Tag Archives: Javas

Farewell Mighty Grasshopper Hunter

Amidst our busy summer, our pet rooster Stuart went over the Rainbow Bridge.  Stuart was one of our original Mottled Javas that I spent all day driving to get from the breeder (yes, Texas is really that big).  Stuart was named for the cute little mouse Stuart Little of Hollywood fame.

Stuart was a runt from the start, but very cute and affectionate – even without us spending a lot of time with him.  Stuart enjoyed people and wanted to be with us even more than he wanted to be with the other chickens.  Whenever the flock that Stuart lived with was allowed to free-range, Stuart would come running to find us anytime he heard us outside.  He could run out of the coop to meet us faster than we could get the people-door to the chicken run open.  Stuart was always underfoot and I did manage to step on him more than once, but that didn’t keep him from rubbing up against my legs while I refilled food and water containers.  Stuart LOVED chasing and eating grasshoppers more than any of the other chickens – earning him the title “Mighty Grasshopper Hunter” from his proud human father.

Our best guess is that Stuart was taken by a hawk, based on finding a feather trail (no blood or anything else) in a direction where a hawk could have swooped down from the oak tree by the pond, grabbed Stuart, and flown across the pasture (and because the dogs did not alert me that there was a coyote, which would have been the other predator we have here that could have carried a chicken away without leaving anything other than feathers).  Even though we knew that predators were a possibility (which is why the breeding stock is not allowed to free-range without supervision), we had not had any actual predator attacks until now.  And unfortunately our favorite chicken was the one sacrificed in our first predator attack.  Knowing Stuart, he was so busy chasing grasshoppers and clucking happily between the garden and the pond, he probably never even knew there was danger nearby.

So we say goodbye to Stuart.  Who would have thought that a runty, late-blooming chicken would have such a big personality and become one of the family?  We sure miss you Stuart!

STUART ROBINSON   March 26, 2012 – July 13, 2013

New Java Momma

One of our lovely standard-bred heritage Mottled Javas is a new mother!  Having a broody (a chicken showing mothering behaviors) hatch eggs was a new adventure for the chicken and for us.

The eggs were incubated in the house while I watched the broody pullet to make sure that she would stay on a nest of eggs.  Some chickens give up partway through the three-week incubation period and stop keeping the eggs warm.  Once I was sure she would stay the course, she was moved to a condo cage in the garage and the eggs from the incubator were put under her shortly before hatch date.

Only one of the three eggs hatched out, but she is proud as can be anyway.  And she’ll let people know if they are getting too close to her little fluffball.  It’s funny to see the chick dive into Momma Chicken’s feathers and watch its little chick feet disappear.  They even get a ventriloquist act going with the chick peeping and cheeping while hiding in Momma’s chest feathers.

Many chickens, especially hatchery stock, have had broodiness (the desire to sit on eggs and hatch them) bred out of them.  For a dual-purpose homestead bird like the Java, broodiness is a trait to be celebrated and encouraged when possible.    So far this experiment with a broody has been successful and we plan to utilize it in the future.  As well as continue to breed for broodiness, to help keep our Javas close to what a good, old-fashioned homestead bird should be.

Mottled Java Momma and baby in the broody condo.

Mottled Java Momma and baby in the broody condo.

New baby checking out Momma while she has a bite to eat.

New baby checking out Momma while she has a bite to eat.












Chickies’ Day Out

The Java chicks we hatched last month are growing like weeds.  With the strange non-winter weather we have had this season, the chicks were able to spend some time outside even though they are still growing in feathers to keep warm.


No fair!  How come the big chickens get to run around loose in the pasture?

No fair! How come the big chickens get to run around loose in the pasture?


Dude, she's watching us.  Quit pecking at the ground like a chicken.

Dude, she’s watching us. Quit pecking at the ground like a chicken.


Did you get my good side?

Did you get my good side?


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