It's been a little over a month since my last blog post, so I thought I'd stop in and post an update on the chickens and Ely.
Ely has now been fully integrated into living with chickens. He chased them one time, and got in pretty BIG trouble, and we've had absolutely no trouble with him since. Even though he eyes them curiously sometimes, he's not offered to chase them any more. The hens and roosters are pretty tolerant of him now, but the rooster has started giving him the stink eye when Ely gets hyper and starts running around like a little nut case too close to the hens. I'm pretty sure one of these days he may flog Ely, but it'll be a good lesson for Ely. The hens are pretty good about trying to hold their own ground.
Ely and the only chicken he's allowed to chase.
Ely gets chased
Mingling with the flock while quite possibly grazing on chicken poo
We've had a few new additions to our flock since my last post. Shortly after we lost our Welsummer cockerel to an unknown predator, I had a Welsummer pullet and a Silkie hen go broody. A friend of mine gave me some fertilized eggs from her hens to put under my broody girls. I put 6 eggs under the Welsummer and 6 under the Silkie. Our weather during that time was in the triple digits, so our hatch rate was pretty poor. The Welsummer only hatched out 2 chicks, and the Silkie who had had a 100% hatch rate on her prior chicks only hatched 3 chicks. Unfortunately, one of those chicks ended up with a cross beak, so now she's down to 2 chicks.
Fran's first set of grand chicks
Fran's second set of grandchicks
A couple of weeks after the Welsummer and Silkie's latest clutches hatched my other two Silkies went broody. So I ordered some Silkie eggs from The Garry Farm. I ordered 12 and was shipped 15 eggs. So I put 7 eggs under 1 hen and 8 eggs under the other hen. Unfortunately, only 3 of those eggs hatched. I can only guess the poor hatch rate must have been the result of our hot weather (which had finally gotten down out of the 100's) and rough handling during shipping. On the plus side the three babies I got are beautiful blue chicks, and I'm hoping I have 2 pullets and 1 little cockerel, but given they're Silkies their sex will be a mystery for another 5-6 months.
One of our blue Silkie chicks courtesy of The Garry Farm
In the past few weeks some of my first home grown chicks have started to lay. I've got a green egg layer, and just recently an olive egg layer! The first two eggs she laid were olive with beautiful brown speckles, but all of her subsequent eggs have been olive with no speckles. I was hoping she'd keep laying the speckled olive eggs, but the olive eggs are beautiful. I really do like opening my egg cartons and seeing a variety of colored eggs.
Speckled olive eggs
Welsummer/Easter Egg cross on right and assumed olive egg layer on left.
The moderately cooler weather we've had since Labor Day weekend has helped egg production tremendously. There for a while at the end of our 30+ days of triple digit temps the girls were laying only 4 eggs a day. Now we're getting anywhere from 9-12 eggs daily. I can't wait til my little Welsummer and Welsummer/Ameraucana hens start laying. They're about 5 months old now, so hopefully they'll be laying within the next month! *fingers crossed*
Our egg basket overfloweth.
My nieces - the farm girls
Ameracauna/Welsummer cockerel and pullet and two Welsummer pullets
My niece feeding one of our young cockerels. He's just a tad spoiled...