On this site I have documented what I have learned about chickens, ducks and eggs since I began this project in 2008. I started with a few hens intended to supply eggs for my husband and me with a few to give to friends. Since then I expanded to as many as 38 chickens selling eggs to folks who want eggs from happy, pasture raised chickens. I no longer sell and am back to enjoying keeping a few hens just for hubby and me.
I hope you enjoy your visit with us. Jan
The Poultry Project Blog - Now, 2018, Year 11
(entries below are in chronological order, bottom up)
November 22, 2018 - Thanksgiving Day
Found the body of our Barred Rock--hawk attack. We noticed several hawks flying around. Turns out the chicken killer was a red tailed hawk and two resident red shouldered hawks were trying to chase the killer away. This is the first adult chicken lost to a hawk. Before this, only the ducks have been their prey. I would have culled this 3 year old anyway in the spring. Life on the farm.
July 24, 2018 - Moving Day
Five remaining new kids (we lost one in infancy) moved into their outdoor space safe from the hens. Here they will live until they are ready to lay eggs. See pics in the Gallery on this date.
June 13, 2018 - Scrub Jay
Our egg eater persisted even with all my efforts of exclusion. Today I walked into the barn after letting the hens out early and surprised a Jay inside. Surprised me too, but I quickly closed the only exit trapping it in the barn.
After hitting the closed window and knocking itself unconscious, well, let's just say, that Jay will not be eating any more eggs.
May 26, 2018 - Farm News
Egg Eater update. I left the youngster door open for a few days this week as a test to see if the Jay had given up. Yesterday we had a broken egg. So the 14 week old chicks have to be locked outside again during the day to keep the Jay from coming in that door.
Another rooster? I'm pretty sure one of the 14-week youngsters is a boy. Light Brahmas are a big breed known for slow maturing. I can usually tell the boys by about 10 weeks. This one's comb is now coloring up and posture and size make me pretty sure it's a guy. Time will tell. The hens from this group should begin laying in another month to 6 weeks from now--their combs will turn red just before egg laying begins.
I decided to "break up" the broody duck--stop her nesting instinct. She has been sitting on her nest in the pasture for way too long, not eating or drinking and most notably, not swimming. Weather is turning hot here so I moved her and her bath tub to the chick pen today. She was very mad about that. We'll see how long it takes her to give up the hope of motherhood. I don't really care if we get duck eggs, but I like having her around and want her to stay healthy. Afterall, there is no way a rock is going to hatch into a duckling! I blame myself for letting her think so.
May 8, 2018 - Egg Eater Twarted
So far so good on keeping the Scrub Jay out of the henhouse during the day. To accomplish this, the adolescent girls are locked out of the coop. They don't seem to mind being outside all day. They have plenty of shade and grass to eat. They get to go back in around 4:30p when the big girls are finished laying.
April 30, 2018 - Another Egg Eater
Everyone suspects the chickens when they find broken eggs, but it rarely ever is. How could any being survive millions of years if they practice infanticide? Patience and a phone shooting video revealed the culprit, a scrub jay. See his/her picture in the Gallery. The same bird that eats my blueberries, pecks holes in the rest of my fruit, also eats chicken eggs. Lots more netting was installed as we are practicing exclusion.
February 15, 2018 - Chicks!
Not the most exciting breeds, but these 6 babies will be egg-laying work horses for next winter. 2 each White Leghorns, Black Sex Links and Light Brahmas. See them in the Gallery along with pics of the older gals who are looking their best after a winter rest and molt. Encouraging them to get back to work by turning the lights on to simulate a 15-hour day.
January 6, 2018 - A New Home
Three of the hens left Fetler Farm to become a brand new poultry project for a young family who live nearby. They didn't want to start with chicks and were looking for adult hens to begin their journey.
Although most of my girls are molting, one of the three (Leghorn) is laying so at least they will have a few eggs to start with. I also gave them a Black Sex Link (brown eggs) and an Easter Egger (green eggs). When those 2 finish molting, I'll bet little boys will be pretty eggcited to gather a green egg!
This was a win-win because I was going to cull these girls anyway this year to make room for more newbies.
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