Friday, April 27, 2012

Growing up Cochin!

Black mottled Cochin chick and blue Cochin chick

One of the fun things when hatching chicks is that
 sometimes you can look at the parents and know
exactly what to expect.  For instance, the blue Cochin chick on the right is a perfect copy of it's mother just like we hoped for.  But the mottled on the left, was a surprise!!  We LOVE surprises!!

Blue mottled Cochin chick on left, partridge mix on right

Add to that surprise a blue mottled chick too!  None of the parents are mottled, and though I had seen hints it was in the genetics somewhere, I hadn't expected to have any mottled ourselves.  These two are definitely keepers for the future!

We also ended up with some Wyandotte X Brahma crosses.  Although, I have to admit some of them are showing some interesting coloring and  feather patterns themselves.

 This one and the one to the right are the same and  has already been dubbed the moniker
"Pretty Boy Floyd"    We are pretty sure it's a future rooster, but he is our #1 favorite for color  and patterns at this time out of our crosses.
Though he looks headless from this angle, it's a better picture to see the barring in his feathers.  We can't wait to see what he looks like once his adult plumage comes in!

This little partridge colored one also has some interesting barring on it's feathers as well.

Some of the others

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Relaxing Evenings

      One of our favorite things this time of year is sitting outside in the evening enjoying our gardens, chickens, dogs and the wonderful weather.  Of course, we are not the only ones who enjoy this time, all the animals seem to look forward to it and enjoy it as well.

   Bailey is a Yorkie rescue  that we adopted a couple of months ago.  Though she is used to running around the pens full of chickens, this was her first night out lounging with the chickens.   Only slightly curious, she was content to simply lay around and watch them until one would wander close then she would jump up and come running to me LOL.

Big Bo, our Cochin rooster, is bigger than our small dogs, but he has the sweetest nature and makes for an awesome rooster ambassador. 

After a late afternoon spent in the yard, even the chickens are so relaxed they are ready to go to bed early.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Got Broodies??

 Things don't always go according to plans, especially with chickens.  For instance, last year none of our hens felt the need to go broody and hatch out chicks.  So, we decided earlier this year to use the incubator to hatch around 40 chicks thinking we would use some to replace older stock, some to expand our flock,  and the others would be placed in the freezer.  All 40 chicks are filling out beautifully and growing well.

  However, sometime last week between the warmer temperatures, the sound of morning irrigation, and pollen swirling through the air, there came a mystical shift in the attitudes of my hens and suddenly almost half of them have decided now is the time for motherhood.   These are three who share one nest of around 21 eggs, and they will take turns getting something to eat and drink before returning to keep the eggs warm.

 These two are in the same coop as those above, but sharing another nest as they couldn't fit into the first one.  I"m not sure how many eggs are in there, somewhere around 12 last time I could get a peek to check.

The madness has spread to another coop where at last check, 8 eggs were being safely guarded by squawking and feather puffing by this mom to be. 

Luckily, the chicks 'we' hatched have a coop all to themselves to go to so all the new chicks hatched by the hens will get to stay with them.  Phew!  Anybody  need some chicks? 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gotta Love Spring!

Some days I am simply amazed at the amount of eggs we get from our hens.  Matter of fact, we get so many we simply can't eat them all.  Those that don't get eaten or sold end up getting cooked and fed  back to the hens and any new chicks we have running about.

This basket has been filled a few times recently and for fun I asked some friends how many eggs they thought it was.  There were many guesses and one person even got within 3 eggs of being right.  How many do you suppose there are?

 Is this not the CUTEST idea?  I couldn't resist it when I saw it and I plan on making this for my table for our Easter dinner. 

I thought this purse was too cute!  Though I am not the type that collects purses, I might be willing to carry this one around.  How can you not look at it and smile?  Definitely one of those things that make life a little more fun!