Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by klwr333, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. klwr333

    klwr333 New Egg

    Aug 18, 2011
    Hello from San Saba, Texas!

    I am Kristi, and I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this forum!

    I actually can't believe y'all have been here for so long, and that there are SO many questions I've had answered for me already!

    We have a few chickens, and we've recently begun our first hatch in an incubator. After reading some scary articles, I finally decided that it was time to change our little hobby egg production business into something other than a retirement home for aged pet hens who have outlived their usefulness. (Actually, it is still that, but we're branching out as well!) We've been raising our own eggs for years now, never even having a rooster. Now, however, we would like to begin raising our own . . . meat chickens, too!! I don't know how well that will work out, but . . . we have that intention!

    We ordered our first chickens about seven or eight years ago. We began with four Barred Rocks, four Buff Orpingtons, four Silver Laced Wyandottes, four Black Australorps, and three White Leghorns. (We actually only ordered two Leghorns, and we didn't actually want the white ones, but that was all that was available, and we thought we needed some white egg layers, too.) We got them in the fall of '04, I think, and in the summer of '05 we had a horrible die-off. I can't attribute it to anything other than the heat, and ignorance on our part. We filled detergent bottles with water, froze them, and took them out to the chicken pens to cool them down somewhat, but we lost any chickens that weren't heat-hardy. (Or, as I said, that's all I could figure . . . they were healthy-looking, happy and laying well, so . . . I don't know what else to attribute it to.)

    Anyway, we had about half our flock left, and we moved to our current home with them. Of those hens, we still have three of the "old girls" around. We have two ancient Barred Rocks and one elderly Black Australorp.

    A year or so ago, when we still had five "old saggy hens" as my husband so charitably put it, who were becoming pretty iffy about laying, we ordered a dozen Buff Orpingtons. Of the types we had previously bought, they were the nicest, tamest and best layers. Through an accident with our order, we ended up with only eleven Buff chicks . . . and one of them was a rooster! At first we were unhappy about this, but we eventually came to love him. He is sweet-tempered and calm (and LOUD), and he is very pretty, at least in our opinion! He appears to be wearing feathery yellow pants all the way down to his knees, and we eventually ended up naming him Brewster B. Fluffybritches.

    Since we now had a rooster, we began considering hatching our own eggs, and . . . now we have done it! We've had one hen keep going broody, but she always changes her mind with about a week left, and it has caused no end of consternation. Finally we just bought the incubator and took the matter out of her hands (wings?).

    We hatched out fifteen chicks from our hens, but two of them died. Those two were not very vigorous from the get-go, having had to be helped a bit out of their shells, then having eventually to have the membranes softened with a warm wet rag and gently removed. We knew that they were probably not the "fittest" and shouldn't survive, but we couldn't leave them in the shell like that, watching them slowly stop struggling to hatch, so . . . we intervened. Anyway, we now have thirteen beautiful, robust chicks! Twelve of them are beautiful Buffs, but one . . . I didn't know what to think about the one non-Buff. It was obvious that ONE of our old semi-menopausal girls was still on the job, because this chickie was just as dark as it could be, somewhat more of a really dark chocolate than black, with orangeish-gold tracing around its eyes, a tiny hint of the orangy-gold on its chest and under its tail! We aren't sure what color its beak will end up being, but it was almost reddish colored when it was born. Its legs were dark, too, but now they appear bluish-colored. It was while researching, trying to find out whether this chick was a BO X BR or a BO X Black Australorp that I came across your group, and I have been just reading like there is no tomorrow ever since!

    (According to the photos I've seen, what we have is a Black Sex Link resulting from one of the Barred Rock girls and Brewster B. Fluffybritches. Her - I'm assuming - wing feathers are coming in fast, and they are a fine mix of blackish/chocolate/orange/gold, almost as if they were spray painted with a whole lot of overspray. There is no barring thus far, so . . . we hope that she is a she! Especially since my son claimed her, and we'll never be able to eat her if she turns out not to be a pullet!)

    We also have a few head of horses and cattle. We raised running quarter horses when I was growing up, and we brought the last three mares my dad had home with us a month or two ago. He wasn't feeling well, and my daughter loves horses, so he sent them home with her! I've always been into predicting color (as well as tendencies for speed, sense, etc. , in horses) out of various crosses, and I'm having such fun since we've kind of fleshed out our menagerie a bit! We have started raising registered British White cattle, and I'm also trying to use their "breed up" loophole through using some Angus mamas with our (really good) British White bull. Two of our mares are quarter horses, and they are heterozygous fleabitten grays (mother and daughter). They are both bred to an outstanding heavily Blue Valentine bred blue roan stud, and I'm at my wits end trying to figure out the various roan/non-roan and other color besides the obvious gray possibilities. Our paint mare, who is a big, nice girl, didn't settle this year, unfortunately.

    I just collected four eggs that I don't know how long they'd been in the nest boxes today, so I've stuck them in the incubator. I was looking for an excuse to do that, anyway! There were 13 Black Copper Marans and Blue Copper Marans eggs in the incubator, already. They were my first attempt at ordering eggs via mail. I ordered them from a very nice gentleman in Louisiana, and he packed them nicely and shipped them away on a Monday. They spent the weekend in the post office, despite the sender's best intents, and when I opened them one was obviously busted, and several were . . . iffy. I chose to believe that the sticky ones were sticky due to the one that had busted, but today it became apparent that several of them had had catastrophic damage in transit, and the stickiness had been due to their own seepage. I am horribly disappointed. There are a few that, best I could tell, seemed to have chicks in them, but the Marans shell is so opaque that it's hard to tell. I left all the eggs that weren't obviously empty or almost empty, so . . . I have maybe five or six left. Three or possibly four looked fairly promising, but my hopes have gone down drastically.

    I think we will be ordering eggs again soon.

    Well, this is a long introduction, and if anyone cares enough to read the whole thing, you will have a good insight into the sort of operation we have! It ain't much, but it's ours, and we like it!

    Thank you for your kind attention.

    --Kristi (klwr333)
  2. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    Hi kristi [​IMG] from WA. glad you joined us [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana!
  4. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    Hey there! Welcome to BYC!

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
  6. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

    Nov 11, 2008
    Welcome to BYC!
  7. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Hello [​IMG] from Hesperia,CA and [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. BigIslandChicks

    BigIslandChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2010
    aloha kristi & [​IMG] from Hawaii! [​IMG] glad youve joined us! hope you get a few chicks out of those marans eggs! im jealous i want black or blue copper marans but shipping eggs out here is not allowed [​IMG] i can only get day old chicks with permits from an approved hatchery who is willing to do the paper work! [​IMG]

    let us know what the turnout it and we LOVE pictures!! [​IMG]
  9. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    [​IMG] from Kansas, Kristi! [​IMG] Best of luck with the hatching and glad you joined the forum!! [​IMG]
  10. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    [​IMG] Hello and welcome to BYC! Good luck with your hatch! I'm so sorry your order ended up staying a weekend at the post office. I hope some can be saved. I'm very new at raising chickens, I brought my first chicks home this past March. We are just now getting eggs. It's very nice to meet you.[​IMG]

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