Friday, August 16, 2013

Changes in the Chicken World

The new next boxes are getting used every day now. 
A bit too much, but that story will come later.
Mabel wasn't to excited to see me peeking in.

I have read that as the hens get older the eggs will get bigger and more frequent. In the egg carton below, the two white eggs on the left are from the grocery. The next two are from one of the hens that I think is laying every day now. She has probably maxed out the size and I expect another one today.
The other four eggs - those were collected over three days so I don't know how many girls are laying at the moment. Probably just the two black birds and the white one though.

Do you see the white one in the middle?
That is a curiosity.

None of the hens "should" normally lay white eggs.
Their mothers were Black Australorp or Jersey Giant, Orpington, and Delaware.
 BUT their daddy is a Lakenvelder, who's hens do lay white eggs.
So, the possibility does exist that they could all lay white eggs, but it looks like just one of them will.

I am just guessing because of her color, but I think the white egg layer might be Edna.
Lakenvelder and Delaware chickens are both white and black.
According to my reading, Delawares are big birds and Lakenvelders are smaller.
Edna is kind of small compared to everybody else and that egg is kind of small.
So who knows! I plan to be out in the yard quite a bit this weekend. When I hear the triumphant "I have just laid an egg!" hollering from the coop I will try to get over there and see who comes strolling out the door. The first time I heard that racket I thought something was attacking them.

On another note. I have talked about getting two red chickens to add some more color to my little flock of birds. I decided to wait because five seemed like a good number. They all fit on the roost that I made and everybody seemed pretty happy. Then the neighbor stopped by a couple nights ago to return a piece of equipment he had borrowed. In thanks he brought two Rhode Island Reds for me! They are about the same age as mine so their size will help them fit in to the group.
I don't know if he has too many hens, there are 40 or so, but he sure seems to have a few roosters! We can hear at least one of them through the woods and the girls' backs are missing a bunch of feathers, which means the boys were pretty active. I left everybody locked up yesterday so that the new girls would know where the house is and get to know the others. I think their size and their being two of them helped hold off the pecking order fights for the day. They aren't mixing in with the group too much yet, but there weren't any pulled feathers laying around when I got home.
I do need to redo the roost today though. seven do not fit. When I peeked in the window last night I saw one of the hens had decided to sleep in a nest box and that is a habit I need to stop quickly. So, now I have seven chickens. Soon I will have just six goats. Moderation is the key to fun with animals. If you want to make money you need volume. I want to enjoy my farm.

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