Thursday, July 31, 2014

Person reference: Age

This blog post is more for my reference than public information.  This is my way of keep up with how old my chicks are and when they are expected to lay.


Poof turned a year old in May.

The first order of chicks that I ever made turned a year old in June.
First Order: Bandit, Joan, Elisabeth, Labelle, Chemi, 

Splash OE is about 34 weeks old or so.  She's been laying for a while.  I bought her on February 14, and she was about 12 weeks old at the time of purchase.

Many, if not all the chicks received from McMurray and Meyer hatcheries in February are already laying, but their ages are 25 weeks old.  The McMurray Hatchery chicks will be 26 weeks old on Friday, and the Meyer Hatchery chicks will be 26 weeks old on Saturday.

McMurray: Jersey

Meyer: Buttercup, Red, Spaz, Calamity Jane, Faverolle, Dora, 

Angel is 22 weeks old and will be 23 weeks old on Monday.  She should start laying in about another week or so.

Barbara the Barred Rock is 22 weeks old.  I'm not sure of her hatchday, but I bought her on March 7, and she was about a week old, give or take a day or two.  She should also be laying shortly.

The two New Hampshire Reds (a.k.a. The Wonder Twins) were bought on March 22.  They are about 19 weeks old.  I assume they were about a week old when I bought them, so I figure they would be about 20 weeks old tomorrow.

Duchess the supposed White Leghorn is about 16 weeks old.  We have at least another 7 more weeks before we get an egg from her.

The Maran and the OE cockerel (a.k.a. Cluck Norris) were bought from a local at the same time.  I guess they were hatched at the same time since the OE boy was mistaken for a Maran.  Blue, the younger OE pullet I have, was also bought at the same time, and I also think she was hatched at the same time.  Sadly, I don't have any way to reference how old they were when I bought them on May 11, though I had been talking to her since May 2.  If I assume they were a week old when I started the conversation, then they were two weeks old when I bought them.  That would mean they are 13 weeks old and will be 14 weeks old tomorrow.

Then, of course, there's Runt.  He was the last Golden Laced Wyandotte hatched that had a "rough navel."  He is doing okay, though he has a curled toe, and will not be sold.  He will probably just be a pet until he becomes aggressive to people.  He has no place in any breeding that will be taking place, so if he does become aggressive, he will just go in my freezer.  I have no emotional attachment to him, so he may end up in the freezer anyway.

Don't forget about the chicks that Poof is raising!
McMurray: EE girl and the two Phoenixes. June 20 (6 weeks tomorrow)
Lavendar Orpington - June 27 (5 weeks tomorrow)
Livewire - June 30 (4 weeks)
Blue OE/Bandit - July 3 (4 weeks)


So how old are the ducks?  Old enough to give me some eggs. I've been getting eggs pretty frequently lately.  Yesterday and today I got two eggs (one large and one little bigger than the largest chicken egg).  I'll be happiest when I start getting three eggs.  Then we'll be baking with duck eggs.  <G>

Donald and Nemo are a little older than 23 weeks old. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are about 20 weeks old.  When I bought Daisy and Dory, I was told they were a year old.  I don't know how old they are.  Even though she said they were a year old, it took me a long time before I got an egg out of them.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Duck Eggs, Chicken Eggs, and Hatching Eggs!

The Disney Ducks have been giving me eggs!  Last week, I found a total of 4, though two were in there one day.  I didn't know how long they had been in there, so I fed them to the dogs, and they were happy to get the treat.  Then I got two more.  I put them in some pancakes, but I didn't really notice a difference in richness.

Yesterday, there was another waiting for me to pick up.  This egg and the four preceding eggs were about the size as a large chicken egg, so I figured I was getting the average sized egg.  Apparently NOT!  I went out this morning to find a HUGE egg!  The brown egg is from my Red Sex-Link, Red.

As far as my chickens are laying, I'm happy with the array of colors.  Dark brown, green, cream, and blue make the basket carton beautiful, and they are all natural.  There are no artificially colored shells, and soon I will be getting enough eggs to sell!  $3/doz.
We are averaging between five and eight eggs a day, and sometimes they make me work for the eggs.  Since some of the layers are new to laying, they don't always know where they are supposed to drop their goods.  It's a real easter egg hunt.

Dora is one of the easiest to capture on film.  Bandit was luring her away towards the coop, so this was not one of my easier shoots.

The chicks are doing well too.  It was getting close to roosting hour.

Baby Bok Joy, the Lavender Orpington

McMurray EE, Calamity Jane

Phoenixes (one not pictured) Not named

OE (Bandit x Splash OE) looks a lot like Calamity Jane.  This is Livewire for his exuberance.  I think it's a cockerel, based on what I remember from sexing him at day two.  I'm not happy with the comb on this one.  Straight combs mean he doesn't have the blue egg laying gene that is possessed by his parents.

