The youngest chickens at Leafhopper Farm are in with the main flock. 8 young birds will begin learning from adult birds as they fledge into young pullets. There are a few young roos in the group who will be culled out as they grow, for now, these birds are safely folded into the flock.
Leafhopper Farm has kept chickens since its formation in 2013. This winter, our oldest hens will be culled to make way for stronger, younger hens who will lay more eggs and keep up good production. The old hens will go to the stew pot and continue feeding the farm crew in another way. I am so grateful for these birds and their original instructions to scratch and glean around the landscape.
The flock is now headed by two Ayam Cemani roosters who will continue to develop a black bird leaning gene pool. The young pullets who were hatched in the hen house this summer are the last of our previous rooster Alexander’s line. I notice that Americana genetics are strong in the hybrids. The new clutch that was incubated to term has some of the Cemani crosses in it. Those birds with translucent black feathers are striking. Eventually, the whole flock will shift to black if We keep only the Ayam Cemani roosters.
In the rooster coop, there are two more of Alexander’s offspring being fattened for the pot. Red as his father’s bright yellow legs, along with a lot of Rhode Island Red from a hen in the flock. It’s tempting to want to keep his looks, but honing in on a specific breed would be better. Perhaps Ayam’s and one other heritage breed, depending on what the crosses turn into.
Leafhopper Farm is also thinking about joining the egg coop and buy in on a much larger flock of chickens in the coming year. The fields can support a larger flock, but the landscape would then be at the mercy of flock pasture needs. There are endless possibilities with chickens at Leafhopper, and eggs are a must for our daily production wants. Even these stew pot roosters are tilling and fertilizing land as they grow.