It’s been 7 months today, since our last post, while I worked on a great big work project. But we are back now, ready to really rock and roll again! And with a whole new brand design look, too! What do you think? Do you love our [Read more…]
Doesn’t it figure, that not even a week after finding a new home for our over-abundance of roosters from our hatch, did we face the very unexpected death of our rooster, ‘Weymouth’, who we have had for over a year? We somehow went from having too many roosters, to none, in no time flat. And it’s honestly left us scratching our heads.
In our last blog post about the flock, in September, we played a fun (and super easy) guessing game, determining how many birds from our new hatch in the spring, turned out to be roosters. Roosters, mind you, that we could not keep, because we already had one, that we never had intended on having, but ended up with anyway. The new tally came to 3 out of 5 more roosters. We knew they couldn’t stay, and we updated at our Facebook Page ( < we invite you to ‘Like’ it) when we did indeed find a new home for them all together. A nice guy who was very excited to use all three of them for breeding, took them.
Not even a week later, our big, beautiful healthy rooster, who has been the head of our flock, started our day like any other, crowing up a storm. And then in a matter of moments, he was gone.
Determining if growing baby chickens are ultimately a hen (female) or a rooster (male) is an age old guessing game of any breeding chicken-keepers and farmers. (A game we’re going to let you play right here with us, today!!) Some are much better at it than others! Some could probably even be considered experts. But….that wouldn’t be us. We had our first go at the game when, after ordering and receiving our very first 8 vent-sexed chicks, in July 2014. We had ordered vent-sexed chicks, to be sure we only got females, because there was no-way, no-how, we could have a rooster around here. So the adorable chicks arrived, and we were having a great time caring for them.
But then some suspicious things came about. Like, what sounded very much like a little inexperienced crowing, at only 4 weeks old! That got us worried, and researching, to learn about how to identify very young chickens as a hen or rooster. So we had our suspicions, and in a little more time there was no doubt that ONE bird (blogged about here in “Our 8 Four Week Old Chicks, and One Sad Surprise”), and then a SECOND (just blabbed out on our Facebook Page), of our 8 vent-sexed birds (supposed hens) were indeed roosters. Two roosters, out of our 8 ordered chicks, vent-sexed to be assure females. Didn’t it figure?
What Became of the Roosters
Although it was definitely a plan to never have a rooster, since we live in fairly close proximity to neighbors, guess what? One of those roosters still lives here. It’s working out so far. He is a very big, beautiful, and traditional looking Welsummer. The other unfortunately had to go, and it broke my heart. It was my favorite. He was an Americauna Easter Egger, that very much looked and acted like the coolest hawk, ever. To see what a stunning bird he was, and find out why he had to go, you can check out this post called “Goodbye, Boston”. That was his name; Boston. I know. A cool name, too, right? And it was sentimental, as Boston is the big city where our triplets were born. I was so sad to let him go for all of those reasons, but I also knew I was also never going to get any beautiful blueish or blue-green eggs, from a rooster. And that’s why I wanted an Easter Egger in the first place.
Anyway, if you follow us, you know we let the hens sit on some eggs this past spring, instead of collecting them one day, to see what happened. This bright idea was spawn from how terrible I felt for my kids, because [Read more…]
*Hello Friends! First, there are a whole bunch of photos to this post here, so you really need to NOT scroll, and just let them load for a minute. Therefore, you might as well just read this brief intro, if you are one who usually just looks at the pictures. 😉
About the title: I always use the term ‘homestead’. So just so you know, yes, we do understand that we do not technically live on a true homestead, by definition. But we still have taken to the word. We are simply referring to our home and the little tiny property we live on. We’re going to keep using it, because it works for us.
Lastly, it’s been quite an unusual spring and early summer for us all. Kind of tough, but it’s all good. I am finally starting to get around on my own two feet, following my wicked broken ankle and torn ligaments in mid-April. That kept any usual projects and activity off the table. But God has taught me much through it all, as I knew He would. Things like patience, Psalm 46:10, and all of that good and hard stuff. I didn’t realize how much transforming I had to do but, um….I see it in full color now!
Anyway, the photos are probably loaded now. Just some brief descriptions from here on out. Hope you enjoy……
It was while we were all gathered around our dinner table as a family one night, somewhere around the 3rd full week of May (2015), that we made the spontaneous decision to not collect some of our chicken eggs in one nesting box, and see if any of the hens would get broody, and naturally hatch them to chicks.
The next day, and the day following that, we left a total of seven eggs in one nesting box, for them to care for.
For any newcomers here, we should note that our original flock are all pure breeds, and each of our 6 chickens are a different breed. So we knew that any new chicks that hatched would be part Welsummer (because we only have one rooster), and part one of the other hen breeds. (Also known as ‘barnyard mixes’.) It was going to be fun to try and figure out whose was whose, if any hatched!
It was Plymouth, our White Plymouth Rock, that stepped up to the plate….errr, nesting box, first, and took on the role of Mama hen. She was so completely committed to caring for those eggs, and not leaving them, that we had to lift her out daily, and put her out in the big run, to go eat, drink and potty. It was really only then, that she’d take no more than 30 minutes, to do those things, recharge, and maybe sneak in a good dust bath. And then it was right back to her volunteer duties. The mothering instinct obviously comes quite easily to her.
We started with 7 eggs, because we assumed not all would develop or make it, and so we’d end up with 2 or 3, which is all we were really hoping for right now. We didn’t know that chickens have a better natural hatch rate, than artificial incubation, as we had done before. So when we candled all of the eggs once, at day 10, and saw veins and a dark moving form in every single one, two things happened.
1. I began to panic. [Read more…]