Thursday, December 25, 2014
Every single one survived, except for three roosters we killed for the table. I still have two extra roosters that need butchering. Since the baby won't be here for several days, perhaps we will get that done soon.
The pullets are laying now. It's funny how the mixed-breed chicks turned out: All of them are from dual-purpose breeds... Barred Rock and Buff Orpington, but they look more like meat birds than their mothers did, and the mixed ones are different colors that the parents. Their mothers gave me medium-sized eggs, and it looks like that's what I'll be getting from them, too. A couple of them began laying in early December, but most of them have just begun. I hope I can remember, if I ever buy chicks, to get them by June 1st, because if these had hatched a month earlier, they would have begun laying before the old hens went into their winter molt and I would have had eggs all year long. It's been my experience that hens will only lay through their first winter. I think I remember my mother telling me that, too. Of course, commercial egg-laying facilities cull their stock once they quit laying. I'm only messing with chickens for the fun of it. It's a money-losing proposition for me, but I enjoy them.
And now, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, from my hen house to yours.