--November, 2012 --ate November, the weather is glorious, so no one seemed to be in the mood to pose.
Black Bantam Cochin Rooster
Here's a Light Brahma hen, and some of the gang out in the enchanted forest...
..and there's an Autra White hen hiding out in the weeds.
--June, 2012 --ay 1st chicks are now about 6 weeks young.
The white with black splotches are the Austra Whites and the extroverts of the group.
The lovely brown ones with patterning are the Welsummers.
They are the introverts and were much harder to get shots of. But here they are.
--Spring, 2012 --pring 2012 finds the chicken run in transition which seems to be typical for this time of year. We are in anticipation of our new chicks which are due to arrive the first part of May and will consist of 5 Welsummer pullets and 5 Austra Whites. That will give us blue, white, brown and copper eggs for the carton. Or so the plan goes. Here are a few shots of the current homies:
(1) Easter Egger hen
(2) Black Bantam Cochin Rooster
(3) 2 year old White Brahma
-- October 2011 --utch and Sundance, our 2 new Black Bantam Cochin roosters. They're brothers, and all of 3 months young. Hoping for some good natured and good looking offspring from them in 2012.
-- July 2011 --ere you have a couple shots of our two month old chicks. The Mottled Houdans turned out to be all roosters except for one sweet little pullet that was killed by something. The Easter Eggers are an Ameraucana type from Cackle Hatchery that we are trying this year. They come in a lovely array of colors and so far seem very calm and good natured. I am eagerly awaiting the colored eggs.
-- May 2011 --n early May of 2011 Neil brought home 5 Mottled Houdans and 6 Easter Eggers from Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Missouri. The pictures show them at just over 4 weeks old. We ended up with 4 tiny Mottled Houdan roosters or so it appears. One of our barn cats ate the only little pullet. The Easter eggers were all pullets at the start. The Houdans are especially charming with their little top hats and the Easter Eggers are curious and sweet in a myriad of colors. Our big girls, 4 Salmon Favorelles, 5 Light Brahmas and 2 Speckled Sussex continue to provide us with superior eggs, many smiles and great compost for the gardens.
-- December 2010 --
ehold one tiny new egg from our July 2010 pullets otherwise known as the Light Brahma and Speckled Sussex hens. As of very late November, tiny eggs started appearing on the coop floor in a hard to get at spot. They are much appreciated in the kitchen.
he girls as you can see, have grown and are doing fabulously.
-- July 2010 --
n late July we chose to bring in several new heirloom breeds of chickens. They arrived as bundles of fluff otherwise known as 5 Light Brahma pullets and 5 Specked Sussex pullets. At that time, we sold our beautiful Salmon Favorelle rooster and 5 Salmon hens as a beginner flock for someone interested in the breed. We kept 4 of our senior Salmon girls and they will retire here. They are still laying a lovely brown egg about every other day. Our new kids are getting lost, eating the big girls' food, being cute and generally getting in trouble like youngsters do about every other minute.
-- December 2009 --s of this writing, Southwest Missouri has had a very chilly late fall into winter. As we prepare to celebrate the Winter Solstice tomorrow the 21st of December, we have had a heat lamp in the chicken coop for most of the month. We have also been carrying warm water twice a day to the waterers. In addition, we are in process with fazing out any of the mainstream laying mash with it's preponderance of GMO's. We are instead adding additional rolled oats and organic mixed grains and keeping with the organic sunflower seeds which they dearly love. They are still free ranging most days when temps are above freezing.
-- September 2009 --n late July of 2009, we moved 8 fertilized eggs into the clever and useful brooder box with hinged top and ramp that Neil had built inside the chicken coop. We placed a broody hen on the basket with eggs and waited with high anticipation. A second hen replaced the first after numero uno decided that she'd had enough around the first week of August.
ong story short, the pictures you see here are of Mama chicken II and her offspring, Snape and Mad Eye, the two very sharp looking little guys that were the outcome of our first hatch. One will eventually replace Fawkes who in late August went on with a few hens to begin another small Salmon Favorelle flock in Springfield, MO.
t this time, we are feeding the flock crimped oats, milo, organic sunflower seeds, laying mash, garlic powder, ground minerals and they free range in a good sized fenced pasture daily. Snape and Mad Eye also get fresh worms from the compost bin every evening. They all appear to be happy and healthy. We added a fan mid summer and are still using it occasionally in late September.
e chose to raise Salmon Faverolle chickens this time around, a breed named for a village in France. They are now on the critical list with the Amercian Livestock Breeds Conservancy which played a large part in our decision to host them here at the farm. In addition, they are fine winter layers, friendly to humans and are beautiful birds to look at.
he breed is thought to have been the result of the crossing of Cochin birds with Houdans and Dorkings. It has also been suggested that Brahmas and Malines were thrown into the mix as well. Our birds are beautiful examples of the breed.
e bought them as day old chicks in June of 2008.
ur showy rooster Fawkes was purchased later at a month old. The first time he tried to crow at about 3 1/2 months old, he just about scared the girls to death.
...and his harem...
...circa February 2009
o sum it up, the eggs are light years ahead in quality versus the store bought cage raised variety. We also enjoy just having them around and hope to raise some chicks come warm weather, as the Salmon hens can make good broodies. Other than that, check back with us as we hope to add a breed or two as space and time permits.
Linda and Neil