The hen house news is rather long! With Winter, I have so much time to ponder on what I'd like to do, want to do, have/need to do, shouldn't do..... and what would just be FUN and interesting to do!
I was right in suspecting one of my 2 black Cochin hen's is a roo, so I have 2 Cochin roos. The other is a blue. That will be fine as it's better to have a black x blue cross for mating as blue x blue causes splash blues. Doing that can affect the intensity of the color in the blues if one trys to breed back to blue.
I'm planning on penning the black roo with 3 of the blue hens and the blue roo with the black hen, a blue (for a short time) and the dark, feather-legged hen who was suppose to be an Americauna (who I think is only half Americaunca) and the half Orp/half Americauna gold hen.
I should be getting the Favorelle trio that I'm doing a roo trade for the feather-legged-suppose-to-be-an-Americauna roo Saturday. Then the Favorelle roo will get to keep his 2 Favor hens (coming with him), get my Favor hen and the little half silkie/half colombian-something-or-other hen. I think the Orpington hen may go with this bunch for the time being as she lays a brown egg so I'll know which eggs belong to the Favs, the Silkie cross and the Orp. I'd love to have several of this little Silkie cross. She's by a blue Silkie so at some point maybe I'll be lucky enough to get a couple silkies who need a new home.
So that will pair the roos up with the hens and I just have to get the tractors done for them. And to think I use to just have a big flock of mutt chickens, collected the eggs, butchered a few and that was it. Now I think I want to do some other "fun" and interesting things with my chickens too - especially since I can't let them free range.
I also bought an incubator! The one up in the barn was going to cost more for parts than buying one. I only got a Little Giant for now and I still want to get a Genisis 1588 with a few bells and whistles when I can find a good deal and have the money. If I do enjoy the hatching and want to get into it more, I would eventually use one for incubating and other for hatching as they need different humidity levels for the hatch so the egg membrane doesn't get too dry and keep the chicken from tearing it's way out of it.
I'm looking forward to hatching some of my Cochin and Favorelle eggs for now. Right now the Cochins, Americaunas, gold Oprington/Americauna and Orpington (she's got to move shortly) are together and with the 2 Cochin roos. The roo I'm trading is in the barn with my 2 Favorelle and Silkie cross hens. Americaunas and half Americaunas lay the green/blue eggs. The Favorelles lay a pinkish egg and the others lay brown. This helps narrow it down as to who is laying. I have more plans too but that's the beginning of them and for the current time.
Chicks will be available in the farm stores around here the middle of March and I plan on getting a few IF they have something I want. I'd like a few Orp chicks, few Australorps and some buff and light Brahmas. I should be able to get the Orps and Australorps there. I have an offer of some shipped eggs to get another breed I'd really like and may need to do this for the Brahmas. Reading these poultry catalogs might just be an incentive to get into "trouble"! I like seeing all these other breeds!
My hens haven't had winter lighting so they are just starting to lay. I got 2 nice brown eggs yesterday and 2 the day before. Prior to that, for the last month I've been getting 3-4 a week. Don't these look nice? Soon I'll need a larger basket! Finding eggs is fun and a bit exciting at this time of the year! Well, other than the fall into the snow I took yesterday trying to get to the eggs. These girls are in with a couple bucks who were trying to help me with my egg hunt or whatever I thought I was doing down there in that corner!
Also I just got 8" of snow on top of the 10" from a few days before, so have a lot of snow I'd like to give away. This is the perfect packing snow for making snow men and other statues! Have you seen this one:
The pic came in an email and I have no idea who it belongs too or came from. I just think it's creative and neat!
So, I think I'll stay busy as the goats will start kidding in a couple weeks! I have the 2 who will kid first and the 2 who will kid after them paired up with a goat panel divider between the 2 pairs so it's quieter for all. The herd queen is in here and 2 others would gladly be queen if they could. Spirit, the new doe is one who'd like to be queen but she's with Daisy, the 3/4 Boer doe who is very laid back and has no interest in climbing the royalty ladder. Daisy just wants her attention and fed and she's happy.
Today is National Pancake Day. I think I'll make pancakes for supper! We can have sausage with them.
Catch you all later, enjoy a cup of coffee or drink of your choice, and have a good day!