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Winter time broodies November 21, 2013

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Well, as you can tell from the title today we have our first broody of the new hens that I hatched this year. This will also be my first time having a winter broody. She is in the outside nest box that is attached to the new hen coop. I will have to move her later but for now she is OK. Wondering how many more will do that this winter. Since I have 25 hens we shall see.

Plans are to move her into the new red chick coop. That is if she hatches any. I have my doubts for I have yet to see many fertile eggs. I have 5 roosters I am holding back that are running with the hens. But it has been so cold some night most are low on fertility right now. Since I can not pen up hens yet with one rooster, due to the fact all pens are full, we will just hope for the best on the hen hatching.

We have 4 rooster to process that are in the chain link pen with A frame coop. That will be this weekend. Next and last batch of roosters is 7 and they are still in the red coop for now.

Breeding pens will be built this winter. But right now a cow pen is being built and hubby bought our steer and we will soon have our heifer. Heifer will be a Jersey and we will be keeping her for breeding. We are still doing the goats for more than one reason now. Turns out to keep pink eye away from cattle you need a goat to eat the plant that causes it for them. Local farmer found that one out when he lost his goat that was in the cow field. All his cows starting coming down with pink eye after goat died. As soon as he replaced the goat the pink eye went away. So goats are a need here now more so than before.

I am now working on a farm website. Featuring our farm dog Sky and all the other animals. This blog will be kept just for the chickens. I will have a farm blog on the website and a members forum so questions can be asked. I will post it here when I have it up and running.

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

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The girls are now out. October 3, 2013

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Well, it has been just over a week since we moved all the new pullets and the two older hens. I did some early out with them but only a few hours before sunset. I had a few try to go back to their old coops. So I kept them locked up a few extra days in the new coop.

For the past two days I have left them out late with no problems. So today they got to be out for 4 hours instead of two. Tomorrow they will be out all day and then from now on. This should make the cockerels very happy. They have been after each other a bit since I locked up the girls.

Letting the girls out causes total chaos. Which was not helped by BIL feeding the pigs. Which in turn got Sky all worked up keeping the pigs off the trough, as well as hens that were screaming. But now when we let the girls out it is not as bad as the first couple of times.

Longfeather is not happy since he is locked up all day but for two hours. BIL tends for him not to be upset for much longer. On a better note I have marked his 4 replacements that I will be using for next year. Since we have 24 hens/pullets 4 to 6 roosters are needed. Probably this winter we will be thinning the hen coop some too. There are a few that I do not want to included on next years breeding.

I might rehome a few but most will end up in the freezer since they are not worth breeding. Since I am trying to bred up my line to the Standard of Perfection I can not let those not worthy of the breed go to others if they are too far off from the SOP. If I did I would not be a good breeder.

Having goals in one breeding practices is a must. This year I am working on tails. Since my original stock came from a hatchery I have a pinch tail problem. Thanks to the hens I got from NC I have many offspring much further along to fixing that problem.

Second snow December 5, 2010

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Well, we are in the process of our second snow here. I let out the flock about noon today since it was snowing much harder ealier. Last night I made sure they had food just in case they had to stay in longer than normal.

It was interesting when I opened the big door. The hens jumped right out. Alpha and Beta and the 2 pullets were not as sure. Aplha is usually right out the door but this time he stayed in till I walked in the coop to collect eggs. But they are all out and eating out front now. Snow is not staying even though it is 30 outside.

Yes, you heard right we are getting eggs again after 3 months. I found the first ones in coop on thrusday I think. Those fake eggs seem to have worked once again. There are 2 laying one older hen and one new pullet. I know which hen too for I caught her in process the other day. So at least I have my eggs for the holidays. Noel our farm dog got one yesterday in her food. Last one for her for a bit with only 2 laying.

Flock Interaction November 30, 2010

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Well, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. This year we did not do a turkey due to hubby being away so much. Although I am sure the dog, cats and chickens would have loved to help finish one off.

