Chicks and Eggs

Our hens quit laying over the winter. This is not something unusual for hens to do, but I still didn’t approve. I read a bunch of how-to’s on how to get chickens laying again, but they just wouldn’t until the mornings were above freezing again.

Someone suggested that keeping the chickens’ floor heated would keep them laying. Well, perhaps that’s so, but if we could have a heated floor, then it’d have to be big enough for the chickens and me, too. If you chicken pros know of tricks to keep them laying, please send me a message.

The sad thing was when the hens began to lay, two of them were egg-bound. Both of them died. So our flock has dwindled significantly.

A month ago, I bought a batch of chicks and have raised them in a pen in the bodega. They are now big enough to fend for themselves in the chicken yard. They moved out, and another batch moved in.

I want to try raising several small batches throughout the year, maybe one batch a month or so. Then we’ll have our chicken ages spaced out a little, and our flock can go grow gradually. With varying ages in the yard, the little ones may not be noticed and picked on as much.

With a second batch in the growing pen, I began to think about the September chicks. Since we do have eggs now, I decided to set up an incubator. The ducks have been laying prolifically, giving me plenty to add to the group.

They should hatch around August 20, so I’ll update you then. The last batch all died before hatching. I suspect it was because the humidity was too high, and there were two times or so we lost electricity. We’ll see how this goes.

The first batch in their first week.
Trying out the sun for the first time. They love it.
The new batch. The large one is an injured cockerel from the first batch.
The next batch, coming soon.

I uploaded another video update for the Patrons. This week includes a clip of Anne and Abbey milking a goat. You can click here to find the page.