Category Archives: Black Copper Marans

First Fall Hatch Update

Lexi & Cammie

Ain’t that a great shot? Hasn’t got a darn thing to do with my first hatch of the season but it makes me smile!

Three weeks ago I set my first batch of hatching eggs for the fall in my incubator. Three got tossed at 9 days due to candling clear, leaving nine to go into my hatcher this past friday. These 4 cute little fluffy butts hatched out today. The other 5 eggs are still in the hatcher and haven’t pipped yet, if they don’t by tomorrow night they are probably duds.

Can you help me figure out who my momma is?

How about me?

I’m so cute my momma’s gotta be a Golden Cuckoo Marans!

What do you think? Pure BCM?

My hatch consisted of two green eggs from my Easter Eggers, one from my Black Copper Marans hen, and the last from a Golden Cuckoo Marans egg. Of course I have absolutely no idea which chick came from which egg so if you have an opinion please feel free to help figuring out who’s who.



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A Goodun

Looking back yesterday was a goodun. I don’t particularly like fictitious holidays, it’s one of the things that my sweety Karen and I see eye to eye on. I remember wondering what was expected of me our first valentines day together, Karen removed all doubt by letting it be known that she would kick my butt if she got roses or candy on February 14th. Her position was “You shouldn’t need a special day to prove you Love me”, that reaffirmed what I already knew….This is the girl for me!

We have always done things for each other because we wanted to, not because the calendar said it was time to. Karen always understood that to me Mothers Day and Fathers Day were literal, and I wanted my sons to understand that to. While always being willing to help them do what they wanted for their Mommy, it was them doing it. This philosophy has helped our sons to appreciate the little things instead of being a slave to societies pressure towards more.

Karen loves 6 cheese bagels from Einstein Bagels so I got up early and went and got a dozen, while I say this was for her it was really a little self serving. By getting Bagels I made Karen happy, avoiding going out to breakfast like we usually do on Sundays and was able to get an early start up at the Orchard. My goal at the Orchard was to put in a another 4’x4′ raised bed, modify the greywater drip system, work on my feeding setup, move the 2&3 month old chickens out of the Juvenile pen and move the newest chicks into the Juvenile Pen.

This is my latest modification to my high tech foraging/stimulation table ( really its just 4 old logs with half a sheet of old warped plywood on top). I drilled a 1″ hole in the middle of the plywood then screwed my self feeder bucket down over the hole so that the trigger thingy hung down underneath. I have to admit that I ordered my fancy self feeding trigger off of E-bay for 4 or 5 bucks then paid $7.50 to have it shipped from England. Since then I have read that a teaspoon works just as well. The bucket is kept full of 19% all-purpose pellets. While my fancy Treadle Feeder is kept full of Lay Pellets. Each feeder holds about half a sack of pellets and usually the Treadle Feeder needs to be refilled every 3 weeks and it appears the bucket will need it about every 2 weeks.

The Pullets (I hope) that I booted out of the Juvenile Pen mixed right in with the big girls, in the foreground above you can see my GCM that I hatched out earlier this year. They really go nuts for the rice mixed with fermented scratch that I give them. My newest batch of mutts moved right into the Juvenile pen and booted the quail outta their little hidey-hole. BCM genes must be really strong cause all of these little fluffy butts look just like every BCM I have hatched out but not a one of their mamas is any kind of Marans. Their Daddy is but their mommas are outta that gaggle in the picture above.

Now that I have spent so much time talking about my Chickens I realize I didn’t take any pictures of the other projects from yesterday, I did accomplish all I set out to do and will blog about it when I have pics. Having the guilt free 5 hours to spend puttering with things that I wanted to get done was wonderful, the sunburn on my back from 5 hours spent shirtless in the 113 degree sun not so wonderful! And sorry I don’t have any pics of me shirtless, I’m self conscious since the Dance Network incident.

