Sunday, December 23, 2012
I have been doing test hatches on my flock to check fertility. I have had Delaware chicks popping out of their shells all weekend. The brown chick in the photo is a Speckled Sussex. A friend gave me a few eggs and they both hatched. The Sussex will fit into my flock well. They are calm and friendly, just the type of birds that I prefer.
Monday, December 10, 2012
The Buff Orpington chicks hatched over the weekend. Today was their first day out of the hatcher and into the brooder. I was very excited that my flock did such a good job. The chicks are just as cute as they could be. There was one surprise chick....
Hens can save the sperm of a rooster for nearly a month. The hens were isolated with the Buff Orpington rooster for 2 weeks before I started collecting eggs, but apparently one of the hens had been fooling around with an Australorp before they went in the pen.
I needed a new grow-out pen for the chicks and I was lucky and found one on craigslist for only $25. It is an interesting design with sliding metal doors.
I need to put a roof on it, but it was a good buy.
Friday, September 21, 2012
The cochin pen was quiet when I made my rounds this morning. Something had gotten into the pen during the night and killed all but three of them. There were only a few feathers remaining from most of the birds, but the buff was still in the pen without her head. I think it was raccoons. I am going to have to build them a new pen with smaller wire. I have had bad luck with cochins, but I will keep trying. They are one of my favorite breeds. I am worried for my other poultry. If they got the cochins, they will be back for the others.
Friday, September 14, 2012
H.I.M.'s remaining chick has survived the mouth of a dog, fowl pox and being attacked by a mean hen, but nothing prepared it for today. Today H.I.M. decided it was time to start laying eggs again. She went into the nest box and the chick climbed in too. The chick found the whole situation very boring and soon wandered away. The chick is still very dependent on its mother, but H.I.M. is starting to ignore its cries. She still allows the chick to cuddle at bedtime, but she is ready to move on and raise the next clutch of eggs.