Mon. October 22, 2012
This past weekend was really busy here. I lost a Welsummer cockerel leaving me with just 1 little 4wk old guy. I posted a question on the OKIES in the BYC III forum asking of anyone had an extra cockerel that I could have and boy were there a lot of replies. I ended up with 3 beautiful males: 2 rumpless Arucanas, 1 black double tuffed and a buff clean faced; and a Cuckoo Marans. I met Mitzi Saturday morning to pick up the Arucanas from her. Then I met Cathy this morning to pick up the bigger and older Marans cockerel from her.
They are to very petty fellows that some of the girls have taken to following about.
They even managed to follow the big guy up onto the very top roost.
I've never seen the girls get way up there before! It looks like they are going to settle in real nicely. Hopefully with these new guys I will have new pullets hatching this spring.I want lots of blue and chocolate brown egg layers for next fall. At this time I am planning to cross the 2 Arucanas boys over my 5 Ameraucans and my 4 White Leghorns to get the blue eggs. I will cross my Marans with the Marans to get more pure breeds there, and I have plus the 3 Barred Rocks, 3 Dominiques and the 10 Welsummer hens. I may need another Marans Cock this spring to help him - we'll see!
Wed. October 17, 2012
Oddly enough in reference to the picture below, the large egg on the left below the tape measure was a TRIPLE YOLKER!! It had three small yolks in it. The largest one shown to the left above the tape measure was just a double yolker with 2 regular sized yolks inside. I did not get any pictures of them because I was using my phone to skype my 4yr old grandson so he could see Nana crack open her big eggs. He though that was the coolest thing ever. He said: 'they woulda had 5 babies Nana! Now you got lots to eat!' I just love my little NicNac!!!
Tues. October 16, 2012
Here are my morning eggs. Look at the size of the 2 on the left!
Wow - they are nearly 3 inches long and the top one is hugely fat! I just know they are both double yolkers! Ummm can't wait to eat them. Anyways, although I am very happy with the 8 eggs a day I am currently getting from my 13 24wk old pullets, I really can't wait for the 5 of them which are not laying to start. Just my 4 leghorns and 4 Golden Comets are laying. I also have 5 Welsummers that are the same age, but I do not think they are laying yet. I figure of those 13 I should be getting at least 10 - 13 eggs a day! That would be enough extra eggs for me to start selling some. Come on Girls! Get with the program!!
I also have 6 eight week old pullets. (My teenagers: 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Ameraucanas and a Buff Orpington) They have their feathers and are now starting to get bigger fast. They mainly stay in the little nursery area that I have sectioned off under my work table with the smaller 4 week old babies, but they are getting more and more adventurous by trying to sneak out among the big girls.
Look at these pictures I took of 4 of the teenagers last night.
You see them?! They are way up on the top roost ABOVE the big girls heads! I don't know how they got up there without getting their heads pecked. LOL - Poor little things. Sometimes being sneaky can get you in trouble because they had to stay up their until I opened the pop door and let the big girls out before they could get down! They need to have patience. In a couple of months they will be as big as the big girls and will be able to make their own place in the flock. When that happens they will have about a month to be joining in on the picking on the younger chicks! I figure in about 4 more months all of them will be in and around the same size. I was thinking about that over the weekend. I figure it won't be long before they will be wanting to roost in the main area. This morning I got out there and added 12 more feet of roosting space. They seem to like the bamboo poles so I used them again to build an 8ft long high pole and a 4ft long lower level pole. I will see tonight if they want to use the new ones or if they keep huddling together on the old poles.
Wed. October 10, 2012
I ended up with 5 eggs in the nests and 1 on the floor! (The wellie girl is not laying. She just wanted to see what all of the commotion was about.) I know that with 8 girls laying I should have more than 2 nest BUT do you see the golf balls under the table? Well there are 4 beautiful nest boxes built into the wall of the coop that they ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to use sooooo they will just have to make do with the 2 on the table! They actually found a use for the built-in nest boxes: here are six of the little ones (the 3 Barred Rocks, the Buff Orpington and 2 of the Ameraucanas) sleeping in one of the 4 boxes.
Here is a closer look at 2 of my pretty little barred rock pullets!
Although I am starting to think the 'she' in the pic on the left with the lighter stripes may be a 'he'. I just love the stripes!
Tues. October 9, 2012
OK so what is this? Is it a Welsummer egg or did it come from one my Golden Comets? I have been getting one spotted egg a week for the last 3 weeks. I did not think the GCs laid spotted eggs, and if one of them were laying a spotted egg, what would make it only happen once a week? Also I only have 4 GCs and they are all laying. Every time I get a a spotted egg, I only get 3 GC eggs that day soooooo that kinda leads me to think it isn't a Wellie but again, why would her eggs grow spots once a week?! I'm confused!
