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Eggs eggs and more eggs January 28, 2011

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Yes, we are getting eggs. Many more than we were. Weathwer is warming up again but it is windy. Chickens are out every day till sunset. We are still getting some snow but it is not staying. Lots of rain though. Today’s temps were high of 47.

Renne I have no idea on the GMO free corn no where around here sells it Only thing I know is to buy seed and grow your own. I do not feed corn except included in scratch. Or unless it is cobs from our sweet corn. Here is a link to a seed source for you. http://rareseeds.com/

Very shortly I will be letting the chickens keep eggs laid. I expect at least 4 to go broody by March. Which means I will need more nest boxes. Hopefully we will have coop added on to for them by then.

As of now I know all chicks will be fathered by Alpha. He is not letting beta breed at all and Beta will not crow either. After first hatch and chicks are 16 weeks Beta will be no more for I do not wish his bloodline in mine. He is way too far off the Standard of Perfection for me to keep. I will be offering him up for a local rooster if not then…..

For those that do not read the Backyard poultry mag they had a article about beets. There is a beet that used to be grown for chicken feed. They are called Mangel beets and chickens love them. You can find seed in the link I gave here. I personally do not like beets. Never had them can not get over smell and color. Hubby on the other hand loves beets. So I guess I will grow some for him and the chickens. This is a different beet being longer and white fleshed but yellow outside. Hmm maybe I can try these. Ok I am off to order some seed. Hubby will love that since he grew up with them being german desent.

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Moulting and laying January 24, 2010

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Well, today I noticed after collecting eggs for first time today that we had some big new eggs. Actually they were eggs I have not seen in a bit but are back. If you have been reading these logs then you know when tailess went into moult. After her two others followed after she finished. Those 3 are now laying again.

How do I know this is that we have been wieghing eggs. Only one of the eggs has been large up to today. Most have been med or med large. This past week I know 3 have started there first laying from size and color of eggs. Today we had color back large size which is not a pullet egg. So since tailless and her 3 sisters are well out of moult and showing red again I belive it is them. Another clue is 2 of the eggs are speckled. Since they went into moult we have not gotten any speckled eggs.

Nice thing here is that they are choosing to do a rotaional moult. 1 to 3 at a time which has been very helpfull. We are still getting 10 to 14 eggs a day. The lowest this has been has been 9. So even with those in moult others have started or in this case come back into laying.

Weather here has been much warmer than past month. Past week has been rainy and cloudy but chickens do not mind. They are foraging futher and further every day. Captain on the other hand has been a coop home body. We are having to physically remove him from the coop now. He has learned that if he stays in coop he can get the girls easier. Which is OK but he does need to get out and get some exersise and sun not too mention water since I am not leaving it in the coop.

At this time we have been making plans to expand coop like I metioned before. Hubby really wants a much bigger flock and is suggestion I get another 25 plus hatching out. Well, if I do buy another 25 it will be from another hatchery so I have different lines to breed too. Which one has been picked if our TSC gets there chicks from them again. Hatcheries I will not deal with is Ideal for I know they do do breed true. Whelp because they are just a drop shipper from Privett. MPC because they get theirs from Meyers. Why buy second carrier when you can get them from first one.

You know what got me is when all 21 start laying. Where will i put the eggs before they are sold. 🙂

Cooped up Captain January 6, 2010

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Captain our only cockeral is playing it smart and staying in the coop all day. I have started leaving the water in there during the day now and remove it a lock up. that way they do not spill it like they were before and I do not have to kick Captain out of the coop so he can drink. I am leaving the food in there over night though.

Todays egg count was 14 total. Hubby took in another 3 dozen to sell to a standing cllient we have at his work. Someone commented that we are lucky to be getting so many eggs and what are we doing to get it. First off these are first years so that helps. Second there feed is 20% protien and I am giving very little scratch plus the have total free range abilty. Most mornings what they do is drink eat a little feed then go off and forage. We are lucky to still have green plants here not just everygreens either. Some grass is still green and some honeysuckle vine and many native herbs. So chickens are getting a good varity and it is showing.

Tommorrow we are to get 3 inches of snow or at least that is what they are calling for here. I will believe it when I see it. Stay warm all.

