I sold several older hens before my young ones started laying. I like having a few eggs to give away, but not as many as I was getting at the time. I kept two of the old hens: My pet, Chickie, and Mama Hen, the mother of the seven pullets I kept. Neither of them will lay until sometime next month, but I wanted a dependable "settin' hen" around, and I like Chickie; she's just a pet with a unique personality. I will probably keep those two until they die a natural death... or until I do.
The youngsters began to lay eggs around the first of November, all seven pullets. And now, every day, I get six or seven eggs. Perhaps once a week I only bring in five, but most of the time it's six or seven nice, medium-sized brown eggs. If you do the math, you will see that's WAY too many eggs every week.
So I advertised them on Craigslist using this picture, but saying I want to keep the three bronze-colored ones and just sell the two Buff Orpingtons and the two Rhode Island Reds. The only reason I want to keep the bronze hens is that I think they are pretty. They are half Barred Rock and half Buff Orpington. I will still have too many eggs once Chickie and Mama Hen start laying, but at least it won't be as many.
I've had these on Craigslist for quite a while with no luck, but yesterday evening a man called saying he wanted them and said he could come today. This being Craigslist, he might show and he might not. It's amazing how many people make an appointment and don't show up. However, I wanted to be prepared.
Last time I sold some hens, the lady who bought them came in daylight, and Cliff and I had a merry old time catching those chickens. He hates having anything to do with chickens, but after watching me chasing them around the hen house futilely, he decided to help. The lady buying them didn't offer to lend a hand. Poor Cliff seems to be allergic to chickens, and these hens were flying and flailing around stirring up all kinds of nastiness, dust, and feathers. My husband was NOT a happy camper.
So this morning while the calves were nursing on the cow, I took my flashlight to the chicken house to get some hens in a cage. Chickens are totally blind in the dark, and I had a cage waiting outside the coop. Trouble is, I, too, am blind in the dark. So I took the flashlight with me, shone it on the roosting hens, located one of the hens I wanted to sell, turned the light off, and HOPED I was grabbing the one I had spotted. I repeated this four times, and I do believe I got the right ones. There was some cackling, but not a lot of struggling and NO chicken dust was raised in the house. No husband was involved in this activity, either.
Now to cross my fingers and hope the guy shows up. If he does, I'll be $60 richer. If he asks if I'll take less, I will probably cut $10 off the price for him.
I'm still on a search for bottle calves, but I'm not taking just anything. My people at Holden have some Jersey/Holstein bull calves, but it sounds like the ones they have are more Jersey than Holstein, so they probably aren't very big. I talked to a lady whose address showed as Buckner and who advertised Jersey/Angus cross calves. Buckner is nearby, and I thought I could go look them over. Nope. Her son is raising them over 100 miles south of here. He would deliver at no cost, but when I asked if they had any black calves, she said no. Somebody is lying here, because anything you breed to Angus will have a black calf.
So, I wait and try to decide. I'm tempted to buy a bottle dairy heifer for $325 just because I enjoy raising dairy heifers, but there's no money-making potential there. It would just be a "fun" thing.
Maybe the people at Holden will eventually have what I want. I may just end up keeping these big four-month-old babies on Gracie until it's time to dry her up.