jump to navigation

Well first spring hatch is here. March 26, 2014

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

We have had 30 chicks hatch so far. Might have a few more, incubator holds 42. All that have hatched are doing great. Hubby was kind enough to buy me chicks water and feeder. The upright type as I already had the lay down type. But since we are putting chicks into a plastic tote upright works better.

These chicks are for sale on a local level. I also am selling hens from last year hatch that I do not need in my breeding program. I will Not ship either hens or chicks. But if you are with in driving distance you can contact me either here or facebook or email me threw farm website http://www.bluemoonvalley.com/ We also have the farm page on facebook as Blue Moon Valley Farm https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Moon-Valley-Farm/447088522062904 you can reach me there also.

Speaking of facebook. We have a number of groups for East Tn on there related to farm stuff. So make sure to look for them as we have one now for selling goats in East TN and farm barter and farm livestock. Just getting the word out there. Hope everyone spring is going well.

Advertisements

We have hatching. December 27, 2013

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

The eggs we put in on the 7th of Dec. are now hatching. To my surprise they started last night. So far we are up to 16 hatched with more coming. I put in 42 and I hope at this point they do not all hatch for we are tight here with 4 people and stuff. I plan on selling these local.

Do to the new puppy coming in, we are now going to also get Runner ducks. They are good for young dogs to teach herding on. They also are great layers but do not use a nest. This will be a very interesting New Year.

Winter is here. October 24, 2013

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,
1 comment so far

Well, we we down to the 20’s last night. Brrrr But chickens are good. I have upped the corn and all the feed since forage is slim now. They spend most of the day in our woods since leaves are down, looking for bugs. They are ranging further now too because pickings are low.

Pullets hatched this year are now starting to lay. First hatching done in early April is laying. So we are now getting fresh eggs again. Rooster are going nuts over these hens. Opening coops in the morning is interesting to say the least. Lock up gets a bit wild too with rooster chasing each other and the hens.

We are changing the roof of the coop to let more light in. Right now new hen coop has a tin roof. We are taking one panel out and replacing with a clear plastic panel so more light get in. This will make it easier for me to work in the coop with door closed. Also it will help the hens have more daylight time since they have to be let out late morning most days.

My two oldest hens are in molt now. Since we no longer have Longfeather, these hens have not bonded to a new rooster yet. When let out of the coop the run to North part of property to get away from all the roosters. One in particular is really avoiding the roosters. She was never mated by Longfeather either and when she went broody and hatched eggs killed the chicks by not caring for them. She is a good layer but will be for the soup pot this winter after she is done with her molt. Same with many of the roosters this winter.

Coop is done. September 28, 2013

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Well, we finally got the new hen coop done. I decided on a community next box this time. So we made a 6 foot outside the coop nest box. Hens seems to like it as the two oldest laid in it the next day that we put them in the coop.

Right now we have 24 hens/pullets. So we are back to where we started five years ago when I bought our first batch. Beside the two older ones that have been laying with have one new pullet laying from this years hatching. I expect by end of next month we will have six more join her.

The old coop is going to be used as the finishing coop for the roosters I do not want to keep. First to go will be my old rooster Longfeather and one of his identical sons. They have traits I am trying to get rid of now. We have 18 roosters right now I think it might be more they are kind of hard to count. Of this I have 6 I am keeping for breeding as of now that could change as they grow more.

This years hatching has improved alot in width. Most of this is due to that one female I got from NC a bit back. She is no longer with us as she got killed by a cat. But thanks to Sky our English Shepherd who is now just over a year old we do not have to worry about cats anymore.

Sky aka Blue Moon’s Autumn Sky of Green Mountain has been a huge help here. She has really helped protect this years hatching. We have only lost two chicks this year. Sky has been actively watching the skies for hawks. Patrols the property for stay chickens and for varmints not supposed to be on the property. She has herds the chicks back to safety more than once. She has even calmly turn stray cows off the property. We have pigs now and she keeps them off the feed trough when it is time for feeding which helps us alot. She did helps us when last fall hawks attacked and she guarded the hens and chased off the hawk. She even alerted me to one I did not know was killed. We will be breeding Sky this coming Spring. Below are pictures with one of her chicks and one of the pigs.
IMG_20130828_194941 IMG_20130906_185930

Rain rain and more rain May 18, 2013

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Well, this past week has been a busy one. Baby chick coop is now done and has chicks in it. Tractor is now down here from up North. Hubby has it running well and has redone driveway. Third batch of chicks have hatched. We lost 3 in shell, seems membrane was too tough. I am really thinking of getting another incubator but that will have to wait. From this last batch we had 14 live so that is all good. They are doing well.

The ones in chick coop are doing good too. We have had temps at night in the 50’s and it does not seem to hurt them. Then again day temps have been high 80’s. So heat stays in little coop better. It is a 4×4 A frame. I have not let chicks out yet since we have been away more than home. Now it is all rain so they are staying in for now.

We also have our first broody of the year finally. She is sitting on 8 eggs. BIL comes down soon so that will get new chick raising coops done. Plans are to have a coop where we have the barn too but on the outside of it. I do not want chickens in the barn with the goats and pigs when it is done.