Mon. October 8, 2012
I'm just a country girl at heart, living in the sticks, enjoying my life! The kids are grown and gone so I can finally do all of the things I've always wanted to do. I have a little plot of land on the family homestead to putter around with sooooooo I've been having a ball!
I love eggs and wanted to have enough to eat everyday so I got some chicks. I started with 13 day olds: 5 Welsummers, 4 Golden Comets, and 4 White Leghorns. I like having brown eggs and am really interested in the spotted ones the Welsummers lay, but I had been told that since the ones I got were hatched April 30th, it would be next spring before they started laying. Sooooo I got the GCs to have a few eggs this fall and my nephew really wanted a 'Foghorn Leghorn' chicken so I got the WLHs for him.
Here are some of the little peepers at about 4wks old right before I put them in the coop.
I recruited the nephews to help in phase 2: the construction of the coop. (Don't look at that boy's shoes! We just ignore him - 15yr olds! SMH)
Here they are the first night in their new 8' x 8' home.
They grew into it and you know that ol' saying "live and learn"? Well I learned that hey gets damp fast and rots faster so I got rid of all of that and put in a nice deep layer of wood chips. The wood chips have worked out wonderfully for me so far in keeping the coop floor dry and odor free.
The birds very quickly grew into the coop. I think they enjoyed being out of that little tote box and off my back porch. I KNOW I enjoyed having all of that noise out in the backyard! They spent the summer in the coop. I kinda felt like they were getting too hot out there so we started freezing watermelon halves for them to enjoy each day. Then I started noticing them spending a lot of time looking out that little window.
Soooooo time for phase 3 of my chicken endevor. I recruited my handyman of a cousin (THANK YOU REGGIE!) to fence off them a yard. I wanted it to be pretty large because I am getting more chickens so he built them a 35' x 60' rug. Plenty of room for the 40 or so chicken I intend to have.
Here is my mom and the chicks inspecting the finished area.
Lets talk about eggs. My want of fresh - not that months old, bland looking and tasting grocery store crap, but the straight out of the nest this morning fresh eggs my Granny used to feed us - eggs was the inspiration for this whole project. Sooooo where are my eggs?! 16wks came and left, 17wks goes by, then 18wks and still no eggs from these supposed to be early laying WLHs and GCs. Week 19 and I finally got 1 tiny white egg! (YAY!) Found it on the floor under the roost. (BAD Chicken!) Week 21 and I started getting 1 brown egg to go with my now 3 white ones. Soon after that all of the GCs were laying and so were all of the WLHs. (The 1st pic show my 1st 2 pullet eggs next to an extra large egg from the store. The pic on the right shows my 1st GC egg. Look at the size of that thing!!! My goodness if that is the size of her first egg, are they going to STILL GET BIGGER as she matures?!)
Ummmmm FRESH eggs! Just look at the
color of those yolks and the thickness of those whites! But I have a question: see that spotted egg 3rd from the left, bottom row? I could have sworn it was from 1 of the wellie girls, but that pic was taken over
a week ago and I haven't had a spotted egg since so I think it was 1 of the GCs! :-(
Now here it is October and we are still getting 8 eggs a day, but they still refuse to lay in the beautiful back roll-out rear accessing 4 slot nest boxes we built into the side of the coop. (BAD CHICKENS!!) I built a couple of temporary nests and sandwiched them in between the feed containers on top of my work table. BTW if you look under the table you can see the golf balls I put in the real nest boxes - that didn't work. :-(
And since they won't use the nest boxes, I have fence off the area under the table legs and am using it for a nursery and I have my 6 7wk olds (1 fluffy Buff Orpington, 2 Ameraucanas and 3 Barred Rocks) under there now. There are also 19 more 3wk old chicks on my back porch (7 more Wellies, 5 Cuckoo Marans, 3 Dominiques, and 3 more Ameraucanas) who are almost ready to go outside. (I'm getting really sick of the noise again!)
Now, I have the nursery area set up so the side to right of the pic is only enclosed on the bottom. They can get out and back in again if they want. So far only the fat barred rock that you can see sitting up on the roosting pole has been venturing out into the main area of the coop and out the door into the yard. It is OK because she has plenty of room to stay our of the older girls way so she doesn't get picked on.
Now I have a question for you all: Look at the comb and wattle on my wellie. She's 23wks old today, WHY ISN'T SHE LAYING?!?
Anyway - I guess I had better go find something to clean! (Translate: I'm going to go watch the chickens!)