Our laying flock must see us as egg thieves: each day – multiple times a day if it’s especially cold out – we collect their freshly-laid eggs. If a hen is sitting, we reach under her fluffy feathers and feel around for eggs – a treasure hunt, of sorts. Most of the girls in nest boxes enter a trance-like state, which I like to call “the zone”, and they don’t even seem to realize that an egg thief is there to take their eggs – they don’t move, protest, or do anything but remain blissfully docile. Most.Continue reading “Haiku: Watching And Waiting”
As is expected at this time of year, egglaying has slowed in our flock. I don’t begrudge the girls their break from this resource-intensive task, and I don’t artificially light their areas to encourage them to resume laying. All things in their time. The eggs we do collect, though, are still lovely and delicious, and they make a tasty one bowl meal!Continue reading “Farm Fresh: Eggs In Oyster Sauce Rice Bowl”
The calendar may say that there’s still another week and a half until spring arrives, but the poultry say otherwise: the first goose eggs of the season were in the coop this morning. Along with those enormous beauties, the ducks left five of theirs, and I also collected two early-morning chicken eggs. Hooray for spring’s bounty!Continue reading “Farm Fowl: Laying Like It’s Spring!”
After a painful period of absence, eggs are back on the menu – and in the incubator. It’s a pleasure to collect eggs in a range of colors, and gratifying that the fowl are, once again, “earning their keep”!Continue reading “Farm Fowl: Welcome Winter Eggs”
Many people think that spring is the prime time to get their hatching eggs and/or chicks, ducklings, goslings, keets, and poults – after all, the farm stores are overflowing with babies then – but hatching and raising poultry in fall (and even winter) can put a small farmer in a great position when spring arrives!Continue reading “Farm Fowl: Why Hatching Now Makes Sense”
It’s hatching day for Silverudd’s Blue and Olive Egger eggs! At last check, the first external pip was on an SB egg (it pipped the wrong end, which isn’t necessarily a problem), and an Olive Egger had also made a nice, large crack in its shell. Over the next couple of days, there should be fluffballs running around the incubator and, when they’re ready, the brooder. If you like cute chick pics, stay tuned!
Another hatch has concluded, and there is a very gunky hatcher waiting to be cleaned and disinfected…but before I jump into the less glamorous part of incubating eggs, let’s review how this hatch went.
As summer winds down (not that you can tell from this stretch of oppressively hot weather), young animals are growing, others are just being their playful porcine selves, and we’re picking juicy melons from the pig-planted patch.
Occasionally, when we find ourselves near the nest, we try to peek in and see if everything is ok. I was near the fenced-in nest area yesterday when I saw what looked like a dead baby bird in the nest. Just one. What had happened??
Despite our fears that the tiny nest we’d discovered earlier, hidden in tall grass, was abandoned, this morning we found babies!
Mama (and Papa, it seems) have been attending to their new littles, sounding the alarm and trying to lure us away if we get too close. We did have to get close for a few minutes to securely enclose the tiny nest in wire fencing to deter cats and other predators. Interestingly, the chicks were completely silent, just opening their beaks wide when they sensed our presence (their eyes are still closed).
Working quickly, we affixed fencing on top of the fencing that already encircled it. The holes are large enough for Mama to easily fit through, but small enough to keep out larger animals, including curious paws. Once complete, we waited – at a distance – for Mama to return. And she did.
We’ll be rooting for the littles and looking forward to the day when they fly from their nest!