Diary

Who's who in our hen flockRSS feed

Posted: Thursday 31 July, 2008

by Rosemary at 10:27am in Poultry 1 comment Add your own

Until yesterday, we had three RIR in our laying flock. Last night, we had to despatch Mrs Pink. She had been failing for a few days - I don't think she was in any distress, just fading away so we decided that it was time to call it a day. I was conscious of the fact that the RIR were quite old hens, but I wasn't sure how old. This set me thinking about the other hens too, and I realised that my records were quite inadequate and that I had no real record of who was who.

Last night, I set about trying to work this out, using and Excel spreadsheet and back entries of the TAS diary. Wow, doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself!

The RIR were hatched around September 2003, so they are almost five years old. Our Light Sussex were hatched in November 2005 (bought in ) and April 2007 (homebred) and the main Black Rocks in November 2007. Our Copper Black Marans hatched in April this year and our single Cream Legbar in May along with our six young Black Rocks. Our single Cuckoo Maran hatched in July. I now have all this documented (yes, I know I have too much time, but the rain WAS heavy) and have a sheet similar to the Sheep Flock Record so I can record ins and outs, so to speak. I'm off to check our stock of leg rings so that I can mark up the various batches.

These poor hatches are a bit of a pain, because they tie up accommodation and equipment for small numbers. If we'd been smarter, we would have stuck some day-old Black Rocks in with the Cuckoo Maran and the broody hen, and used her more effectively. However, you live and learn.

I've set 12 Cream Legbar eggs today; 10 in the incubator and two under the RIRxLS who also seems to be broody. If she sits, she can raise all chicks that hatch but I don't really trust her to sit - she's not as tight as the Black Rock was. I am following the incubator instructions to the letter (I have been a little cavalier with the last two batches, which is probably why, at least in part, the hatch rates have been poor - familiarity breeding contempt, and all that). Naturally, I will post progress regularly.

Comments

J

Thursday 31 July, 2008 at 9:35pm

We've been lurking for maybe a month, off and on and find your site answers some questions for me. I'm very curious about raising worms and composting. We also have been reading about your chickens. Very enjoyable.

We've been in the process of going back and living the way we both were raised. We live on a bit over an acre of land. My husband works on small engines such as riding lawnmowers, chainsaws, etc. and has lately moved his shop to our property. Our land has very poor dirt so we are building up composted raised beds. We also are going to raise chicks for eggs and meat. We'll be building a coop for the chicks but it has to be like Fort Knox because we also have raccoon friends that eat with our semi-feral cats. ??*grin* are we being too optimistic about our chicken inustry??

Well, we just wanted to let you know we appreciate all your info.

Greetings from Garrard County, Kentucky, USA

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