Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meet Snow Bear

I have been talking about Great Pyrenees ever since I learned they made good chicken guardians. My mom took pity on me and got me one for my birthday. Meet Snow Bear:

He is about 2 1/2 months old, and already weighs between 20-30 pounds. He is so mellow and sweet! All of us are head over heels for him.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In the world of Chickens

I have been doing a lot with chickens lately.

Last week, my aunt and I rescued 137 chickens living in a coop half the size of mine. When we arrived: 1) they had no food and were eating snow for water 2) some were soaked through and many were standing out in the snow because of overcrowding (note - during the snowy weather, not one of my ladies deigned to put a single foot outside in it - which shows how much chickens hate the snow and would avoid if possible) 3) almost all were missing tail feathers due to not enough space, food, and too much fighting between them. We moved them to my aunt's place who separated them into two groups. Each group got their own stable with heat lamps, perches, a laying room and a feeding room, plus a 1/2 acre or so of field. From these birds, I took 4 bantams for Jamey and 4 black sex links for Arthur. I'm happy to report all birds are doing well at both my aunt's and at my place. They have been eating like crazy and I'm shocked how fast my food is dropping. I'm sure that it will balance out again once the new birds are more stable.

From the 4 bantams, Jamey has 3 hens and a very small, white, frizzled rooster. He said he wants to incubate the eggs and I said - yes! I'm thinking of fencing in the 3 room dog house with a covered porch for his bantams. The building is about 12x6 which will be a great size for the birds.

Mom has given me eggs to incubate from her birds and is incubating eggs herself. Our plan is to keep some and sell some.

Connie will be giving me fertile Americana (Easter egg birds), eggs to incubate. Our plan is to keep some and sell some.

After rescuing so many birds, Uncle Pete has eggs coming out of his ears and has decided that he isn't interested in chicks this year and has offered my mom the chick order he put in. She said yes, and I agreed I'd take some too.

My over all plan is to increase my flock size by about 20 more birds. We have planned for a gentlemen to fence in more fields for my ladies so they will have plenty of room for grazing and peace amongst each other. This weekend I plan on putting in another roosting pole and more laying boxes. I should be getting about 7 dozen eggs this week - based on the recorded performance of my birds and the increased amount of light.

I am on cloud nine in chicken land. Oh yes indeedy.