Blue OE (Bandit x Splash OE) no name has a good comb.  She will have a pea comb that is synonymous with the blue egg laying gene.  I believe this is also a cockerel, based on the sexing at day one.

If both of the (Bandit x Splash OE) are cockerels, they will be put in the freezer.  I will know for sure in another  weeks

I'm still researching genetics in chickens.  I'm not really good at genetics, so understanding is a bit of work for me.  Keeping the information here, I may be able to look back and read up on it.

This information is regarding sex-linked traits in chickens:

Information from BYC:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Up to 29...

So how did I end up getting back up to 29?  I'm sure if you have read my previous post, you can guess.  I had the eggs under Poof (two hatched) and the four I ordered from McMurray Hatchery (one died, a Phoenix).  I also bought a Lavender Orpington pullet from a local, and I'm very pleased with all these breeds.  Poof adopted all the chicks she didn't hatch, and not two weeks later, I find Labelle sitting in a nest.  She has gone broody, too!
Poof and her chicks
 left: Poof, Baby Bok Joy, and a Phoenix
right: Terra chasing Poof and her chicks

 left: Phoenix.  I named him the Caped Avenger, though I doubt it will stick.
right: Poof chasing after her chicks.  Terry in the background making the new duckhouse. 

left: Poof overseeing her chicks pecking around.
right: Baby Bok Joy scratching around in the center of the food bowl.

Labelle over her clutch of eggs.  We started out with two to test her broody, then we added eight more after she was determined not to break her broody.  Apparently, the splash OE decided she didn't have enough, and she added two more.

Now there are twelve.

I have plenty of pictures to show.  Some are okay, some are not.  I didn't go through them all, but I'll try and weed through some of them.  The girls we received in our February hatchery orders are 24 weeks old.  Most of Erin's are laying, though only one or two of mine are laying.  Any day now I should be getting some blue and darker brown eggs, but the girls don't seem to be in too big of a hurry.

What happens when I put a small pile of hay out?  They climb it, peck it, scratch in it, and play like little kids.  Butter Cup was the first to jump to the top.  Little Runt was just passing by.

Several of the flock were out scratching around.
Spaz and Duchess walk around a bit, skirting the scratching scene.

Duchess was staring at her feet.  I think she may have stepped in some ants.

Cluck Norris the OE cockerel and Angel the EE pullet are walking wing-side-wing.

The Wonder Twins and the other EE girl scratching around.

Butter Cup and Dora peep out from under a building.

The Wyandottes have decided to join the hay.  Bandit isn't sure why they are having such a great time.

Little Runt was interested in what the Wonder Twins may have dug up.  The EE girl seems pretty into it.  Little Runt was the last chick to hatch from my incubator.  He's the last of that hatch I have.  All of the others have been sold, and he still gets picked on by the bigger chickens.

Spaz came out for a little bit.

Butter Cup, Joan, and Bandit

Butter Cup and Red came from Meyer Hatchery the first week of February.  Red has already started laying.  The other girls out of it have not, to my knowledge.  The girls I still have from the shipments are Red, Spaz, the other EE, a Salmon Faverolle, Jersey, Butter Cup, and Dora.  I have gotten two brown eggs in one day, so either Butter Cup, Jersey, or Dora has started laying, though I only got one. The Salmon Faverolle lays white eggs, and Spaz and the other EE should lay blue (or blue-ish) colored eggs.  


Angel, the very first to hatch from my incubator in February.  She is close to 21 weeks old here, and she should soon begin to lay.

This is my younger Blue OE.  I'm not sure how old she is, and I have no clue how much longer I need to count before she finally starts to lay.

Even though she was a part of the young flock, she has integrated well into the older flock.  Bandit is happy to keep her close.

Duchess.  I told you, like kids playing in hay.

Angel and Duchess

My wonderful DH has finally started building me a duckhouse.  I call it "The Quack Pack Shack," and it is glorious!  I made him bring home some recycled wood from pallets and Lowes, and I'm very pleased with this so far.  Terry has already almost finished one wall, and the frame itself is up.  If you want to take a peek, head over to my FB page and see all the progress.  I posted all the photos I have of the house on it.  Doing this much, it took most of a two-day weekend.

Here the base is already put together and elevated.  Terry's working on measuring for the frame.

Here we have both wall frames up, with windows for ventilation.

Frame is mostly up (three walls), and the outside panneling is almost finished on one side.  We need more pallets to complete it, but I think it's safe to say we got a plan.