyard flock.

FYI - My husband is so happy with "his" chicks that he stayed up until 2 a.m. with the chicks on their first night. They were having trouble settling in and he wanted to make sure they were fine. OMG!

Wildlife Wednesdays: Gray Treefrog Serenade

Over the weekend, we found this gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) in the backyard very close to where the chickens like to hang out. Trying to be good stewards of wildlife, we took pictures and then let the frog go in a place the chickens can't reach.

The funny things is, we've been serenaded every night by a chorus of treefrogs, but we never could find them; just this little guy. Then, my husband and I went outside after a thunderstorm the night before last. The chorus sounded closer than usual. And it was! Much to our surprise, the pool cover that has water on it during the winter, is now being used as a vernal pond. We found over 50 frogs all over the pool cover and swimming in the water. We even watched them inflate their throats to sing.

Although tree frogs are almost entirely arboreal, in the spring they do congregate to mate. Our frogs have definitely been successful this year judging on the amount we've got in the backyard. So, for the time being, we'll just have to wait to drain that pool cover. Thank goodness we don't have long to wait until it's time to take it completely off the pool!
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