Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Well Laid Plans-----------

Ideal hatchery had January Special Pricing on Ameraucana chicks. I ordered 25 st run. They hatched on Jan 21 and arrived Jan 22nd on a warmer day, all hale and hearty. With the roosters gone, I ended up with 8 large colorful pullets. I have four 3 month old pullets in the group as well--- from our own hatch. I have 2 raising pens that I have to walk through the first one to get to the second. I put them in the first pen so walking among them twice a day,  they are fairly tame. Two weeks ago, a neighbor wanted to buy my older hens. I agreed to sell them with picked up on July 15. I thought by then my pullets should be laying as they soon will be 5 months old. Here's today's picture of my pullets

Yesterday I cleaned out their coop and put down fresh bedding--part of a bale of wire grass that no
respectable sheep will eat nor would I give them such hay. The last bale that ___ stuff. Only good hay for my sheep!

This morning I open the coop door and I find this................
A pullet egg. I photographed it with an adult hen's egg. Good size for the first egg, Now there are
Ameraucana breeders that only raise the best and get blue eggs. They scoff at the mutts that hatcheries sell as they are not to color standard ( I like the variety) and they lay olive green eggs.
Well in the picture above I tried to capture the sky blue color of the pullet egg.  My Ameraucanas or Easter Eggers --call them what you well. But they laid extremely well and are chipper on the coldest winter days.

I get asked what do you feed? I made a wooden feeder that the hens do not waste the crumbles. They can't scratch in out. Fleet Farm Meat maker 18% to all. Why buy Laying mash at 16% and the price is the same? They get cooked rice AM, I bake cornbread for PM, when confined I give them pulled grass dirt and all. Oyster shell, red grit and fresh water. In winter my sheep tub has a heater in the bottom and keep the water at 40 degrees (no change in the light bill) and no more lugging out frozen tubs. I read that sheep with a warm water source drink more....and that's a good thing. I drip out a pail out of the sheep tub so the chickens get warm water too.
Over the top, perhaps, but why not?
My grandpa told me "If you are going to have livestock, give them the best treatment, clean pens, good pastures and don't skimp of the feed either" "If you think your pasture will carry 20 only put 12 out there." He was right. My stock looks nice, is well feed and tame. A pleasure to be among.

Till Later


1 comment:

Becky Utecht said...

Congrats on the pullet egg. You must have a good strain of Ameracaunas to start laying at 5 months. They look great too.