incubating chicken eggs

I bought a very inexpensive incubator and I’m trying to hatch some of my chickens’ eggs. I candled the eggs at days 6, 8, 10, and 15 to make sure they were developing and discarded the ones that weren’t. I added more eggs to fill all the spaces in my incubator. It’s pretty straightforward to see the veins at day 6, but after that, it’s hard for me to figure out if the egg is developing. In any case, ones that were obviously not viable, I discarded. So today is…

my chickens – rooster and hatching

I have several projects going on while I am “sheltering in place” from the corona virus outbreak. One is working on my flock of chickens. I gave away my big black Cochin rooster this morning. He was too big for my coop and my little hens. And too noisy for our neighborhood. I am getting my gardens raked out and mulched tomorrow (if landscape companies are exempt for today’s new ban on non-essential companies) and I will start seeding grass. That big rooster was just too big to stay cooped…

more baby chick pictures

I bought a batch of 15 mixed layers from McMurray Hatchery. They say they are a mix of at least 5 good laying types plus one exotic layer. I can see that the single fancy bird is silver and has very pretty feathers. I don’t know any of the breeds. If anyone can tell the breed from looking at a chick and you recognize any of these – let me know!! They are two days old now and are being very good. There was one chick who kept pecking other…

baby chicks!

I got a box full of one-day-old baby chicks in the mail today. 17 of them! They are very tiny and very cute. They are now under a red heat lamp in a dog crate converted into a chick incubator.

Easter eggs

My chickens did a great job and laid all colors of eggs. I don’t need to dye them for the Easter basket! White, brown speckled, blue, and green. I boiled up a half dozen for deviled egg Easter appetizers. I’ll put them on a platter with my garden arugula.

Charley and the chickens

That’s my chicken coop behind my inquisitive and always “up-for-the-chase” five month old puppy. Charley caught one of my chickens the other day. The pretty black one I call Penny. Prey instinct kicked in. He chased and caught her, held her for several seconds in his jaw before my husband got there and pulled him off. Penny was scared but fortunately no damage done. Now we don’t let Charley out when the chickens are out. It’s one or the other. I don’t know if this is just a puppy thing.…

staying warm

To stay warm, my chickens huddle together in their run. Charley hangs out in the house in his favorite spot on the steps. (I’d like to get more pictures of Suzie. She was sitting next to Charley on the steps and they both looked so cute together. But she runs off if she sees a camera. Occasionally I catch a shot, but not this time.)

chickens foraging in the yard

They’re laying great now. I’m getting just over 3 eggs a day from the four hens. I think they like the nice spring weather. I have to do a spring coop cleaning soon. They’ve built up a nice layer of poop for my compost bins at the bottom of their coop.

chickens staying warm

Big Bertha, my heavily feathered white Brahma, doesn’t lay as many eggs as the rest, but she’s really nice to snuggle up with on a cold night. All my chickens are fine after the frigid night. -12.9F!

chickens out for a walk

My chickens went out for a mid-winter walk today. No snow left here – they had lots of scratching to do. In the middle of their walk, Ginger the brown Auracana all of a sudden jumped up, left the group, ran for the laying box and left me that blue egg. I’m getting 2 or 3 eggs a day now. Only Bertha, the big white Brahma isn’t laying yet.