I know, it’s been a while since we have updated the blog. Life has been busy and it’s not all about fire anymore, it’s about chickens!!!
At the end of March we started out with our first day old chicks – heritage laying birds that would be the foundation for our laying flock. These included Marans and Easter Eggers who would lay dark brown and blue eggs respectively. They came all huddled together as a fuzzy mass. So cute! They come unsexed, so we were hoping to get a good number of hens out of the flock of 12.
As with all babies, they started to grow quite quickly and take on their own personalities.
We also learned that we had acquired one very unique chicken – a silkie! These birds are mostly used for showing and grow long fluffy feathers. They do, however, lay pink eggs so we were hoping that silkie would turn out to be a hen.
After 5 weeks it was warm enough for them to move outside into one of our newly built hoop houses. These houses have no floor so the chickens can forage and are on wheels so we can move them daily to provide new pasture. The heritage birds mostly eat foraged alfalfa, bugs and other outdoor treats and consume very little supplementary feed. We keep the chickens in a portable electric fence pen to further deter predators.
Now, they are all grown up! We are still waiting for our first eggs and unfortunately it turns out that Silkie is a rooster! We sent a few of our roosters to slaughter with the meat birds because you can’t keep 6 roosters with 6 hens – too much fighting. We are now left with our silver Easter Egger (Lord Grantham), our black Maran (Harry Rico), our partridge Easter Egger (Mathew Crawley) and Silkie who we are trying to find a new home for plus our 4 ladies. Because 4 ladies aren’t enough for our egg production, we are now raising another flock to supplement these layers (a story for another day!)
next up… meat birds!