Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Beginnings



This is one of our ladies when I went to check for eggs earlier this spring.

Welcome to our little "farm".  I use the term "farm" rather loosely at this point as we really are just beginning our adventure and hope to grow in the coming years.

Our journey officially started in March of 2011 when we decided we wanted a couple of chickens.  We came home from Coastal with 8 Rhode Island Red pullets (positive that we would be lucky if  4-5 would make it to laying stage - we had heard awful stories about chicks dying in the first few weeks and since this was new to us we were prepared for it).  A year plus later and our 8 ladies are laying a steady 5 to 7 brown eggs a day and we have decided that we need to start selling some eggs (as they are producing more than we can consume in a week - usually around 4 dozen).

In March of this year we also decided to add to our little flock (actually we started a second flock with a larger coop) and raised 23 straight-run day-old chicks.  We have 5 Cuckoo Marans, 9 Auracanas (however, I think they are really more "Easter Eggers" since I don't think they will meet requirements), and 9 French Black Cooper Marans.  We are now waiting to see the sex of the chicks.  We think at this point that we have 5 French Black Cooper Marans Roosters.

One of the French Black Copper Marans at 2 days old.

We chose the Marans because they are known for their "chocolate" brown eggs.  Much darker than your regular brown egg layers.  We are waiting patiently for August to roll around so that we can see just how dark they will be (pictures to follow soon after).  My husbands goal is to eventually (possibly as early as Spring 2013) breed French Black Cooper Marans.


An "Easter Egger" at 2 days old.
Our "Easter Eggers" will also hopefully be laying come mid August and that should be a surprise as to what color of eggs they actually lay.  With ranges from blue to green and sometimes even pink, I am hoping that we end up with some wonderful colors.  We have also read that when these hens are breed to Marans that the pullets born will possibly lay army green or even purple eggs ... I wonder if this is something we will end up trying in the future?

This month has brought more changes here to provide our chickens with an even better experience ... we have installed a new watering system (a 55 gallon water barrel with piped-in water and nipples for cleaner water) and also hanging feeders (to keep it up off the ground and less likely to get debris in it).

So this is our story so far ... hopefully I will be updating it frequently with new pictures of our little flock and additional changes here on our little farm (hopefully a greenhouse and garden soon!!!)  If you are interested in eggs please let us know (we are looking at $3.00 a dozen) or if you have an interest in chicks next spring we will be putting together a list of people interested in French Black Cooper Marans, Cuckoo Marans, Easter Eggers, or French Black Cooper Marans/Easter Egger Crosses.

2012 Chicks

2012 Chicks at about 5 weeks old in their new coop