New Year new plans. January 3, 2010

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Happy New Year everyone. I wish it to be a very good one for all. This blog started as a way for me to keep track of events with my flock. I figured it was a good way for me too keep records as I have been known to be slack that way. 🙂 As a result I have listed alot of infomation one just cant find and have developed a following. Thank you all for the well wishes and comments. Now on to new plans for chickens.

As a result of what our chickens have done for us this year we will be expanding the flock and coop. Our chickens are not pets and do earn there living by bug control,weeding and fertilizing as well as eggs. Hubby let me have them as he had no choise since I bought them then told him. LOL Now he wants more since they are doing so well at what they do best. So no baby chicks will be sold this year so we can increase the flock.

I have been worried about the cold weather but so far everything is going just great. The new bedding straw has kept them nice and warm with no frostbitw at all even with temps in single digits. Coop is not sealed tight at all as under roof is all open and cracks around door and windows we did not seal. But bedding is very deep now up to 10 inches in some areas till they mash it down. We did remove all wet bedding when we put in new bedding and put that on the garden where chickens have been composting it for us. They are so good at that, we will put all bedding on their in spring before will till it.

Due to some posts on chicken forum I would like everyone to know what we found when we butcherd the dead pullet. Since we do free range ours no pen at all they are allow to eat whatever they want. Hubby said that he found alot of pine and cedar needles in that pullets crop. Now the North side or our property is lined on the fence with cedar trees. many of the chickens have been going up there to dust bath under them as it is still dry there when it rains. I know also they have eaten off the cut christmas tree branches we have out front. So that accounts for all of it as I do not think the chickens have made it all the way over to our pine forest yet which is on the south east part of the property. One thing I do know is pine is a natural dewormer and the chicken we butchered was clean of any worms. Now I am not saying cedar bedding should be used in a coop fresh as it will have the oils still fresh. Those oils can cause problems. But if the chickens eat fresh cedar off trees one should not worry about it. Digesting and inhalation are to very different things.

Right now our ground is frozen so I have increased feed. But still they only peck at it then go find what they can other places. We still have alot of green stuff here in grasses and vines. I have been giving them some black sunflower seed in hull which they love. They are also getting more scratch to keep weight on them. Egg laying has not changed staying around a dozen a day. Least we have gotten the past week was 7 and highest 13. Captain has been staying in coop unless we make him go out which we do so he will eat and drink. I took water out of coop due to them spilling it. Did not want wet bedding with this real cold weather. So I fiill it with lukewarm water and it is good for the day since I put it in the sun. Coop itself is not in the sun full so food and water are a little bit from it further that what the snow pics show.

Speaking of eggs we did make fresh homemade eggnog for New Years. I cut the recipe in half since it was just hubby and I. Well, dog helped too she loved it. 🙂 Our goose that we had for christmas came our great I loved it. They are on the list to add for this year if we can do it. I want pilgrims. So if everything else goes OK they will come in late spring. For those asking about turkeys no they are not on the list and never will be. Turkeys live wild here we have a flock that lives in the area. That flock avg about 14 that included 2 toms and a jake or too also. So no turkeys for us. Till next time stay warm.

Flock update November 30, 2009

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Well, everyone is doing geat. Hawks have given up trying to take a chicken. I guess the hawks grew up as it was young males trying. Read a post on one of the sites about young hawks trying for chickens. Seems to be the case here at least.

Tailless is now getting her tail back and is laying steadly. We are getting between 7 to 10 eggs a day now. That is out of 22 pullets. I have put in another nest box which is the covered cat litter boxes. I was finding a egg on coop floor in the morning sometimes and eggs in the other 2 boxes. So we got another and they are using it.

Today it is raining and as of 1pm we already got 7 eggs. I am hoping that if someone is laying out in the woods todays rain will drive them into the coop to lay. We have alot of deadfall behind the coop so if they are laying out there it will be next to inpossible to find that nest.

I have banded more of the chickens hoping to make a list of who is laying and who is fertile. Right now I know of 2 that Captain has gotten with good. I do not have a incubator yet but that will be bought soon so I can hatch a few eggs to get another rooster. We could definitlly use another here since pullets range so far now.

