June 1, 2013

A Chicken Report

Broody hen

Basket of eggs ready to be set on

Hatch date!

Also we decided this would be a good time to try out a few more breeds we've been interested - Silver Laced Wyandottes and Speckled Sussex. I've ordered 8 of each and gave Mrs. Broody 8 Buff Orpington eggs, to hatch around the same time as the chicks are delivered. I plan to do like I did last time, and slip them in under her at night.

A Chicken Report © June 2013 

24 comments:

Ngo Family Farm said...

I have that same day circled on my calendar - it's my own "hatch date" as well! LOL :D
-Jaime

Rachy said...

Oooooo, how exciting!!!!
Good luck :) x

Leigh said...

Jaime, I hope you have a good hatch! Seems like good time for new chicks, doesn't it?

Rachy, always!

Chasity said...

We have Speckled Sussex! They are good layers, we are very happy with them! :)

Keith Alexander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith Alexander said...

Sorry too many typos in the first comment!

We tried hatching some SLWs last month, five of the eggs were infertile and the last failed to pip. As we had 30 other chicks hatch that week and my wife really wanted some, I bought some one week old SLWws to make up for our losses (her disappointment) they settled in with the other chicks easily.

One thing worth mentioning, SLWs seem very hard on grass! I visited several local breeders and I noticed their SLW pens were the most glassless of all by comparison!

Some of our SLW pics here
http://dallascriftins.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/chicks-at-one-week-old.html

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Oh, not aren't you the clever sly one. Miss Broody will think she's superwoman mama hen, getting 23 baby chicks out of seven eggs!

Nina said...

That's a good way to do it. We normally bring in our chicks in April, but with the cold and wet weather, we were a month late. I sure wish we had places with a greater selection of chicks but the only local hatcheries are limited in selection. My Rhode Island Reds are friendly but not very decorative. Now if I could only figure out where they are laying their eggs this spring because it isn't in the barn!

Leigh said...

Chasity, I'm so glad to hear that! I think they are a very attractive chicken, plus I read they have fairly quite personalities (?) Our Welsummers and Buffs are constantly squawking!

Keith, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. So far our home hatch rate has been about 33%. That was just two settings, but I only got one out of three to hatch both times. I'm hoping I have a better rate this time. The Wyandottes and Sussex were ordered from a hatchery and will arrive as chicks. Sounds like the SLW will be good candidates for pasture raising. We free range our chickens on about 2 acres of pasture, so there should be plenty of grass for everyone, chickens and goats!

Janice, if they do all survive it will be quite a brood. So far I haven't had much luck with home hatched eggs. Of the mail ordered chicks, I got straight run, so if half of all the chicks turn out to be pullets (hoping so!), then we'll have about a dozen new layers for the flock.

Nina, lol, My egg count is pretty sporadic too, so I keep looking for hidden nests as well. I think summer is definitely the best time for chicks. Our first ones we got during February, and it took a lot of electricity to keep them warm. Mama hens do a much better job!

Keith Alexander said...

Ah well good luck with yours we also hatched some "old style" Hybrids from the same person we bought the SLW eggs from. All but one hatched.

They are Buff Plymouth Rock X Light Sussex sex linked Hybrids

There are some mugshots of them showing the differences at 1 week old in the link I posted earlier :)






Leigh said...

Keith, your chicks look like super models, LOL. Great photos.

Michelle said...

I've had one gold-laced Wyandotte, and think both varieties are SOOO pretty. I won't do the Speckled Sussex again, but will enjoy the four I have while they last. Hope your chick adventures this year are as successful as last year's!

Anonymous said...

I have one Speckled Sussex hen. She's a heavy bird and a good layer. Very nice bird. I got a Blue Laced Wyandotte this year and really like her. She hasn't started laying yet. She has a good temperament and will sit on your shoulder or lap. :)She'll be a heavy bird too. I'm happy with both breeds.

Leigh said...

