Tag Archives: Marans

Summertime and the livin’s easy?

It was a long hot summer here in Vegas. Back in June I took an excursion to Reno to meet my Granddaughter

Avery

Avery

and come back to find a fried Pluot Tree and my favorite Golden Cockoo Marans rooster keeled over. Friday morning everything was dandy, when I got back Sunday POOF! It got to 117 degrees that Saturday and just knocked the bejeezus straight outta that tree and roo.

Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble?

Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble?

The ferment buckets really got going strong by August. 24 hours and there would be a good strong ferment going on, by September the amount of hooch being produced was remarkable. Ferment2

It got to where every Saturday I would empty all of the hooch out of one of the two ferment buckets and they both still stayed nice and sour. All of that Lacto-Baccilus inoculated highly acidic fluid went straight into my greywater collection tank to be distributed throughout the orchard. One bucketful did go into the latest compost pile and boy did it heat up fast!  Glop

 

Ferment4

This lovely looking Glop had collected in the bottom of the buckets, it is very viscous sorta like a sourdough sponge, Mother? I win sure. The chickens gobbled it up though.

 

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Olive Eggs!

My Very First Olive Egg!

My Very First Olive Egg!

Eggs5

The same egg but no flash.

I had read on BYC about Olive Eggers, chickens that lay olive colored eggs. The idea is simple, cross a dark brown egg layer with a green egg layer and Voila! Olive Eggs! I had hatched out pullets from green eggs that had Black Copper Marans roosters for daddy’s. I was a bit underwhelmed by what I thought was the results, some kinda dusky/dirty looking green eggs that didn’t even merit a picture. Today showed me what all the fuss is about. The BCM and GCM dark brown/red eggs are impressive but this true olive egg takes the cake.

None of these are white

None of these are white

Todays Haul with no flash

Todays Haul with no flash

 

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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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Chickenshit

Quite possibly I have mentioned before about my trials and tribulations of incubating hatching eggs and feeding my chickens, but I can’t find anything in the BB & COC (Bloggers By-Laws & Code of Conduct) that restricts duplicative content or just plain rambling. So be forewarned both may be inadvertently or purposely included in this post.

It is entirely Karen’s, aka my Sweety’s, fault that I am borderline OC about incubating eggs, Last summer she brought home an LG circulated air Styrofoam incubator with automatic turner and gave it to me. When I asked her what this is for, she told me that she thought maybe Alexa, our 6 year old granddaughter, and I could have fun hatching some chicken eggs. Alexa and I did have fun and had several successful hatches last Summer and Fall.

Then late last year my psycho Step-Mother in Law, Mary (anyone that lets Xanax dissolve under their tongue then washes it down with Miller Lite is the definition of psycho) decided that I was stalking her with a high powered rifle and was planning on shooting her and her whole family. To retaliate for this unacceptable behavior on my part she repossessed that lovely little LG incubator. In her mind I’m sure this move worked perfectly and put me in my place, after all it’s been over 6 months and I still haven’t shot her or anyone else with a high powered rifle.

As a side effect of the Xanax/LG/High-Powered Rifle drama of late 2011 Karen, the above mentioned Sweety, finally decided to stop letting others profit from her talents and opened her own business. One of her early customers asked if she knew where to get any Mille-Fluer chickens. Instantly I jumped on the opportunity to satisfy that Obsessive-Compulsive yearning that had been lingering int the back of my brain all winter. I found a Great Lady on BYC that raises Mille Fleur d’Uccle chickens and ordered a dozen hatching eggs. Once those and a dozen Marans, 6 Black Copper Marans & 6 Golden Cuckoo Marans hatching eggs from  The Fancy Chick were on their way (you can’t have a half full incubator) I “remembered” that I didn’t have a big incubator anymore! Karen helpfully pointed out that she didn’t think there was any way my little Brinsea would cut it for the 2 dozen expensive hatching eggs we had on the way and insisted on buying me a new incubator. In my head I was thinking, I love it when a plan comes together!, when Karen went one step further. While I was looking at inexpensive LG’s all the while kinda sorta hinting that maybe a HovaBator Genesis wasn’t all that much more, Karen insisted that her friend had told her that those Yellow Brinsea ones were the best and thats what we needed. On top of that when she went to the Brinsea website she decided that the digital would be much easier to use and ordered me a Brinsea Octagon 20 Advance.

As I have discussed here before I work very hard at trying to avoid buying commercial feed for my Chickens. Why? Well we all know that chickens are meant to be foragers and consume an omnivorous diet. Given those facts a varied and diverse diet must be better not only for their health but also for their quality of life. Eating the some old stuff out of the same old feeders just cannot be very intellectually stimulating for a chicken. In addition to my high tech foraging table, I engage in what I like to call Feed Ur Chickens Krap U Pickup or Fuck Up for short. Karen thinks I Fuck Up daily but in reality I usually only Fuck Up once a week or so. My sons do their best to Fuck Up at work whenever possible usually about 4 or 5 times a week. All of these Fuck Ups (Feed Ur Chickens Krap U Pick Up Sessions) result in quite a lot of free feed for my girls. A side effect of my chickens diet though has been loose runny stools.

In an attempt to firm their poop up a bit I am trying another technique I read about on BYC, Fermenting Feed. This technique is discussed at length on BYC’s Meat Birds Forum, basically it involves soaking whatever grain based feed your using in water that has been inoculated with yeast and or some type of acidifying bacterial culture. Most people are using a dual bucket setup with the inner bucket drilled all over to create a colander/strainer device, and inoculating with a glug or two of unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar such as Bragg ACV. This type of ACV contains “Mother” which are active bacterial cultures, these cultures ferment the feed which when eaten by the chicken help acidify the gut and boost the pro-biotic cultures in the digestive system. Or so the theory goes, all I know for sure is my girls love it. Supposedly it also boosts the protein content of the inexpensive Scratch I am fermenting and should allow me to cut back even more on the expensive lay pellets I use to supplement my Fuck Up system.

Have I mentioned that it is stinking hot here in Vegas and I am going through Orchard/Chicken withdrawal due to this unreasonable heat? No? Well I fully intend to get up early tomorrow and spend the morning modifying my greywater system, hopefully that will generate some fodder for discussion here.

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April’s Fluffy Butts

Karen bought me a Brinsea Octagon 20 advance incubator a couple of months ago and I have been trying to figure it out. I had a Little Giant Styro that I was getting 80% hatch rates. This is my second hatch with the Brinsea and I am just under 50%, 7 hatched out of 15 set. My first hatch was even worse! somewhere around 30%. I was getting a bit bummed and frustrated till it dawned on me this past weekend that last year I was hatching mostly Barnyard Bastards from my own flock and this year it had been all shipped eggs. The few that I had set from my own flock in R-Com mini 3 egg incubator had been batting 1000! I had been comparing apples to oranges.

These babies hatched out April 18th & 19th from Hatching Eggs I ordered from The Fancy Chick

Orphingtons: Lavender, BBS, and Lavender

At one week

At two and a half weeks

Three Cuckoo Marans

At one week

At two and a half weeks

This final one is also a Golden Cuckoo Marans

1 week…………….two and a half weeks

Unfortunately I had sold all my roos to the local Santa Ria priest so I don’t currently have any fertile eggs. My Black Copper Marans Rooster started crowing last week though so maybe I’ll get some soon! Then I can test my new bator with fresh non-shipped eggs.

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