We've been lurking here for a long time, but haven't actually taken part in any discussions as yet. My wife and I took the plunge into keeping chickens a few years ago and bought six birds from a semi-local feed store. Five of those made it, one went to freezer camp, and left us with four birds. Two black sex-links and two buff Orpingtons. About 18 months later we acquired four believed olive eggers from my wife's sister (barred rock x ee). Two were cockerels and we gave them away.
Attrition has taken its toll on the flock; one of the sex-links died of unknown causes, and one of the oe's got sent to freezer camp for eating eggs. Since we both work full-time, we had to use a motion sensitive video camera to record the goings on in the nest boxes to catch the perpetrator in the act. It took longer than expected, but it solved the problem.
We got almost no eggs all of last year, and we had no idea why, but suddenly this year the ladies have cranked it up again and we've been getting around 2 eggs a day from our four 3 and 4 year old birds. We know that their productivity should be declining, and so we took the dive into incubation this year.
We ordered some hatching eggs from Papa's Poultry, started with 7 in our first set, took 4 into lock-down and hatched out4 beautiful babies this weekend - 1 crested cream Legbar, 1 blue laced red Wyandotte, and 2 jubilee Orpingtons. We have three more eggs about 4 days out in a second set, but it looks like one of those is a late-stage quitter.
We'll be doing some minor modifications to the roosting situation inside the coop to accommodate a few more birds, but here's a few pictures for fun. New babies first, because babies.
Edited by EngineHogs - 4/18/16 at 9:29am