Tag Archives: Black Copper Marans

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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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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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.

 

SMYJWAXEMU4N

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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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Sweaty Guerrilla

It is back to yuck again today! The monsoon is on its way, humidity over 30% and 116′ at 9:30 am. Yeah I know the weather channel says it’s only 90′ in Vegas, Hooey on that! That’s my shirt after half an hour and my shorts were soaked through (how’s that for a visual?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The girls are really diggin the fermented feed, especially on those days that I have cooked rice mixed into it. My basic mix is 50% high protein, no corn, whole grain pigeon feed and 50% scratch. When I have it I combine my basic mix 50/50 with cooked rice. After being allowed to ferment overnight the resulting “mash” is fluffed up and not quite as sour smelling as the basic mix is. The sour smell I am talking about is not a bad thing, more like a very strong sourdough starter. Which makes sense because that is basically the goal of fermenting livestock feed, a cooperative effort between yeast and bacteria to partially digest the raw feed and create compounds more digestible to the animals. With or without the rice my chickens absolutely love fermented feed though, as to the claims of firmer less smelly poo? I never really had a problem with that.

Look at all those purdy birds goin after my homemade slop! The one right in the middle along with the 2 on either side are 3 of my 5 Golden Cuckoo Marans, in fact the little white one in the center is a GCM also. Why is she white? I don’t have a clue, but when I get a chance I’m going to ask Heather over on her excellent blog Scratch Cradle. Heather’s series on Chicken Genetics has been not only highly informative but easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Her post on Fermented Feed helped me better understand what I was really doing in those smelly buckets. I don’t think she will be able to explain though why out of 10 Black Copper Marans I have successfully hatched out I only have 1 hen! Anybody around Vegas looking for a nice BCM roo? I can hook you up! Maybe I’ll get lucky and all 5 of my GCM’s will be pullets, yeah I know, wishful thinking.

About a month ago I took some culm cuttings from a clump of Oldham Bamboo and tried to propagate them. My goal is to get enough plants to create a screen for my chicken/orchard area that will not only block the view from the street but also provide afternoon shade. Of the dozen cuttings I potted up only 1 put out shoots ( those two teeny little green wisps coming out of the node) Today I prepared another dozen or so cuttings. After cutting them to the proper size, 2″-3″ above the node and 4″-5″ below the node, they were soaked for 15 minutes in a 5 gallon bucket full of water with B1 and rooting hormone mixed in. Finally they were put in pots with fresh potting soil buried to the point where the node was halfway covered. Hopefully I will get a few more viable plants from this batch.

That covers the Sweaty part of my morning now lets talk about Guerrillas! My greywater system has been working fairly well, though there have been a few problems. The main problem has been one of balance, while I don’t believe this would be an issue for established trees I do believe it cost me several newly planted trees do to saturated soil. My orchard plot has a slight fall from N-S consequently the southern end of the orchard stays wetter. Additionally I have a bit of a valley right down the middle, guess where I lost trees? Yup those in the valley and on the SW corner which is also a low spot. There are a combination of factors that caused this and I believe I have some solutions. But for today I wanted to show my short term fixes.

In the top of this picture is the main 3/4″ distribution pipe for my greywater system, you can just make out where I tapped into it with standard 5/8″ poly line.

This line travels down the center of my orchard and branches out into the sunken beds I have blogged about previously. Traditional flag drippers are used in these beds and now the greyawater is routed to here 5 days a week and only into the orchard mulch beds twice a week. The results have been dramatic.

The Squash, Comfrey, Melons, and Pumpkins in these beds have gone crazy, and the mulch beds in the Orchard have gone from soggy and a bit slimy underneath to pleasantly moist. The earthworms are still working their butts off and the remaining trees are looking very healthy. This revisiting and discussion of grey water was inspired by another Greywater Guerrilla over at Grasshopper Sense. Blog Posts tagged about greywater, grey water, or gray water are few and far between  and it’s encouraging to see someone else starting down the same path you find yourself on.

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