Could thing is we do not have a back load of eggs as hubby is selling them at his job. Thanksgiving was alot better this year cooking wise using fresh egg. Can not wait till Xmas to make fresh eggnog. Yummy. Happy Holidays all.

Free ranging and eggs November 4, 2009

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Just have to love chickens that free range. Life is so interesting and one gets so many surprises. 2 days ago I knew something was up so I stayed outside with the chickens watching them. We have been getting 6 eggs a day in our nest boxes. One day we got seven so I knew I had another laying but where was she doing it now.

So I watched and sure enough caught her. I had wonder if the coop was to high in one area and if they could get under. Well, they were as i saw her come out. So down I went on wet cold ground to look and saw nothing at first. The I saw it an egg right in front of where I was looking. Guess my eyes needed to ajust. I kept looking but did not see anything else.

I stayed out there after I got that egg but still felt I was missing something under the coop. So I went back down made sure all my hair was out of my face and waited for eyes to adjust. Then looked real good and OMG there was a nest and a Big one.

I moved to the front of the coop and layed down and start getting them till I could not anymore. Then I went inside woke up hubby to help me. I counted what I pulled that was 15 total. He got the rest. The grand total was 24 eggs in that nest. Guess we need more nest boxes. LOL

Well, yesterday I stayed out there again to see who was going under. Well it turned out to be one I want to get rid off one way or another. So I shooed her back to the coop. It took her a bit to settle in the box but she finally did and layeed her egg. So yesterday total we got 10 eggs. Found one just laying in the yard. Lesson learned never assume anything when it comes to chickens. Both hubby and I thought they were to big to get under there but they proved us wrong.

Ok I promised pics I am going to take them now. BTW tailless is doing good and we think hawks have given up. Chickens just too big for them to handle. LOL

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tailess

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flock under stairs

Egg collecting with free range chickens October 13, 2009

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Well, it seems I was all wrong about that week of no eggs after getting our first. I kinda thought something was up but now I know. This morning around 10am I heard egg song and luckily I was at a window. Saw where the pullet came from so I went down there. This is close to the same area where I saw 2 pullets singing on saturday. Found a nest of 9 eggs so I ran back to the house told hubby who went out with me to get them.

Note to self buy a basket lugging egg catrons will get old fast.

Oh, when I found that nest I heard another pullet sound off behind me so I looked for her. After we got all the eggs from the one nest we went on the hunt for the other. It was in front of the house along our fence line in high weeds. 8 eggs there and we kept looking but have not so far found any other nests.

Hubby asked me how can we get them to all to lay in the coop. I said we will lock them up again for a most of the day. I plan to let out when he goes to work at 3:30pm EST. We then went out to buy another cat litter box so that they had two instead of one.

When we got back found another chicken in the box laying. I already got a large one from there this morning. Seems the ones laying in there are not making egg song that much. Well, waited for her to finish then I set up box. Since then I have heard egg song 3 more times. Twice at coop once in front of house.

Out of all those eggs we collected today one was a double yoker. Funny thing was I did not know it till I cracked it for our lunch which was western scrambled eggs. That is eggs with ham and cheese and onions and sweet pepper.

So now these bad girls get themselves locked up if they do not behave. We have too much land to cover and most has brambles. I am hoping that locking them up for most of tomorrow will work. If that does not work then it will be for a whole day to two days.

Guess it is time to thin the flock. I have been planning on doing a chicken this weekend for the dog as we need some meat for her. Might make it two since I have two I must get rid of since they have some bad faults for this breed. We shall see.

Eggciting day October 11, 2009

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Well, after a whole week after our first egg we finally got egg number two. Never thought I would have to wait so long for second egg. Those that I have talked to there are a few that went thru the same thing. So those of you with chickens getting ready to lay know between eggs you can have a wait or not.

Today I opened the coop to find a real small egg under the perch. This egg was even smaller than yesterdays egg. Must be a new one laying. I believe yesterdays egg is from the chickens I just saw lay. She used the nest box where yesterdays was found also. It is also bigger than yesterdays. Pullet did not do egg song after either she just ran out shook then ran up hill to a big mulch pile with some of her friends. If I had not check the nestbox I would have never known that she laid. She is laying at 5pm which is very late but seems like her time. Hmm if she has followers I might have evening fresh egg to make quiche with for dinner. Yuummmy