Tag Archives: Easter Egger

2013’s First Chicks

3 weeks ago I set 6 eggs in the incubator, they r second row up from the bottom in the picture below.

Two dozen eggs in the incubator.

Two dozen eggs in the incubator.

They started hatching last night and as of now I have 5 cute little fluffy-butts.

Newbs

Newbs

The 5 newest members of The Fruity Chicken flock

The 5 newest members of The Fruity Chicken flock

One egg still hasn’t pipped but I’ll give it a couple more days just to be sure. So far it appears that I have two Golden Cuckoo Marans (the light colored ones) one Black Copper Marans (on the left in the upper picture) one F1 Olive Egger (came out of the one green egg) and a mutt (BCM daddy and Red Sex Link momma).

These next 6 are due Friday

These next 6 are due Friday

Pictured above are the next batch of eggs that went in the hatcher tonite and should Friday. From left to right is a Golden Cuckoo Marans, then Two Easter Egger X BCM crosses (should yield F1 Olive Eggers). Bottom row is Olive Egger X BCM( should yield F2 Olive Egger) on either end with another EE x BCM in the middle.

That leaves the outer two rows in the incubator that go into the hatcher on Sunday. Maybe next week my sweety Karen will make a run to Utah to pick up those Cream Legbars and Basque hatching eggs she’s been promising me.

Check out the latest Critter to be caught in the act of egg thievery!

Check out the latest Critter to be caught in the act of egg thievery!

 

It's Lexi!

It’s Lexi!

 

 

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Rooster Reduction

My whining about lack of egg-production and repeated Ah Hah posts about finally figuring out the root cause of the issue has been a recurrent theme for about the last 6 months on my blog. This month I am blaming it on to damn many Roosters! ImageA large group of my hens had been hiding in the Hen House and looking pretty sad. So I decided they needed some fresh air and tossed em out into the run, boy oh boy did I find out quick why they were hiding! Chicken Orgy, them damn Roosters chased the poor girls down and lined up taking turns going for “piggy back rides” as my granddaughter Alexa called it.ImageIt was past time to cull some Roos, and no I still ain’t worked myself up to “completing the circle” and putting meat on the table. The intention was to pull out all of the Barnyard Mutts and take em to the feed store. ImageAs you can see there were a couple BCM x Production Red crosses and then BCM x Easter Eggers. I thought I had gotten down to 2 BCM, 1 White Cochin, and 1 GCM for a total of 4 roosters, the other 5 went to the feed store where I got a bag of lay pellets and a crisp $5 bill. A couple days later I realize there was some crowing goin on in the Hen House and discovered that the White Sport GCM wasn’t a hen after all.Image

Three days later and I’ve gotten 6 eggs a day 2 days in a row! Image

I’m not crowing yet though, we have been hit with a hard freeze that is supposed to continue for the next 3 days which will probably knock down my egg production again.Image

My two favorite hens, my sweety Karen and my cutie pie Alexa.Image

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100% !!!!

This is my second year of incubating eggs. Last year I was using a Little Giant Styrofoam incubator and had gotten to where I was getting about 80% hatch rate. Then events beyond my control (see Chickenshit) led to me getting a Brinsea Incubator and my hatch rates plummeting to less than 50%. In fact my first hatch of the Fall season was a dismal 33% hatch rate.

Eggs

I set these 12 eggs on September 25th

Eggs

These 4 Fluffy Butts were hatched on October 16th

Finally I think things may be coming together between the Brinsea and me.

Eggs

These 6 Eggs were set September 30th

Chicks

These are the first 4 along with 6 that hatched October 21st

Those 6 new Fluffy Butts made for my first 100% hatch rate in my new Incubator. Now all I got to do is figure out what to do with all these Chickens!

 

 

 

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The Fall Hatching Season has Arrived!!

My girls are finally starting to lay at a decent pace again. They are averaging a half dozen a day with some days getting as many as 11! This passed Tuesday, September 25th, I put my first batch of hatching eggs for the fall season in the incubator.

20120930-132249.jpg These eggs came from the juvenile/lockdown pen which is currently occupied by one big Black Copper Marans rooster; 2 Black Copper Marans, 2 Golden Cuckoo Marans, 1 White Cochin, 1 Buff Cochin, 1 Light Brahma, 1 Silver Lakenvelder, and 2 Easter Egger Hens. It’s hard to tell but the top row in the Brinsea tray are all EE eggs, the pic washes the color out a bit but they are definitely all green tinted. In the second row the middle two are definitely BCM eggs, I believe the far right is a GCM and the remaining three are anybody’s guess.

20120930-134450.jpg These six eggs were collected over the last 4 days and were added to the incubator today.

20120930-134656.jpg I’m pretty sure this batch has two BCM’s (3rd & 6th) and four GCM’s. I’m really looking forward to seeing the outcome of the GCM x BCM eggs. Heather on her blog, Scratchcradle, had a very interesting series on chicken genetics and in response to a question I asked on this post Heather speculated that I should get sex-linked chicks. The cockerels should come out with a white white spot on their heads!

20120930-141829.jpg If all goes according to plan I will be putting the first batch in to lockdown October 12th and should have babies by the 16th. Batch 2 will be locking down October 17th and should hatch the 21st. Those dates should work out just right to open up room in the incubator for a batch of Basque hatching eggs I’ve been promised will arrive in mid October!

