I know, my blogging has been lagging and I have a lot to update. But I'll start with my bird update. After the dramatic hatching you can see here, there was a very sad incident less than 24 hours later that involved a door left open and a certain gray cat. He ate that first little chick whose hatching (birth?) we captured on Rhiannon's camera - the one with the cool black markings around his eyes. Sampson ate the entire thing - beak, feet and all. I felt like crying! The door is now covered in signs made by Rhiannon (who unfortunately is the one who left it open...) and no more such incidents have happened.... although Sampson does occasionally pace back and forth in front of the door...
Then we waited for the next eggs to hatch - there were 19 of them. Some Ameraucaunas and some New Hampshire Reds that we got from the lady who sold us the chickens. 4 hatched. 3 Ameraucaunas - 1 black and 2 grey and one New Hampshire Red. Very disappointing.... I'm really hoping they are all hens and we can add them to our flock. However, we were hoping that we would have enough to add to our flock and to eat all the little roosters and extra hens...
It is getting a little late to start another hatching. So I called Okanagan Hatchery and ordered 35 chickens - 10 each for two of my friends who have agreed to help with butchering if necessary (I'll get into why that might be necessary in a future post) and 12 for me with 3 extra. Okanagan Hatchery only traffic in broilers which I was hoping to avoid as I don't really want to support the over-breeding of birds. Todays broilers have been bred for such fast growth that heart attacks and crippling are not uncommon. I talked to the guy and he told me I could slow their growth by feeding them wheat to avoid those problems. I needed them right away to fit in with my chicks so I went for it. When we arrived to pick them up, he threw in 5 extra. So we have 46 chicks in the basement now.
Here you can see the two left from the first hatching amidst all those little yellow fluff balls we will be eating for dinner... They have become the leaders of the flock which isn't necessarily a good thing as they are very skittish.
You can see the two gray Ameraucaunas here.
And the one standing on top of the feeder and looking right at the camera is the New Hampshire Red - barely distinguishable from all those other yellow fluff balls who will be dinner.... So far we can tell her apart by her wing feather development.
And who is the chicken I am holding at the beginning of this blog? That's Lacey our prettiest Silver Laced Wyandotte who faithfully lays us eggs who let me catch her yesterday.
10 hours ago