Michelle, was it you who told me the SS's lay small eggs? We got the Wyandottes because Dan thinks they're a gorgeous chicken, plus someone he knows through work raises them. It will be fun seeing how these breeds do.

Anonymous, thank you! The Blue Laced sounds really pretty. I hope her temperament is a breed trait. :)

Michelle said...

It may have been. Now that they are almost three years old, their eggs are full-sized and fairly regular. I do prefer the Wyandottes' comb and coloring.

Leigh said...

Michelle, I found the same to be true with the Buff Orpington eggs. The Buffs were another choice of Dan's but they have turned out to be extremely noisy and quarrelsome (with the other chickens). They are constantly picking on one another. I don't think my two older Welsummers help. In their 4th summer they still lay really well, but at the top of the pecking order, they too are noisy and are mean to just about everybody, except the humans and the cat.

SmithGang said...

My son and I this morning noticed this morning one Moma hen rolling eggs. we had a thought move her to a small pen and give her some eggs. so we did , ??? Do we continue to feed her laying mash or can we feed her starter with our march chicks from town?? We have never done this do after we moved her it was like ummm now what. will she continue to lay? Should we mark eggs under her ? Now we are looking mm did we get the right Moma lol. she is losing feathers so if this makes her broody as they say , will she sit to hatch them? Ty for your help in advance. cs.

Leigh said...

Cindi, if you cannot dissuade that hen from the nest, then she's broody! No matter how many times you take her off and put her elsewhere, she will fuss and fret until she's back on it.

From my experience I can tell you that she will likely sit on that nest until there are chicks (or eventually gives up). Chickens don't seem to be able to count the days, nor the chicks. I read that they will continue to lay for the first several days, to collect eggs, then stop after that. She'll stay on the nest but get up for food, water, and to potty about once a day. I just let mine eat regular feed until the chicks come. then she eats chick feed along with them. She won't lay for awhile after that, so she doesn't need additional calcium or protein at that time.

Marking the eggs is probably a good idea. I say that because my other hens will continue to lay in that nest, and I'd prefer to remove those. I didn't do that this time, and can only remove the ones that I know don't belong there by color.

I didn't have any problems putting new chicks under my hen previously I did it the night after her own eggs started to hatch. Mama will stay on the nest a few more days after the chicks start to hatch, then she'll leave and you can remove the unhatched eggs.

The harder part is integrating them into the flock. Some folks find it easy, my chickens aren't so kind to newcomers.

You need to start blogging again so we can all enjoy the process!

SmithGang said...

Ty for help , New computer in July , been so much other stuff with the gang they grabbed the funds , let's c Christmas, daughters wedding, prom , senior stuff , list went a mile since it crashed lol , got oldest son graduated so he has to have a computer for college. bonus for me finally. Thank goodness I have internet on phone, I can reply but I can't blog from it tried several times. anywho hope our chick project works. Ty.

Leigh said...

I hear you about financial priorities. And sometimes, a computer isn't it. I'm fortunate that I can get online at our public library. The times I've been computerless, I've been able to blog from there. OTOH, blogging itself takes a lot of time and energy. :)

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Will Chickens eat ants? Those lovely fire versions? I was walking the plot this afternoon to determine whether I truly wanted it ( The owners hit or miss communications are getting to me) and there are a few good hills.

What would you do with the eggs if you do not eat them, give them to neighbors, or whatnot. Leave them on the side of the road for bears? LOL. IDK. Any other use for them?

- CLoud

Leigh said...

Cloud, Unfortunately, chickens will not eat ants. For that, you need an anteater. :) They do eat bugs, grubs, and some weeds. The manure for compost is a plus too. You could either get a breed that didn't lay much, or, use those eggs for bartering and trading!

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Do you remember a cartoon, Ant and the Anteater?? It was very purple. :)

Quinn said...

I had a few Silver Lace (and also Golden Lace) Wyandottes, and they certainly were pretty hens. Very flashy looking amidst the solid golden Buff Orps and black Jersey Giants. Good luck with your broody-hatching!