Our New Year’s set hatched- 5 chanteclers, 7 cream legbars, an olive egger, and a black copper marans. Continue reading
Warning: This post contains descriptions (but no pictures) of butchering and processing chicken. Please feel free to skip it if it’s not useful to you. Thanks for stopping by.
We’re ready to increase our flock. We’ve harvested 5 of the 7 roosters from our hatch last year, and we gave one cream legbar rooster away to someone with a small show flock. So now we have this lovely selection of legbar and Chantecler eggs from our original source, along with some olive egger and black copper marans thrown into the mix. We started them on New Year’s, which means they just reached candling day recently. Continue reading
Here were my rush preparations:
1) Add more straw to the onions/garlic. Here’s hoping this bale isn’t chock full of seed heads like the last one. Worst weed preventative ever. I wish I had 15 more bales to make a tower around the bees. But probably that’s a moisture issue. (See #2.)
2) Top off everyone’s bedding. I just feel better thinking there’s less moisture in the goat shelter/coop if I pull off some of the top layer and add new dry stuff. Moisture’s what I really obsess about in the way below freezing times, because frostbite can take off chicken feet, combs, and wattles. Also, respiratory issues are as big a concern as anything else, so freshening things up right before they spend a longer period indoors seems prudent.
3) Check the heat tape on the pvc/nipple waterer just to make sure everything’s in order.
4) Get everyone some warm water and give the chickens a big handful of scratch. (We currently only feed scratch in the coldest part of winter for quick energy. That’s really its only nutritional value.)
5) Make sure all the eggs have been collected so they don’t freeze and crack overnight.
6) Run inside and then in place until the tea makes. And unwittingly crack the egg in your pocket in the process. Luckily, very fresh eggs have a pretty strong inner membrane still, so when this happens you just get to eat an egg right away. If you’re me.
Our first experience incubating and brooding chicks has been a great learning experience, so I thought I’d share with you some of what we learned. First and foremost, as you may have guessed, is that brooding indoors is Not Ideal.
I love a spring project to shake off the winter. This spring, a friend of mine gave us an assortment of hatching eggs and loaned us two incubators to start our flock. So we dove in and I read up on how to do things just a step ahead of doing them. Continue reading