Archives for the month of: March, 2016

In addition to our little meaties (see previous post), we’ve added a Buff Orpington rooster and another buff hen to our flock.  They were a little neglected and bedraggled when we first brought them home, but they’re starting to fill out and fit in nicely.  Meet Lloyd:

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He takes his guard duty seriously!!  A couple of days ago he even sounded the alarm and fended off a hungry coyote until Brian could get the rifle and take it down.

About ten days after the addition of Lloyd, one of our big blacks decided to go broody and is now almost a week into sitting on a giant clutch of eggs.

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Very excited to see little babies peeping out from under her.  We’re trying to increase our egg flock, and happy enough to let Mama do the incubation work.

That said, right before she went broody, we actually bought an incubator!  We weren’t entirely sure if Lloyd was doing his job, so decided to buy some eggs we knew were fertile, even though they’re basically a barnyard special collection of mixed heritage breeds.  We’ll probably sell the chicks, but wanted to run a test batch to get the hang of incubation.

They should be hatching about the time the meaties are ready to be moved outside, and about the same time as Mama Hen’s little ones start showing up.  My money’s on her having a better percentage, but unfortunately she only broods when she feels like it. 🙂

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Last Wednesday we went and picked up 26 little yellow balls of fluff from Miller Hatchery in Westlock. They’re a new breed this year called Western Rustics, which are supposed to be a hardier, slower growing meat bird than the standard Cornish. Sounds good to us. Here are a couple pics from the first day:

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On average they were about 50g and very active from the start, until, like most baby critters, they ran out of gas all at once and had a nap.

I’m happy to report that now at one week, all 26 are still alive and chirping.  Average weight is about 92g.  I’m very pleased, since with Cornish I would have had to pick up at least one dead bird by now!  Much less poop production too, which is nice.

Here’s a picture of one today:

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As you can see, they’re already starting to get wing and tail feathers.  Part of me wonders if they might not have been a couple of days old when we picked them up, since with our Cornish and Orpingtons they didn’t really start to feather out til week 2.  They’re also already doing their little puffed-chest boxing matches as they work out who’s in charge.