21 April

Chicks On The Table. Rooster On The Way

by Jon Katz

Before our radio show Wednesday, we stopped to pick up two Brahma chicks in Bennington. At the moment, they are dozing in a box on the dining room table underneath a strong heat lamp.

Maria is working on her blog right next to them.

It’s hailing and snowing a bit outside, and for the next couple of days, so they’ll be inside the farmhouse. They were supposed to be in the barn.

We are fond of Brahmas, they are good layers, tolerate cold weather well, and are gentle and easygoing.

We had three, but two of them died. After that, we decided not to name our hens anymore, but we’re ready to name them again and build up our little flock.

Two chickens just don’t look right, so we ordered two females and a male, who is coming next week. Brahma roosters are said to be gentle, which is good.

I had to shoot the last two roosters, they got pretty nasty with people, especially Maria. Farmers have a saying, “you never waste a bullet on a chicken,” but these roosters deserved one. I yelled at one when I shot him, “I am the biggest rooster on the farm.”

I felt for a few seconds like John  Wayne.

The chicks have to be kept warm and dry for a month or so before they can be released to the roost, which has plenty of room for them. We keep them on cedar shavings with chick feed and water.

The temperature needs to be close to 90 degrees, which it is with a special light hanging off the dining room ceiling lots.

I’m looking forward to the rooster. Brahma roosters are said to be gentle with hens and people. Maria and I both love the idea of hearing a rooster in the morning again.

Maria is having a great Spring – succulents all over the house, a lamb in the pasture, and chicks on the dining room table, where we can keep them warm through the weekend.

I’ve put in my hay order and will order some wood for the stove in a week or so. The limed grass is looking strong. We’re ready for summer.


  1. I always enjoyed reading about Winston. Quite the unique character if I remember. Hopefully you get another one like him. Wasn’t he a Swedish Flower Hen or something? Although calling a rooster a hen doesn’t seem right.
    I have two hens right now, one a Serama and the other some kind of bearded bantam. Roosters make the neighbors unhappy and in the past the foxes happy. Enjoy.

  2. The very best way to wake up (well maybe with one exception -sex)
    I hate alarm clocks. Spring on the farm sounds delightful, even if slightly delayed by the cold front. Blame it on my country of origin – Canada!

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