The first winter has been interesting (my point of view) and a bit frustrating (from the Husbands point of view). I rather viewed this like any new hobby or endeavor, there is going to be a learning curve. We definitely had a learning curve. Good news is, no chickens died so the Husband was doing something right.
The Husband has 25 additional chickens on order for this spring and I confess, I don't remember what breeds he requested. Most of these will become our meat chickens. The Husband is planning some kind of mobile chicken coop for the yard itself to keep the laying hens separate from the eating birds.
What he/we've learned:
- The self circulating, heated watering system did not work as anticipated. During the cold snap we had in January (luckily it was short), the system froze completely. He had to resort to bowls of water on the coop floor until it was warm enough out to rip out and replace. He replaced with this set up that I found on Pinterest:
- Fermenting seed experiment failed. Twice. Both times after a period of about 6-8 weeks, the fermenting seed grew moldy. It shouldn't grow moldy. Chickens are back to regular dry feed.
- Our chickens didn't care for alfalfa. They much preferred green cabbage and the morning treats (banana peels, fresh sprouts, tea leaves, and whatever else was in the compost pile). Note to selves, we will not buy $17.00 bales of alfalfa.
- If we want more eggs during the winter, we'll need to have some extra light in the coop. I'll need to look for a set of white LED Christmas lights that he can put on a timer. For the small space, a string of Christmas lights would probably be just perfect.
- Record number of eggs was last week (2/22/2016) - 38
- Record number of eggs in one day - 9!
And, some pictures of the flock:
Amy's = Australorp's
Bernadettes = Americauna's
Penny's = Golden Laced Wyandottes
Priya's = Silky mix of some kind
Red (the Rooster) = Americauna
|(L-R) Bernadette, Amy (foreground), Lil' Bernadette (behind Amy) and two Priyas|
|Priya and Lil' Bernadette|
|Red (not his best side)|