Well, I think we’re all done hatching! Our total count is 10 chickens! Not bad for a first attempt!
The Cluster Cluck
Meet our new chickens!!
On the left is our first 6 that hatched. We had to cull one of them due to horrible leg issues. He had completely destroyed his hock joint through twisting and hyperextending. I even splinted it, but it didn’t help at all. He was a Rhode Island Red. All together we have 1 Ameraucana, 1 Barred Rock and 3 Rhode Island Reds.
On the right is our second hatch. Out of 8 eggs we had 5 all in a 12 hour period. Three are Ameraucanas and the other two are slightly mysterious. The egg seller told me her Orpington may have snuck into the Ameraucana pen. The Ameraucanas are also half Wheaton. So, the two little gold ones are a Wheaton (slate colored legs) and probably an Orpington/Ameraucana cross (pink legs). We’ll see when they grow up and feather out.
As you can see, the new chickens also came with a brooder annex. I cut a hole in the brooder and joined another box to it. I’m sure the older chicks approved of the expansion. Now I just need to find another box for the next inevitable expansion. However, I am thinking of moving them out to the garage with a heat lamp at the end of December, they should be just about read by then. Here’s hoping the boxes hold out until then!
So, the Cluster Cluck is finally here and I think I’m pretty happy with the total number. When we began with 13 eggs in the incubator and 8 more on the way, I was terrified to think we might have 21 chickens. Now that hatching is done and (crossing my fingers) all the culls, I’m pretty happy with 10 chickens, that is completely doable. I’m pretty happy with the egg mix we’ll have too once the hens show. We’ll have brown, blue, and buff colored eggs. That should be a good blend for the farmer’s market if we have extras!
We haven’t forgotten about the quails! I updated last week (?) that the quails had fully feathered. This week I completed their cage and they moved out.
The Furious Four are enjoying their new home. My only complaint so far is that the 1/4″ mesh doesn’t let the poop through as well as I would like. I think we’re going to dedicate a broken car snow brush to the cause to push the poop through every night. It should only add about 30 seconds onto chores, lol. We do officially have chores now.
I’ve decided that all the quails are female and should begin laying around December 26th or so. They just had their 1 month birthday on Nov. 26th! We’re looking at about 20 eggs a week, which isn’t terrible. I would have hoped for a lot more, but at this point we can’t sell them anyway, so why have the extra right? I will put another order for hatching quail eggs in March so they will be laying by June for the farmer’s market. Here’s hoping we don’t have a power outage this time and lose 80% of the eggs.
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