Having the tractor here means we will be having a garden for corn and some feed stuff. Lots of plans for chickens plus garden here. Can not wait tillwe really kick in the geers on it.

chicks and new pup update September 6, 2012

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Well, it is sunny here once again. We have had many days of rain off and on. Thanks to tropical storm. Chicks are growing like weeds. Mom hatched out 6 total all are doing well. We have 4 females and two males. Thank goodness for that as we need the girls. I have left them locked up in the coop due to that we do not have a dog now. But that is soon to change.

I have put a reserve on a female pup. She was born labor day. She is a registered English Shpherd from Green Moutain English Shpherds in NC. I found the breeder thru the English Shepher Club. New pup will be a sable. Hubby wanted another tri color like Noel but is happy that new pup is now another color. I shall post links to club and breeder page.

http://www.englishshepherd.org/

Older chickens are doing good. I have 6 pullets growing well as well as 6 cockerals. The cockerals will be butcher this fall mostly for puppy food. The hen we picked up in NC is doing great. I look forward to chicks from her, hoping some from last hatching are from her.

This past couple of weeks we have had a hawk trying to get the chickens. It looks like a young male. Saw him the other day going for the adults. Luckily I chased him off the last visit. I hope he learned his lesson.

Farewell to Noel August 10, 2012

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Noel with chickens

Early this month we had to put Noel to sleep. She came down with liver disease and went down fast. She was so good with her chickens. I could leave her out unsupervised with them and she never hurt them.

Some of the things that made her a great farm dog were her caring guardian nature. Her protection of the flock against any threat. I got her trained to watch the skies for hawks. Which she proceeded to chase many away. She took on the black bear and we have not seen him since. She also faced down a fox and small pack of coyotes. But her favorite thing to do was hunt the rabbits and groundhogs. She had treed 3 groundhogs in total for us to shoot. Also killed a few babies. She will be sorely missed. It has been a hard month without her. Goodbye Noel enjoy rabbit hunting in the heavens.

New Year January 17, 2012

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Happy New Year everyone. I know I have not posted lately but not much has been happening. Our 10 chickens are doing great. All 7 hens are now laying. My 3 roosters are the best I have raised yet.

I have to buy a new camera as our old one is having problems. But that buy will be another month away at least. We are getting ready to finish the property fence. Just waiting for tax stuff to come in so we can pay the guy to do it. This will lead to more animals here one being milk goats.

As far as the chickens I am under orders by hubby to increase flock over 30. Due to bear attack he wants to make sure if he hits this year we have enough backup. He loves his fresh eggs. LOL Hubby not bear.

Luckily all 3 rooster are a big improvment over Alpha and Captain. Longfeather the oldest has correct comb and body and is in charge of all 7 gals for now. The other 2 are a bit younger than him but not by much.

Spring here is showing its head by our daffodills popping up already. Today was rain and is the 40’s but saturday it will be in the 60’s. Just crasy I know. I m planning on incubating eggs next month. I will fill it this time which means 42 eggs. Probably do that 3 times at least this year. If not more depending on how many rooster I get out of hatching. I expect to have a good year this year but time will tell.

fall and predators October 26, 2011

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Well, it has been an interesting month so far. Neibor up the road got hit by hawks when they left town. I got hit a couple of days later by hawk, no losses. Then after neibor got back they got hit again. But last night takes the prize.

They say things come in 3s and that was yesterday. MIL in hospital. Hubby and I had a fight, we never do that, and last but not least my small coop was broken into. I let Noel our dog out this morning to see a cockeral outside the coop. I was thinking he got locked out since I saw others in the coop. I ent to get dressed and was on the phone with hubby when I looked outside. All the chickens in small coop were out. Door to pen was still closed so I had no idea how they got out. Went down with feed and check nest box entrance. WOW, it was ripped off the hindges. Eye bolts were also ripped off. Hubby thinks it was a coon. I never knew a coon could bend metal and break wood. Mind you neither was really thick but still.

This must have been after 1am for I had windows open till then.. Noel would have heard something. The fact that she did not tell me it was later than that while we were in bedroom sleeping. I was up just before 6am but did nit look outside as it was still dark. Oh well, it was bound to happen sometime. I just never thought a coop would get broken into. I will move the other 12 too big coop tonight and lock that one. I have a special lock for it that should be coon proof.

Selection process October 21, 2011

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

OK, I was asked how to I choose my keepers for breeding. One is I am basing breeding on the Standard of Perfection or SOP for the breed. Therefor whatever is not allowed in the breed is first to go. Major DQ is white color. No white is allowed in the color at all. Luckily it has not showed up except in chicks just hatched but turns brown within a couple of days.

Since roosters and hens are two total differnt color and patterns in the variation, it make things more interesting. First I look at leg color for early rejects. If leg color does not match chicks are gone before 4 months. After that selection waits till 5 months and older. Right now cockerals will be thinned based on combs and fluffliness of underfeathering. This is supposed to be a tight feathered breed not like the Cochins which is much looser in feathering. I can also seelcted at this age based on tail set and poor wing set. I do not do body or pattern selection till over a year old. Reason is this color variation changes with each molt. So when they finally have their true adult molt I know there pattern is set. For those chicks hatched this year in May selection for them will not be until fall next year. This is one big reason there are not alot of breeders of the pattern plymouth rocks. Most do not have the time of space to wait that long before making final selection on keepers for breeding. I am lucky in that I have the space and time since I do not show.