Coops, Coos, and Coups – A New Flock at Halter Ranch

Do you have treats?

 

Those of you who have spent time out at Halter Ranch or anyone who has been following our social media throughout the past few years will likely have glimpsed our flock of chickens either in photos or in person.  It has been customary to host a happy flock of egg-laying ladies on the Ranch since the early 2000’s.  They provide wonderful free range eggs for the staff, insect control for the grounds, fertilizer for the vineyard, and are a general source of smiling entertainment for all. 

 

Upgrading the old coop

 

Over the past month or so we have been posting photos of our new baby flock as they quickly grow into full sized hens and (we suspect) a few roosters (though we ordered all hens ‘ ).  Darren Ramos, who has been part of our cellar staff for the past 4 years, and viticulturalist Lucas Pope have put their heads together to construct an updated coop for the new flock.  Fear not, the new flock’s takeover was by no means hostile!  The older ladies are happily living out their days at vineyard foreman Eusebio Rico’s property just a quarter mile from their old digs.

 

Just 2 weeks ago

 

We have been creating a photographic record, interspersed throughout this post, of the new flock as they’ve come into their own.

 

Coop Complete

 

Lucas intentionally ordered 2 of each breed available at our local Farm Supply and they all seem to have very distinct personalities.  The little naked necks (they come complete with mini-toupes!) seem slightly more aggressive than their sisters, always pecking a defensive perimeter around their food.

 

On August 11…little balls of fluff

 

There are a few we suspect are actually roosters, always leaping up to the highest available point and displaying pronounced head-combs at a younger age.

 

Accusing Eyes

 

We have been informed by our onsite Fowl Guru, Sarah Forstner (check out her non-profit here) that a flock is generally healthier mentally and physically when a rooster is present (don’t tell the roosters this however, they are puffed up enough already).  As always thanks for reading, you may expect additional harvest updates soon.  The busy season has begun!

 



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