Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Day 19 - Chicks are on their way!

These videos were taken last night on Day 18. All in preparation of the birth/hatching of the chicks!

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Day 17 - Countdown to Baby Chicks

Thanks to the folks who originally took this photo. I copied it after seeing it on someone else's site.

We are getting very excited around here! The babies are due to start hatching on Thursday, day 21. On Monday or Tuesday we will have to move the eggs off of the egg turning device in the incubator. This is to prevent the little chicks legs from getting caught! I had to look up a picture on the internet to let me know what the Silver Hamburg chicks look like. I am especially excited about these chicks because their breed is on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list in the "watch" category.

Farmer Jeff spent part of the day building the first of two brood boxes. He is amazing! The both of us keep forgetting just how many babies we are going to have once the hatch takes place...I need to buy special medicated chick feed for them! I also mentioned that I would need to get a bigger chick feeder for them because I don't think our little regular feeders would handle it all. We shall see!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 2 - Countdown to Baby Chicks

Here is a picture of the incubator all loaded up with eggs. There are 30 Ameraucana eggs (I can tell because the eggs are green), 6 Silver Spangled Hamburgs (that I always call Star Spangled) and then 5 assorted "mystery" eggs. I want more Ameraucanas because that is what catches folks eyes when buying eggs. I bought a breeding trio of the Hamburgs because they are on the list of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and the breed is actually at risk of becoming endangered.

Because I have very active Roosters, if you catch my drift, I am confident the eggs are all fertile. I will "candle" the eggs on day 7 to see if there are little embryos forming. If not, I toss the egg. *At this point I could replace the eggs with another set of eggs, but I don't think I will this time around.

When I awoke this morning the temperature in the incubator was up to 105 degrees, which is 5 degrees too hot. I have played with the little, somewhat inaccurate, temperature gauge to lower it but will need to check again in an hour.

Stay tuned!

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Friday, January 02, 2009

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

Bully, the bantam Brahma hen, and Eric, the bantam Sebright rooster.

Birds of a feather flock together, but when you get chicken owners talking, oh, brother...hang on. We chicken folks are like...I was going to say Knitters, but really we are enthusiasts bordering on the fanatic. Having chickens in your care just ads to the quality of life. I LOVE it!!!

One of my many bird friends told me about the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Their mission statement: Ensuring the future of agriculture through genetic conservation and the promotion of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry.

You can't beat that! With that in mind, I have gone through the list and cross checked it against my other chicken breed guide from Ithaca University, ICYouSee Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart. Hey, I didn't name it. I look at this handy guide frequently when I have questions about breed characteristics.

The reason for coming up with a list of chicken breeds that are both hearty AND on the conservancy list? A field trip to the Pacific Poultry Breeders Association's Show in Stockton on January 24th! Farmer Jeff just let out a nervous chuckle when I showed him my list. Only yesterday he told me that he thought we were at capacity for chickens. Is there such a thing?

I have heard many times from the Eastside Farm Chronicle readers: MORE talk about Chickens!!! One of my New Year resolutions is to blog more about...chickens!

Happy New Year!!!

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