Not too much happening and yet alot is with the flock. Alpha has taken over more of the girls from Beta. I am now feeding out front where I can watch them from my window while at the computer. Feed is layer mixed with Scratch. Alpha takes the girls right up to front in morning. Beta sticks around coop with his 3 gals then moves up to back pourch then finally up to the front. If Alpha is done eating he lets them eat if not he chases them off. Today Beta did a big no no and mated a one of Alphas hens. That got him chased by Alpha for almost 5 mins. Alpha was not going to have him do that to one of his gals. Later one of Beta gals tried to eat with Alpha and his gals and he kept chasing her off. Now everything is settled down since all are fed.

Weather here has been windy which is funny to see the chickens handle it. Out in front of the house we always get some of the worst wind gusts. All coming out of the west and house faces north. Chickens do not seem to mind it much. Just show alot of feather shaking. We are expecting more rain and cold weather not a good combo to say the least. But for some reason chickens do not seem to mind. They could stay in their coop all day out of the rain but they do not. Even when its dow in the low 40’s or 30″s with wind and rain they are still out and about.

Coop wise we got ourfake eggs in and they are set up in nest boxes. I am seeing redder faces and combs now. First couple of days the grls just messed up the nest boxes. They were kicking the straw over the eggs or the eggs to the side of the boxes. That has stopped now but still our new ones have yet to lay. Out of the 2 new pullets one is showing alot of red so she is either about to or has and we have an egg eater. But I have heard no song so I do not think she is laying. She was hen raised so knows what the nest boxes is for so I think she would use it if she was laying. I am not letting them out before 9am and most days not before 10am. So she has time to lay if she was going too. Hopefully we will see eggs soon. I need them for them holidays.

Here is a link to a very good chicken forum. It has sections for many chicken breed clubs as well as a sell sectiongneral chicken. Well, worth looking into as breed club breeders are on this forum. But if you wish to buy a breed chicken from a club member I suggest you join the club for you will not be considered unless you plan on breeding. Here is the link and Iwill save it in my links section also. http://showbirdbid.proboards.com/index.cgi

morning flock picture November 22, 2010

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Well, it is the start of a new week and already I am having issues with internet. Just got love living in the country with only wireless for internet. Anyway, here is a picture of the gals out front. I was going to upload another but that is my issue with internet today. On a good note I did place my order with Cutler Supply for my wood eggs and more leg bands. I will need them for sure this spring since I will be keeping alot of chicks.

Alpha is really starting to take over the flock. Yesterday he was chasing Beta all over the place to keep him away from feed and the hens. Beta still has not crowed yet and AAlpha is not over doing it so I mostly hear him in the morning. Which is fine by me. He has crowed during daytime out of the coop but not much. It seems the norm for this color variation on the Plymouth Rocks. Unlike our neibor up the road that has Buff Orpingtons, his crows all day long. Yes, I can hear them since wind blows from that direction. many times I can hear his hens egg song too and that is half mile away from us. So their voice does carry a distance.

Morning picture of gals.

First snow November 18, 2010

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Well, we had our first snow last week here. Did not lastmore than a few hours. So when chickens were let out it was almost all gone. This is a slow time of year not much happening with the chickens.

So far no one I know of is laying yet but they could be laying outside of coop. I have not delt with coop yet on nestboxes in that we have been busy with hubby’s travels. I still need to get some more fake wood eggs.

Good thing is this past weekend Alpha started crowing. We could hear him in coop in the morning. He has not crowed out of coop yet later in day. Beta I do not know if he has started but I am doubting it since we have only heard Alpha. Beta still gives way to him and Ahlpha is truely struting his stuff with the gals. He has grown up to be a large fine rooster. I have a recent pic of him below.

My fault September 13, 2010

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Well, we lost another hen this weekend. It was my fault for being lasy. We were out late did not get back till after 1am. I looked at the coop from back pourch saw all was OK and went to bed. In the morning the ramp was down so I knew we got hit. Whatever it was killed a hen ate the eggs and my last wood egg. Found the hen looks like a fox got her. She was one sleeping in the nest box. The broody got out of hers in time it seems for she is fine. She must of made it to the perch. Only those that stay on the floor of the coop get taken.

