The Poultry Project, Jan Fetler, PlumJam Photography
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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, 2017, Year 10

Now | Year 9 | Year 8 | Year 7 | Year 6 | Year 5 | Year 4 | Year 3 | Year 2 | Year 1

(entries below are in chronological order, bottom up)

September 10, 2017 - Murder

Life on the farm has a down side. You can't easily take chickens to the vet for medical care or euthanasia. We have made the killing process as easy as possible for man and chicken, but it's always hard. One of the new chicks (Mottled Houdan) had developed a deformity in its beak--the bottom jaw had twisted to one side so the 2 beaks no longer met, and the bird was having trouble eating. It was getting progressively worse. See my tips for killing a chicken.

I think this breed wasn't meant to be for me. First we had a rooster, then one got out of our pen and went to live next door (and was then eaten by a coyote), another was so broody I culled her, and now this. Four tries are enough. :-(

July 14, 2017 - Caught on Camera--Egg Breaker

Is a chicken pecking holes in eggs? No, it's a Blue Jay!

I suspected Jays after surprising 3 of them in the coop a week ago. Online there were reports of Blue Jays doing this. They are small enough to get through chain link fencing and the 2x4 inch wire fence I also use. Grrr! We tacked up some chicken wire over openings I saw them escaping from but left the small door to the barn open so the hens (and I) can get in.

There was a broken egg that evening, so I suspected chickens again.

Then we set up my phone in the barn pointing at the nests and began to film the nests. Every 2 hours I would go out to gather eggs and look at the video. No broken eggs for 2 days. I was able to rule out each hen that went in to lay and left like a lady without eating anyone's egg. Then last night after 4p I went out to find a broken egg. The video showed a Blue Jay coming in and pecking the egg!

Later yesterday evening my husband happened to see a Blue Jay fly through the door into the barn. We quietly went out and closed that door trapping the bird in the barn. Two adult humans finally caught the bird after it smashed into the window above the closed door a couple of times. We dispatched him.

Surveillance will continue in case this bird's 2 friends also know how to break eggs. :-)

July 4, 2017

Okay, I have slipped a bit on this website. So far this year, the big change was getting 5 more chicks who are 8 weeks old already. See more about them in the Gallery.

And I'm selling eggs again but only to a few customers and only a couple of times a month. Sales allow me to move surplus eggs out of the fridge!

Now | Year 9 | Year 8 | Year 7 | Year 6 | Year 5 | Year 4 | Year 3 | Year 2 | Year 1

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