Excited and nervous.
I’m excited for my first batch of girls to arrive. I’m also nervous that one or more will die on my watch. Yikes!! Absolutely no day old chicks for me. Too much attention to detail, lower temperature by this much every day and do that and this and check for this bla bla bla. New born humans are easier. A hen is meant to raise her babies, not us humans that’s why it’s so much work and attention to detail. I’m just not available for that level of care.
There will be 5 Plymouth Rocks, which will be my primarily egg layer breed. They are arriving at 6 weeks of age, and will mature (begin pooping out eggs) by 18-20 weeks. I’ve read a lot of amazing traits about these girls right down to their docile loving personalities, which I’m sure will make slaughter after they dry up the yolk production difficult, to their amazing hardiness in winters and consistent egg production. Ive read even if I put a light in their coop on a timer during the winter months, there is a good likely hood I will get eggs all through the winter. (Lights stimulate hormones apparently, which means eggs). Not sure where I am on that, we’ll see when I get there.
As you can read, I’m not taking on the mentality of my chickens being pets. I have a job to do, and my chickens will have a job to do. The goal is they must not cost more than it is to raise and keep them until the end of their time. We have a few neighbours wanting to buy eggs and pay higher $ for a dozen as they will be fed a non-GMO and soy free diet (receipts of feed available so they don’t have to just take my word for it) and a higher than average percentage of flax seed added to their feed.
$4/dozen gets you a healthy egg from my backyard. ($.50 deposit for carton)
I have a dual purpose slow growth variety arriving June 16th. Originally I had a September delivery for these ones, but I upped the delivery date to June. Why wait? I should have the chicken happiness down pat within a month so bringing in the new ones should be ok by then. Plus easier to mix the batches while they are all young. These guys arrive at 3 weeks old. I getting 10 females and 1 rooster.
These dual purpose chickens will also lay eggs, but not as consistently as my Plymouth Rocks. I’ll have plenty of eggs to go around, that’s for sure!! 15 chickens laying all at once. Yikes!! Quiche anyone? Hahaha!!! Actually my dogs eat 2 eggs a day, 1 each. It will be nice to not drop $7 on organic eggs for the humans in the household and $4.50 a dozen for the canine eggs.
I had to think good and hard about the rooster. I have 2 reasons for finally getting him. Roosters are great for flock protection and in the spring hopefully one or two of my hens will go broody and we can have some baby chicks and let their moms raise them. Roosters are really good at rounding up the girls into the coop at the sign of predators and I figured if I wasn’t getting a donkey for herd protection, it needed to be a Rooster.
The coop is being worked on last weekend, before flip had his emergency visit, yesterday and day. I know Einstein really well, and this project will bleed into next weekend too. This is a picture of how much work got done last weekend before Flyp landed himself in emerg.
Isn’t this cool? This structure I wanted burned to the ground. It’s beat up, ugly and is an eye sore in my opinion in my back yard. I think it’s been here from the day the house was build, and the house is now 24 years old. We’ve been here 4 years this September. I had said lets get rid of it and put the coop in that area. Einstein being Einstein said, why can’t we incorporate the structure and the 4 poles that are cemented into the ground. Omg Einstein you’re so smart sometimes. So this is part of the coops structure.
Currently it is almost 6′ wide and 7.5′ long. It doesn’t look that big I know!! I actually took a measuring tape and did my own measuring. Yup, it’s that big. We are leaving the coop 6′ wide but adding a few more posts and extend the length of the coop to 12 feet. Their finished run will be 12×12 all screened in. Einsteins frustration is rising and he wishes he would of torn it down and started from scratch at this point. Everything is out of line, wonky and it’s causing the process to be slower and extra work. As long as it’s done by the 19th we’re good to go.
I don’t think Einstein has much faith in my chicken rearing capabilities. Yesterday he said to me “you don’t even know if this will work and you have a whole bunch of chickens ordered.”
Thankfully, I don’t listen to him. Ever. 😁 I’m nervous I’ll screw something up for sure, but I’m also determined for backyard chickens to be a success, so it will be!!
The good thing is this isn’t an overnight thought on a whim. I’ve been wanting chickens since we moved here. I just had to do all my research and make sure I was ready for the work load. It’s all coming together at the right time.
Today is Mothers Day. Happy Mothers Day !!! For all you moms out there I hope you spend the day your way, no matter what that entails. Personally, I don’t make a big deal out of it, it’s just another day over here. I will steal some time today to read my book, which has been a chore all week to even find the time to read one page and that’s about the extent of my Mother’s Day celebration.
Well, I have a lot to get accomplished today, so if I’m going to get to my book, I gotta get at it.
Wait! Blood glucose this morning 4.4mmol/L or 80mg/dL holy crap! Good job right?? What a relief because the stress of high sugar was stressing me out more lol. Vicious circle.