Obviously my day up to that point had been pretty nice, but towards the end of my time up at The Fruity Chicken my son Thomas came home and we had one of those conversations that make me proud of the boys I’ve raised. It wasn’t the subject in particular but more the fact that he brought up a topic that his older brother Michael and I had been discussing earlier in the week. He had some thought provoking takes on my thoughts and we had a pleasant 30 minute dialogue. The key factor being that not only do my sons listen to what I have say they care enough to think about it and have strong enough character to tell me if they disagree with my point of view. What more can a man ask for out of his sons? This scenario repeated itself later that evening when Michael called to wish me a happy Father’s Day and discuss Thomas and I’s earlier conversation. Truly I am blessed, my three sons Brian, Michael, and Thomas are all three intelligent, hard working, thoughtful young men that even though they may not recognize it are developing strong characters with a social conscience I don’t believe I had at that age.

So Fathers Day 2012; while being just another mass marketing, consumer driven, fictitious holiday was actually a day full of gooduns. Three boys to make a man proud, butt load a tasks done well, an honestly earned sunburn, a drool covered pillow kinda nap, all topped off with a eat enough crab & hushpuppies to make you sick kinda dinner with the woman you love? Yup them are all Gooduns!

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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 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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Plum Crazy over Chickens

My first babies of the year, above is what they looked like this past Saturday when I got home from setting up my Graywater supply system. Then an hour later when I came back to check on them. It is amazing how fast some chicks hatch, last year I had several that took 7 to 10 hours. Those really tried my patience and I must admit to helping the process along several times. 
1 hour later
Mille Fleur
Golden Cuckoo Marans
I kind of went crazy again. My wife Karen has a business, Got Birds? , here in Las Vegas that caters to exotic bird owners supply needs here in the valley. She came home last week from a seed delivery and asked me what a Mille Fleur de’Uccle chicken was, I had seen the name on backyard chickens and when I pulled up a picture Karen started oohing and awing. She then explained that this customer of hers has been looking for a pair for quite a while, in my mind that was a green light to order a dozen hatching eggs from this really nice lady on backyard chickens . While searching for those I ran across a deal to good to pass up on a dozen Marans, 6 Black Copper and 6 Golden Cuckoo.

My eggs came in the mail on wednesday and I suddenly realized that my whacko step mother-in-law had repossessed my big incubator and all I had was my little one. It only holds 3 eggs and I had just put a load of Barnyard Bastards in it on Sunday!

We had a brinsea octagon20 advance ordered but it wasn’t scheduled to arrive until next week! Luckily Karen’s friend Nicole loaned us hers. On the left you can see the tray loaded. The darker large eggs are Marans and the smaller light colored eggs are the Mille Fleur. Now the waiting begins, March 18th I will put them in lockdown and hopefully will be posting fluffy butt pics on the 20th!

This is my babies today, the light colored one has gone spraddle legged. That’s why she ain’t standing up, When I talked about culling I thought Karen was going to cull me. So I did some research and found this site:   Spraddle Leg Therapy

 This is Gichael with his brace on

This is what the girls left for Us this morning!!!!


Slow Day

I had big plans for a full day working in my Orchard/Chicken Run but some kind of cold bug had a different idea. The third apple going in did arrive and I picked it up this morning, it is a Pink Lady. This variety is rated very high out at the UNCE orchard, one of the Master Gardners was able to get 9 shipped in when the orchard didn’t receive any this year. When I got there this morning and mentioned I was picking up a Pink Lady everyone got kind of furtive looks and said “oh we couldn’t get any this year” but when they showed up it was all hush hush like I was picking up contraband! Kinda neat bein in on the “secret” shipment! Again those volunteers out there are the GREATEST and obviously love what they’re doing!

Now for some picks of my Chooks! This is my crazy teenage crowd of pullets takin a dust bath. And a single shot of one of the Easter Eggers I got as 3 week olds last fall.

These girls below all came out of my hens, I’m not sure who each ones momma is, but other than the red one its obvious that their daddy was the big mean white and black rooster I got rid of. 
These 6 Handsome Devils, grrrrr, below are my marans. I was hoping for pullets (young hens) but so far everyone thinks they’re cockerels (young roosters) hence the grrrrrrr!

I plan on getting rid of my other roosters and keeping a couple of my Marans Roosters. That way if I do happen to get lucky and some of these are hens I will get purebred Marans. In addition I should get olive eggers out of my easter egger hens.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a productive day!?!

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