Tomorrow afternoon we will have had our new pullets for a whole week. They seem to be doing well and we are getting a pretty steady 3 to 4 eggs per day. This is pretty good for hens who are just starting to lay. But today one of them really outdid herself. The small egg on the right is a typical pullet-size egg. This is the size we have been getting every day this week. Until today. As you can see, someone in the flock is getting a bit competitive.
We are really enjoying watching all the chickens. The little ones are growing well and are to the point where we only put the heat lamp on for them at night. We are actually getting ready to move them to a larger space soon… probably a wire pen in one of the bedrooms of the old mobile home behind the workshop. It will give them some more room to grow and run around, and I figure since the house is going to be demolished in a month or so anyway, I don’t care if the chicks kick shavings out of the pen and make a mess of the floor.
Or, close to it! We had one egg a couple of days ago that had a very thin shell, so it didn’t make it to the fridge. The past couple of days we’ve had four eggs laid per day – not bad for a bunch of five young hens just starting out.
Ok, bad pun. But we bought two sheds this weekend, including one which is 8 x 12, and spent a lot of time getting it to the property and a gravel pad in place to hold it up off the ground before it arrived. I think we all did a great job. Here is the final product, set into place on Sunday…
We also bought a used chicken coop on Saturday. This coop came with five 5 month old pullets, which are just beginning to lay. Here are some pictures of the three breeds we have in that batch…
And here is a shot of Will, the Chicken Whisperer, hand feeding the new girls. We got three eggs yesterday, and already had one when I left for work this morning at 6am, so they are settling in really well.
The Dorking chicks are doing well – no losses so far and it appears we have 8 little hens and two roosters in the batch.
So that’s all the latest happenings here! Stay tuned for more fun later this week as we get the new coop set up.
This just cracks me up, so I’m posting it here.
Not so you folks can watch it, but so I can find it more easily when I feel the need to watch it yet again. 😛
We drove out to the Poultry Palace on Whidbey Island this weekend and picked up our first batch of Silver Grey Dorking chicks. Here they are in their temporary home, eating, drinking and making political alliances. (Otherwise known as setting up their future flock “pecking order.”)
We decided to get started with our chicken project this summer instead of waiting until next spring. So, we have our chicken breed all picked out…
This is a Silver Grey Dorking chicken. The Dorkings are a very old chicken breed – lore says they were being raised during Roman times, and were brought by Roman soldiers to the UK, where for centuries they were considered to be some of the finest-tasting poultry one could put on the table. Apparently the breed was so jealously guarded that it was illegal for a long time to sell a live Dorking chicken, lest someone start their own flock and compete! They are now a heritage breed, and somewhat rare. Dorkings are a multipurpose chicken, being good producers of both eggs and meat. They also have a tendency to lay well over the dark winter months, in contrast to most modern breeds. They are also supposed to be very tame. We plan to start off with a rooster and three hens and then let them sit on their own eggs to provide us with more hens and some meat cockerels.
Here is the coop we will probably be getting.
We originally planned to build our own, but we have so many projects going on this summer and fall that it would be impractical. And this one is priced very reasonably, probably only just a bit more than it would cost us to make it ourselves. So we made an executive decision to just buy one and concentrate our efforts on other projects, like the garden and orchard, instead.