Incubator lockdown!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of eggs in incubator

Locked down the incubator this morning! That means "no touchie until hatchie!"  I'm not sure where the term "lockdown" came from ... sounds  like it was coined by someone who watches too much television. But the word does convey the principle ... leave the eggs alone!

Incubation time!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of egg incubator

It's that time of the year to start incubating eggs! Thanks to my neighbor and friend, Sally, I've got 24 eggs incubating now. Today, they are 1/3 of the way and are ready to be candled! Candling eggs is a means of determining which eggs are developing and which are not by holding the egg in front of  a bright light source so you can see what's inside! This Mann Lake PP371 32-Egg incubator has built-in candling lights, so it's basically as easy as turning on the light! Additionally, this little incubator allows you to add water without lifting the lid.

Cleaned out chicken coop

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of chicken poop

We have a reliable system in our chicken run that basically self composts the chicken droppings. However, once a year we need to totally clean it all out. That happened this week. This is the pile of all the composted bedding and poop that came out of the coop, and it was all replaced with two cubic yards of medium bark mulch. We continue to add layers throughout the year so the chicken run is kept sanitary.

Our new Barred Rock rooster

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of SPANKY, the rooster

Meet SPANKY, our new rooster! Though we didn't raise him, he is sixteen weeks old, about a week younger than many of our hens. He has 21 female companions now and already, here is very protective. We just love him already! :)

We got him from a nice couple in Olalla, Washington. We are very grateful. :)

First 'Tween' Egg!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of little egg

As anyone who raises chickens will tell you, no watched pot takes longer to boil than one watched while waiting for young pullets to lay their first egg! Generally, chickens come into lay at about 20 weeks.

Our 'Tweens' started laying today, at 18 and a half weeks. These are ISA Brown pullets that we got last February. We all them 'Tweens' because we have chickens that are much older and another batch of pullets that are five weeks younger.

Winner winner...

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of chicks on roost

Introducing the second graduating class of 2018! This is our second run of chicks this season. Here, they are pretty chicks all in a row ... Having finally learned how to fly up onto the roost!!

Heading out today to pick up some chicks ...

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of ISA Brown pullets from Tractor Supply in Port Orchard, Washington

Spring is almost here and the chicks are in!!! Yay!!!! Today, I went to the Tractor Supply store in Port Orchard, Washington and picked up 8 ISA Brown pullets. I was hoping they would have the Tints again as I loved the chicks I got last year, but I'll try these. They are supposed to be prolific egg layers - laying through the winter, even. But on the downside, their life expectancy is shortened due to the energies they expend producing all those eggs.... I read they live only two to three years, five at best. So bear that in mind if you keep them as ... well, pets.

Chicken run is ready for Spring!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of chicken run

Today I hitched up the trailer and brought home three-and-a-half yards of medium bark mulch. I spread it about a foot thick in the chicken run and also in the coop, having recently removed a yard or two of composted organic matter from the run for the lawns and gardens. I can't believe I did all this in five hours, start to finish - with my bad leg, to boot... The chickens are delighted and the whole area smells much better now... :)

First egg from Tetra Tints!

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Photo of small egg in hand
Photo of small egg in frying pan

We got our first egg from the Tetra Tint chickens, at 18 weeks and 3 days! We have two different colors of Tetra Tint chickens - white chickens and red chickens. The white chickens are larger than the red ones, but the first egg came from a red one.

We have had these chickens since last February. I am very fond of them. Thus far, it has been the best flock I've ever had. Very easy chickens to raise, very stable temperaments and large, gentle chickens.

Good eggs, too!

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