Crofting: Over the River, Through the Woods

That’s the usual directions for getting anywhere in New Brunswick. You will cross a river (but never the same one twice) and everything is through the woods. This is the river I crossed today:

one lane bridge

This is the little river that flows between Bridgewater, Maine and Centreville, New Brunswick. I had gone through Centreville but didn’t go as far as Bridgewater. I turned across the bridge and headed toward Bloomfield. This is what the stream looked like today as it tumbled down the old mill-race:

The rivers are high after a lot of heavy rain for a few days. I had never ventured this far past Centreville, but I had a good reason, because I was buying this:

cute

Yes, I bought a box of cute. These are silkieĀ chicks. Neither one of us, seller or buyer, can tell boy chicks from girl chicks, so I took an assortment of six. If I got too many males, I’ll try to trade for hens with other chicken keepers. This shows you their relative size, as Nicholas holds one:

graychick and graybeard

Nicholas is so pleased. He thinks chickens are great farm animals and he had three we once owned tamed as pets. They hitched rides on his shoulders around the yard and even into the house. I expect he will get some of these trained the same way.

3 thoughts on “Crofting: Over the River, Through the Woods

  1. Little chicks are so sweet. Some people are just made to raise chickens, it seems. My Bruce is one of those people, too. We have been raising them here in the town for about 10 yrs now. He always calls them Papa’s pampered poultry. The first bunch were barred rocks and they laid well up to 7 yrs. They ran free in much of the yard ( they had a house they went into at night) until racoons started killing them. A few died from various things, but overall they were unbelievably hardy and died from these racoons. We kept upping security standards, but fell short a few times, but we had trapped the coons and thought it was over – I mean 7 yrs without an attack, who would have expected a continuous problem? It was odd, actually, that we had not had them before, since we live next to a creek, a river, and a woods. Coons are plentiful. It was like one of them got word to the coon population! So, we ended up having to replace the bunch completely and coons manage to get into the compound now and then and we only have about 7 left of the original 25. We got some new chicks this spring and the very day they were big enough to be transferred to the “compound” 10 of them were killed that night. I felt sick – they were so adorable and trusting.

    All of our bunches were different breeds and very different in behavior. The barred rocks were loud and the roosters were very aggressive and attacked anyone unprovoked. I think our boys teased them a couple of times, so that may have caused problems. Still they were a more aggressive rooster than our silver wyandottes rooster. They are a timid, easy going bird, and the rooster has never attacked anyone. I forget what this new kind is, but the funny thing is that the day we separated them they each kept to their own kind and would not mingle. We thought they would eventually blend, but never have. Have you ever seen that happen? We have never had a blended bunch before.
    Joanie

  2. When the chicks are a few days old, stretch a wing out so you can see it. The first feathers will start to grow along the back edge of the wing. Depending if they are a hen or a rooster, the feathers will be different lengths. Unfortunately I can’t remember which one is which.
    For example; a wing where the back edge feathers are longer on the last half of the wing towards the tip of the wing could be a rooster. If the feathers are all the same length in this case it would be a hen.
    If you find out I’d like to be refreshed to the answer.
    Colin.

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