Ok maybe partially out of my mind but hey.  So I have been lax in my updates and journal-ling.  I apologize for that.  Life gets busy around the holidays or I just get tired and don’t feel like thinking.  I have not been lax in my chores though, thing have been busy.  So today will be all about chickens because I love my chickens.

First off we are getting in a new batch of layers this week from McMurray Hatchery.  I smile as I type that for several reasons.  1. I love getting chick in, they are fun to watch  and listen to, and 2. because it always creates a new challenge.  That challenge you ask? Well because survival around here is always in question.

We did great on the last batch of meat birds and all survived.  They are all neatly (sort of) tucked away in our freezer waiting for someone to buy or us to eat.  We have had several already and I must say they are great.  The layers we got the last time as most of of you know that keep up on my posts, had been overtaken my predators.  We have 8 remaining from our Feb 2012 batch of 25.  We have also lost 2 more over the winter so far, at this time I am not sure what kind of predator got them, but they are gone, with no feathers left.  I am guessing maybe hawk or raccoon as they were of the smaller size.

The brooder house is now done as far as I am going to take, at least till I decide to work on it more.  For now its warm and dry.  So this is where the new chicks will go again.  It worked great for the last batch of meat birds.  The 25 Buff Orpingtons that are coming in will stay here for the next 8 weeks until I integrate them into the existing flock.  They should start laying around May or June.

I have also been trying to identify some of the original flock but as of yet have not been overly successful…yet

I have also updated the main coup a little.  I put a cover over the egg area and redid the egg doors to be sliders instead of the single lift panel.  It got way to heavy when it rained.  I also removed half of the nests and made the tops of them sloped so that the birds won’t sit on top of them and poop every where.  Tiffany is going to sew a curtain to cover the front of the nest boxes with to give the hens a little more privacy.  I also removed the plastic roofing I was using on the side of the coup so I could use it for the roofing of the brooder.  I replace it with normal plywood and installs an actual door.  I have also decided that either the end of this year or possibly next year, whenever money allows, I will be building a new bigger coup that will accommodate not only the birds but also keep all my supplies inside our of site and out of the weather.  This will be build on a concrete slab.

More things to come.  I am looking at having a great 2013 chicken year.