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Caught the Bastard……I think

My egg production had dropped precipitously, 3 weeks ago I was collecting a dozen a day then it dropped to only 1 or 2 eggs a day seemingly overnight. For a while I just ignored it thinking that it was the heat. Last weekend it penetrated my thick skull that there were eggshell pieces in the litter inside the coop, I got an Egg Eater!! What to do? 

I rounded up the usual suspects, these three are always malingering in the hen house just looking guilty so Wham! They went into the juvenile pen. What happened? Three eggs in the little pet carrier the quail hide in inside the juvenile pen but only 1 egg in the henhouse and no telltale shells in the litter.

So I targeted the shifty looking ones next. Brian, one of my trusted minions, was sent on a midnight raid to round them up. This group consisted of the remaining three easter eggers. Did this rectify the problem? NO!! All it did was add some green eggs to the daily hoard in the quail box! What to do? Run a sting operation, Thats What!

Yesterday while planting my new fruiting Mulberry Trees, I note “fruiting” here because fruitless Mulberry Trees have been outlawed in Las Vegas, I placed 2 chicken eggs from the quail box into one of the nest boxes in the henhouse. There was also one egg in a nest in the corner of the henhouse that I left alone due to the fact that there was one very angry duck sitting on it. I kept my eye on the bait box, kinda like a bait car for chickens, while doing my chores in the orchard but other than a couple of nosy Nora’s nothing happened. I collected the eggs from the nest box and left the angry duck to her sitting.

This morning I went back up to water my Mulberry Tree’s and Comfrey plants that I set out yesterday. Additionally I had potted up a couple of trimmings from the Mulberry’s and some Oldham Bamboo culms that I am hoping will root that need a drink. When I checked the henhouse the angry duck was gone as was her egg! I looked but couldn’t find any shells around nor did any of the nest boxes contain any eggs. In the juvenile pen were three eggs in the quail box, so i reset the trap just like yesterday. I had a big black sex-link hen that was hovering around watching me, so I made an unsuccessful attempt to catch her but then promptly forgot her. After starting the hose I went up to the house to fill the surge tank and got sucked into fixing the dryer for my sons fiancé.

That took about a half hour and when I got back down to the orchard what do I see? A big black feathered butt stickin out of the baited nest box! Hurrying into the henhouse I grabbed the hen and sure enough it was the same black sex-link, and in the nest box was a freshly pecked open egg.

Now I have a confirmed egg-eater on lockdown in the juvenile pen. Only time will tell if this problem has spread to the other girls in my flock but for now I’m hopeful that the main culprit has been uncovered. If my egg production in the henhouse goes back up this week I plan on releasing the earlier suspects one at a time back into the general population. Those girls ain’t off the hook yet though, they’re gonna have to prove their innocence before a full reprieve from the Santa Ria priest is given! As to the fate of the one I caught red-handed, or should I say yellow-beaked, maybe my minion and I will try our hand at butchering our first chicken. One things for sure she is not going back into my chicken yard!

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Productive? What’s Your Price?

A nice surprise this morning prompted me to take a little look back at how productive things have been around The Fruity Chicken.

 


These 11 fluffy butts were hatched out over the course of the weekend. I had set 20 eggs 3 weeks ago as a test to see if my new BCM roo was doin his business. Eleven out of twenty ain’t bad for a youngster that just started crowing a month ago! These babies mamas could be Easter Eggers, Barred Rocks, Black Sex Link, Cochin, Rhode Island Red, or maybe even a mystery hen but those Black Copper Marans genes must be pretty strong seeing as how they all look alike no matter what color egg they came out of.

My Sweety, Karen, has been working on developing her Exotic Bird business.

She has a website at www.gotbirdslasvegas.com but don’t bother clicking on it yet. Karen, Cammie, and Oscar were basically comatose on the day they planned on building the site.  Karen is focusing on mobile services for owners of Exotic Birds in the Las Vegas valley. These services currently include; grooming, feed, handmade toys, and custom order cages. Now that I have inserted the obligatory plug I can go back to what this post is about, productivity.

Karen has a very strong creative side and wants to do more with her business than just be a mobile pet shop. Thats where productivity comes in, she had this idea for making birdhouses out of license plates and in preparation has been hoarding plates now for about 5 years. We went into full production last Sunday.

We have our system down now, I fabricate the wooden carcass; cut, bend, and attach the license plates; then drill the entry holes. Karen takes care of decorating stuff such as painting, installing perches and chimneys and all the other little fur-fru involved in making kitschy craft stuff.

All of this was very relaxing (at least for me) and has me almost looking forward to the Pomona Bird Mart later this month. But still I think I would rather spend that weekend puttering around my chickens and orchard in the 110 heat we have been having. And just in case any of you are join “awe isn’t Max sweet to help Karen out like that” forget it! She’s bribing me, she thinks she’s being subtle but I got it. One of her customers from southern Utah was supposed to drop off a couple dozen hatching eggs of Barnevelders, Spanish, and Basque chickens but they kept “forgetting”, now that her birdhouses are done she has time to make a “special” trip just to pick up my eggs. Isn’t she sweet?!

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