Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Chickens

Last year we started with 25 Silver Laced Wyandottes as our egg-laying stock.  This year I hatched about 20 green egg layers from our older girls, and a few Wyandottes. I would have hatched more Wyandottes, but our rooster met his sad end defending the hens from a predator.  Luckily (I guess) two of the four Wyandotte eggs two are roosters. Hopefully we'll get another good Silver-laced boy so I can hatch some more good hens. These girls are good, steady layers throughout the year, and they are pretty, too.

We also like the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, so I recently bought a few chicks from a neighbor. I also got several Black Copper Marans. They are the very dark brown egg laying chickens.  There is not difference in nutrition or taste, but they look so cool!

Maran chicks look a little bit like penguins. Fully Grown they look like normal chickens.
I also got a few Mottled Javas. I couldn't resist. 

The Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are very rare, and I was lucky to get a couple.

Our hens are laying well, even in this intense summer heat.  My hope is to add 25 new laying hens every year so we can keep up with production.  Then, rather than bringing in special "broiler chickens" to raise (that is what you get from the supermarket when you buy a chicken), we will specialize in older hens for stewing and slow cooking and capons (roosters whose testicles are removed at a young age so they grow fat and tasty with a normal life).  I just can not buy into the industrial model of meat raising, even on a small level.  It is too stressful for the birds and for us.  We are determined to do this our way, even if it means we won't make a living at it. Well, at least I enjoy my job...most of the time.

See you on the farm!

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