Roos

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With the warmer weather the chickens have been a bit more adventurous and have been checking everything out…

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One of our Icelandic roosters.

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A couple of the girls hanging out…

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On another note we have gotten rid of the majority of our 14 roosters!  We were down to 5 and then the Blue Americana rooster we had decided to keep attacked our oldest son while out he was out feeding sheep.  He flew up and landed in the hood of his sweatshirt and started pecking at him.  Needless to say we are down to 4 boys now and one of them will be going to my parents place soon.  That will leave us at a much more manageable 3 Roos for our 20 hens.

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The Chicken Chick

I is for Icelandic Sheep…

Of course!  My favorite farm obsession…

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Druna

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Calypso

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Cafe

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Carly

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Dalla

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Thokka

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Dew and Reykur

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Bambi

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Dawn and Drifa

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Mary

As if their beautiful colors and patterns weren’t enough, we love our sheep for their wonderful and unique personalities.  They are constantly teaching us new ways to shepherd our farm.  These are some of the other lovely aspects of Icelandic Sheep.

Directly from the ISBONA  (Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America’s)  website…

  • Triple purpose breed: fiber/meat/milk 
  • Soft lustrous dual coated fleece 
  • Mild flavored, lean meat 
  • Farmstead milk and cheese 
  • Luxurious soft pelts 
  • Many color and pattern combinations 
  • Medium sized, early maturing, long lived 
  • Excellent mothers and vigorous lambs 
  • Suitable for pasture lambing 
  • Highly prolific, reliable twinners 
  • Thrive on good pasture and hay 
  • Finish on good pasture in 4 to 5 months 
  • High value products for niche markets

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Early this spring we order 25 day-old chicks that arrived later that summer.  In that order we were suppose to have 11 Icelandic chickens.  We lost a couple of chicks during transport and a few more died within that first week.  We anxiously watched as they grew to see which chicks were of what breed.  Now we are several months down the road and it is apparent we only ended up with 2 Icelandic chickens, which are both roosters and a couple of unknown breeds.  To say the least we are a bit disappointing but we still really enjoy our two guys, they seem to stick out in flock!

 

One of the Icelandic’s, early in the morning.

 

The two together…

 

 

 

 

A little ruffled.

 

Our Icelandic rooster stands out in the flock.

 

We are anxiously waiting the winter out to place another order (with probably a different hatchery!)  of more Icelandic chickens.  We have heard they are quite hardy and lay decently even in the cold, dark winter months making them a perfect fit for Montana winters.  Plus they fit right in with the Icelandic sheep and Icelandic sheepdogs that live here.  😉

Here is some info about Icelandic chickens:

Icelandic chickens are a breed of chicken from Iceland. Called íslenska hænanHaughænsni or landnámshænan in the Icelandic language, they are a landrace fowl which are rare outside its native country. They are an old breed of chicken, having been present on the island since introduction by Norse settlers in the 9th century. However, despite this isolation, the breed has barely survived in a pure form in the 21st century, largely due to the importation of commercial strains of chickens in the 1950s. The few thousand Icelandic chickens in existence today are the result of conservation efforts in the 1970s; a handful of flocks have been exported abroad.

Icelandic chickens are not firmly standardized in appearance, and possess a wide range of plumage colours and patterns, skin colouration and comb types. Some have feather crests.

Despite this variance in appearance, Icelandic chickens are uniformly hardy in winter, have white earlobes, and lay white to light brown coloured eggs. They are also said to be docile in temperament, and hens will readily go broody.

There is another very informative article here.

 

Plus…

Our unknown girl…
What breed am I?

 

I need your help!  🙂

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Friday Farm Daze…

Chore time…

A little this and that from the farm this week…

Vaka

Ole Red…

Vaka, doing her job protecting the cows.

A few of the ewes hanging out chewing their cud.

Mark moving a bunch of icky bottom bales so they will compost down.

Some of our meat lambs, wondering whats going on…

We had scary vampires too!

The rooster crowing…

Quackers

One of our Icelandic roosters.

Copper Maran hen…

Headed back to the coop…

Waiting patiently….

Racing round and round…

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Chick-a-dee-do-dah!

The chickens have been quite amusing lately…

Our Icelandic ram Draumur, with his chicken friends…

They find him irresistible…

They’re also quite fond of Bacchus…

Snugly…

What’cha lookin’ at?

A little chicken love…

Showing off his spots and fuzzy feet!

Another handsome guy!

Black Ameraucana strutting his stuff…

Um, a little more chicken love?

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CLEVER CHICKS Blog Hop #6

Baby Chicks

Our order from Sand Hill Preservation arrived at the Post Office this morning.

Some of the new chicks…

We ordered 5 Black Welsummers

Named after the village of Welsum in Holland. Most famous for the deep, dark brown eggs. Medium sized bird with yellow skin and a single comb with five points. Color pattern of chicks and adults is similar to Brown Leghorns.

5 Black Copper Marans

The Black Copper Marans is one of the rarest breeds of chicken in the United States. It is a fascinating breed of laying chicken; producing one of the darkest chocolate-brown eggs known. It is one of the rarest breeds in this country due to the import ban on fowl in the US. They are quite common in France.

5 Blue Americaunas

A blue chicken that lays a blue egg.  How perfect!  These lovely birds are excellent layers with gentle dispositions and sport beards, muffs and a tail. Their small pea combs make them a fine choice for Northern and Southern poultry fanciers.

And…. 11 Icelandic Chicks!

An unbelievably hardy land race. A land race means that they are not all uniform in color or body type. You will see a diversity in comb type as well. They all do seem to have a tuft of feathers on the top of the head. They are superb layers of small to medium sized off-white eggs. Knowing Iceland’s moderate maritime climate and that this breed had developed there for over a thousand years, I was fearful they would not handle the extremes of Iowa weather very well. I was first pleasantly surprised in the Winter when they handled -25 deg. F with ease. Then on that horrible July day with a heat index of 133 deg F, I was afraid that when I reached their pen I would find them all dead. I was pleasantly surprised to see none dead even though there were massive losses in adjoining pens. They are superb foragers with a most pleasant temperament. This is perhaps the ideal breed for someone who wants a diversity of color, but only wants one breed. They are not a terribly large chicken but are extremely feed efficient.

We suffered some minor losses during transport by 3 being squished beyond recognition and 1 that is pretty squashed but we are hopeful will recover.  The kids of course are extremely excited!!

Hayden handling the squashed one, hoping to nurse it back to life.

Zayne’s pick

Teigen’s pick

Garrett, the chicken guy himself!

Cheep!!

Unpacking the box

Too cute.

Concern…

Hopping

Look at me

Happy boy

Emma checking things out.

Hopeful.

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