We have had one big hawk stop by every day for the past 3 days. Yesterday we were cleaning out the coop and the nest boxes when he flew over. He kept flying over fo a good 10 mins before he left. I think he is in area right now for crows are here. Chieckens are still locked up will be letting them out around noon. Doing that hoping that eggs are laid in boxes and not outside.

We are getting 2 eggs right now that I know of. One is fertlie so I will be collecting soon to gather for a hatching. Caught beta taking care of business yeterday. So both of them are servicing the hens. Unfortunaly we have the 3 in moult one that is broody and the other about to go into moult. So out of the 12 total 4 are the new ones 3 are in moult 1 is broody and another is going into moult. So that leaves just the 2 laying. Not used to having so few hens now. Coop looks empty and so does the yard when they are outside.

Oh, we went to the farmers market at the apple orchard this weekend. We bought 2 huge long pumkins for $3 each. These thing must weigh 25 or more pounds. Bought one a couple of weeks before even bigger for same price. Will go back this weekend for more. This will make great feed for the chickens this winter. Yesterday we ate the last of our corn on the cob. They got the cobs and any dried out ends and a few full cobs. Also friend gave my some tomatoes that were not good enough to eat. Nice big ones that I fed to the chickens. The loved them and went to sleep afterwards. Never heard a peep out of them nor saw them for the next couple of hours. Guess they were full and content. Today they will get watermelon rinds and old popcorn. I just love this time of year. lots of good food for us and the animals.

Introducing Alpha September 9, 2010

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Below you will find a picture of Alpha. He is one of the two surviving cockerals from the batch of chicks I bought. He is the one that is the bigger of the two and is mating now. He has yet to come into full control of the flock as the hens still run him off. But then again he is only 16 weeks old.

Beta his brother shows alot more under feather at the base of the tail. He also stands more upright. So far he charge Noel our dog when he did not know it was her in the high weeds. But has not done it since or charged me at all.

We are still waiting on our mower. Hubby sawed down those close to house so I was able to get this picture of Alpha.

Alpha

update finally. August 24, 2010

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Sorry this took so long. Not much has happened and yet alot has changed. No pictures yet due to mower Still in the shop. Old John Dear and back ends are hard to take apart. So the tansy is now 6 feet high with 1/4 inch stems. Great cover for chickens but we will need a bushhog to cut it all down until winter kill off.

Ok, on the chickens side we lost Captain and a few more hens. My bad, night raid and I left coop open. Actually Captain was not killed in night raide. He was killed many days later. Since night raid I was having problems with him getting in the coop. We got home late and it was raining so did not check to see if he was in. Found him next day. Seems he had one of the 2 new cockerals trained to sleep in a tree. This was Beta and we put a stop to it by locking everyone up for 2 days straight. The hens we lost were ones in molt that were sleeping on floor of coop. Two I was planning on culling anyways for temperment and feather problems so no loss there. So we are now down to a total of 15 including new ones.

On a good note all my want to keeps are still with us. Also Alpha is now mating. Caught him last night in a sneak attack on one of the gals before heading into the coop. It was funny for when it happened all the girls came running over to see what was going on. They will get thiers too now that he has started. He has yet to crow yet but that is OK.

Out of the 2 Alpha is the biggest and most correct of the cockerals. We still have our one broody that has been broody forever. We also have another that just started. So I am all set that way when the eggs are fertile. Now if we can just add on the other 4 feet to coop to be the broody section. If hubby does not get to it before he hits the road, I will have to hire someone to do it. Hubby changing postions at work from dock worker to driver. So he will be home 3 days a week and we will have money now to pay off house and get things done. On another good note heat has broken a bit. Which is a good thing. Last I heard we had like 54 days of heat. Chickens were not foraging that much at all. Now they are again. I will get pictures ASAP. Hopefully we will have fertile eggs soon to have for broodies.

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. 🙂