My current flock consists of Kallie and Hattie, two Barred Rock Hens, and Sissie, a Rhode Island Red.
|Kallie and Hattie|
|Kallie - the Good Mum!|
|Sissy - Excellent Layer!|
They're about 2 years old now, and lately, I've thought I'd like to have one or two more hens. So instead of buying hens, when Kallie went broody, I decided to see how she'd do rearing a nest of chicks.
I paid the same amount of cash for a dozen fertile eggs. A lady behind me has a permit to have all sorts of poultry, and she was selling eggs for chicken breeds that bring in quite a bit of cash.
I bought 6 Copper Marans, 4 Americauna, 2 Olive Egger, and 2 Mille Fleur/Leghorn cross eggs and stuck them under Kallie and she has successfully hatched the clutch!
Two weeks after putting the eggs in the nest, I moved Kallie just to see how things were coming along and noticed that one of the Olive Egger eggs had vanished! I moved all the eggs, checked all around the nest and it had just vanished into thin air! I never have discovered what became of it. I suspect a rat carried it off, and am hoping the rats (of which we have two in residence) won't get my new chicks!
The first excitement happened night before last, 2 days before the eggs were due to hatch. I heard peeping, and when I checked the nest, found one Americauna egg pipping and one Copper Marans with a dime-sized hole. Next morning, the Copper Marans was dead, having gotten stuck in the shell. The weather has been so hot, there just wasn't enough moisture in the air and the membrane inside the egg stuck to the poor little guy. The other chick, however, hatched just fine and since then, chicks have been hatching!
This morning I counted SIX new babies, with 4 eggs left to hatch! I'm hoping for hens, of course. Roosters will go into the freezer (sorry, vegetarians!) and extra hens will be sold to pay for the venture.
Here are some photos of my new little chooks:
And here is what the eggs looked like.
This is not a photo of my actual eggs,
but this is what mine looked like:
The white egg is a Mille Fleur/Leghorn Mix - they lay 300 eggs/year!
The blue eggs are from Americauna hens.
The two lighter brown eggs are actually not mine - mine are an olive green and are from the Olive Egger hens which are a cross between Americauna and Copper Marans.
The Olive Eggers lay eggs like this:
I'm very excited to see how many hens I end up with and this has been so much fun watching these little chooks hatch!
And I'm not the only chicken crazy person in the family. My little granddaughter Hayden LOVED her chickens. This is her, with her hen Buttercup, who followed her around like a puppy! The family recently had to sell their hens, because they were thinking about moving. So Hayden's very excited about the new chooks!