Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kits, brooding hens, and planning for an overwhelmingly busy season.

I figured I'd open with a good shot of Dawn's Daughter's kits. Still searching for a name for her by the way so if you have any suggestions pass them on. As you can tell they are doing well. What I don't have is solid weight charts because this weekend was crazy busy, and I neglected to get weights. This morning was also a running way behind day so I don't have them from today either. I'll try to get back to that tomorrow, but no promises since there are some changes going on right now.
Before I move on to everything else though I figured I'd mention that Streak who bred with Remington Steel had her kits. She had 3 big kits, one of whom was born dead. A second of them died Sunday, probably pulled out on the wire still latched on which is unfortunate. With the other deaths in the shared nest with Splash, the nest as a whole is down to  7 between both. Twilight's nest on the other hand is going strong with 7 kits that are doing Just fine as we expect from Twilight. They're big, strong, and move too fast for me to get any decent photos of them to share today for which I am sorry. I'll try to have photos of Twilight's babies for Thursday, but again, no promises.

Other things that are going on, the continuing saga of the Americuana that's broody sitting on her eggs. Given that the other hens were still laying in the same nest box I moved the eggs that she's brooding over a box, and she happily moved over. Things seemed to be fine with the other hens laying their eggs in the original nest box, but this morning I found one of the Cinnamon Queens sitting in the brooding nest, and picked her egg out moving it to the normal of 3 nesting boxes. I'm not sure why our hens insist on all laying in the same box, but there it is. I'm assuming that's why I have an egg inside a broken egg shell in the brood of eggs. I'm not sure if I should wash off the egg and remove the broken shell that it's Matryoshka'd in. There's actually a fair number of things I'm not entirely sure of with this process. Most of the walkthroughs online are for incubated chicks, or pre hatched chicks, not under a hen chicks. Fortunately I've been able to touch base with a few folks who do know about broody hens and what to do, and it sounds like she's going to do most of the work. The only thing we need to do is provide chick starter and water. Right now I'm up in the air on whether I'm going to be separating her and the chicks when they're born, or whether I'll just leave them to learn as a group. Either way, I need to have a chicken coop ready to go in a little under 3 weeks.

Other things that are going on, this past weekend I went out and did more work pulling down a friend's farm. We're down to getting posts out of the ground, 100' of fencing to finish pulling down and roll, and the last part of the barn. I'm going to be trying to get help with that because I don't want to be doing any sort of deconstruction with an insufficient crew. Too few hands leads to a dangerous situation, and I'm just not up for doing things where I'm likely to get hurt for no reason. Honestly I don't want to get hurt even for a reason if it's avoidable. I don't have time for it! That said, I think we're one work day from being done with pulling everything down which is a good place to be.
Because of that when I've been home and had a few minutes I've been doing wandering around and thinking about where to put the fence and so on. I'm thinking that this area of woods is going to be good for what we want. It's got both wet and dry areas. Good terrain, shaded and un-shaded areas. It is also relatively close to the house, just beyond the drainage ditch. If I put things out there I'm going to have to make a little bridge over the drainage ditch and put out some sort of path to keep from getting feet soaked regularly in spring and fall. Essentially I'd put a barn and storage space up near the house, and the fence going down the hill (west), and up the ridge line (north). Of course I'm going to have to do some serious measuring to make sure we plan things properly because just improvising isn't always wise. Especially with the amount of material we have to use, 500+ feet of fence is a lot, and takes a lot of posts to get in properly.
Other things that are going on, the trail camera is back up, and we have some fun stuff on it. The best photo we got was this one Right of a tom that seems to have paraded back and forth in front of the camera. The deer photos didn't turn out very well so we'll get some of those in the future.
Spring has firmly arrived as evidenced by the flowers finally coming up much to the delight of the Lady of the House.
Lastly, while I have a lot going on, I'm getting started with serious exercise again which is why I'm hesitant to promise anything that takes up time. We'll see, I'll do my best to make sure that I keep up with everything, there's just a lot of everything in the spring.


  1. What about Morning Light or Golden Hour for Dawn's Daughter?

  2. Two name suggestions: Aurora (Dawn in latin) or Avatre (the dragon named dawn from Mercedes Lackey's Joust series).

    1. Hmmm, good ones to consider. I'll have to get Mish to help decide.