Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Chicken Math

Last Friday I went to Three Chicks Feed and Seed.  They had just gotten an order in of pullets, and I couldn't help myself.  I brought home four.  A Silver Laced Wyandotte, a Barred Rock, a Welsummer, and one out of a box I thought read Australorp.  It turned out that the Australorp sign actually read Araucana.  If an Araucana was ordered from a hatchery, the Araucana will actually be an Easter Egger.  What is the difference?  Easter Eggers are not a real breed.  It's a name given to Araucana/Ameraucana mixes.  

The New Easter Egger

The first question I had when I brought the new babies home was, "Where in the world am I going to put them?"  I had, at the time, three tubs and three heat lamps.  Younger chicks need more heat than the older chicks, so they ended up being placed with the almost one-week-old hatchling EEs.  It looks like the hatchlings are getting a little big for their britches.

We had a beautiful day yesterday (much like today, actually) and the older chicks needed some outside time.  Since the smaller coop isn't finished yet, we put them in it for the day.  It's still too cold to leave them at night.  They didn't quite know what to do with all the room they had.

Easter Egger and Jersey Giant chicken out the space.

Mottled Houdan and Buff Orpington

Easter Egger

Salmon Faverolle pecking my knee

The smaller of the two Salmon Faverolles.  
Some one plucked her tail feathers.  

Checking out my pants

Jersey Giant wants in on the action

The group.  They are so used to being in a smaller space, 
they wanted to stay that way.

She found a good place to perch.

Some of the breeds look alike so I could be wrong on a label.

Back: Easter Egger; Front: Olive Egger.

Blonde Easter Egger.  Luckily, she's easy to tell apart.

Another group shot.  The black chicks are the Jersey Giants.
The barred black/brown to the left with the yellow legs is a Welsummer

White and Black chicks are Mottled Houdans.
Yellow face, salmon/grey wings, feathered feet and five toes
on each foot equal a Salmon Faverolle.

My Olive Egger.  She's a sweetie.

Poor Tail-less Salmon Faverolle

Blondie (EE)

Blondie doesn't like my leg being in her way.

Jersey Giant and the Buff Orpington

Blondie is getting ready to charge.

Tail-less (Literally just named Feather) is trying to figure 
out what Blondie is doing, and the Buff Orpington.

I'm not entirely sure why they like pecking the bottom 
of my shoe, but sure.

Clear shot of my Welsummer girl.

Shoe peckers.. 

Love this girl!  She's staying for sure.  

I'm pretty sure the one in the middle is an Olive Egger.
She's going back to Erin.  Another case of mistaken ID.

The two Jerseys.  
They kind of look like vultures, but they are still awesome.

"What is this magical device?"

Easter Eggers.  Unlike the beardless Bandit, these EEs
are closer to the Ameraucana genetics and have beards.


Charging again, Bondie?

Feather really loves her dirt bath.

Spread those wings, Bondie.  


Feather still taking her dirt bath

Olive Egger.  I am trying to find a good name for her.

Erin's Olive Egger

Sweet Salmon Faverolles.  I really like their docile personalities.

Easter Eggers, not so much...

Here's a pretty good picture of Feather taking a dirt bath.

After spending some time with the older chickens, I noticed Domino limping.  I don't know what happened, but he has broken one of his toes!  REALLY!  When Terry gets home this evening, I'll have an extra set of hands to help me splint his toe back to where it is supposed to sit.

Yesterday was a pretty good pay day from the chickens.  Four Eggs!  Two Wyandotte eggs and two Polish eggs.  It's the Polish eggs I am impressed with.  I have been getting about 6 eggs a week between the two Polish girls, which is still better than Skye.  Marans are supposed to be good layers.  BA! Skye has given me maybe three eggs in a span of two months.  Polish are supposed to be poor layers.  I think Ravyne and Labelle are showing up Skye.  If Skye doesn't pick up her pace, she will find herself in a new home.

Ducks are messy, but they are still cute.  I have to clean out their tub at least once a day, so it's done during their bath time.  :)  Not sure if I had mentioned this, but the Pekin has been named Daisy.  Squirt, the Bali, has been renamed Ducky.  She just looks like Ducky from The Land Before Time.  Nemo, the White Crested, is doing well, and can walk well on his own.  He still gets tired easily, but I notice a difference since he was brought home.

Ducky is my favorite of the ducks.  They all throw fits if I am going to pick them up, but Ducky is the only one that won't poop on me, and she cuddles.  They aren't good layers, but I doubt I will ever eat her.

The older chicks are too big to fit in one tub.  They have been separated between two tubs, and they seem much more happy and less...  Well...  Spastic.  My living room is over-run by farm fowl paraphernalia.

The ducks were moved next to the baby chicks.

I'm pretty sure I have too many chickens...  35 live....  PHEW!

List of current breeds:

  • 1 Easter Egger cockerel
  • 4 Easter Egger pullets
  • 3 Easter Eggers (uncertain sex)
  • 1 Mottled Houdan cockerel
  • 3 Mottled Houdan pullets
  • 1 Blue Copper Maran pullet
  • 2 Polish pullets (Golden Laced and Black)
  • 1 Silkie
  • 2 Columbian Wyandotte pullets
  • 3 Olive Eggers (2 Maran x Ameraucana, 1 Welsummer x Ameraucana)
  • 2 Jersey Giant pullets
  • 3 Welsummer pullets
  • 1 Barred Rock pullet
  • 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte pullet
  • 2 Salmon Faverolle pullets
  • 1 Buff Orpington pullet
  • 4 backyard mixed bred cockerels
On a side note, the 4 cockerels are probably going into my freezer, and there are several duplicate breeds bought for insurance, in case of death.  I will probably sell a few Easter Eggers, a Houdan pullet, and a couple others.  I also have four eggs in the incubator, which I'm pretty sure at least one will not hatch.  On the 23rd, I'm putting some Golden Laced and Silver Laced Wyandottes in the incubator, and hopefully I'll have an automatic turner so I will have a pretty good hatch rate.  Most of those will be sold, and I'll probably keep two or three of each variety.  I do plan on getting some New Hampshire Reds to breed some pures and Cinnamon Queens (a sex-linked cross), but I need a third (or possibly forth) coop.  Chicken math...  It's unavoidable. 

I started my strawberry plants, and they are ready for a little bit more sun.

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