Thursday, January 3, 2013

New happenings in the brooder!

Things are happening fast, not only are the black chicks filling out real nice but there are also new additions. Momma PJ, our awesome incubation silkie hen has had new babies hatching out.

She has been setting on a lot of eggs, some hers and some from our other hens. It seems like the other hen thought it would be good to lay their eggs in the nest where Momma PJ was laying hers. Well when she started to set we just decided to let things happen as they will.

The little fellow under her head is still damp from just hatching, when I took these photos yesterday there were 7 chicks, Caroline went in earlier today and there were 9. These you see will most likely be silkies but there are other chicks with a black strip on their heads and lots of black feathers, perhaps from the black beauty hen or as one reader named her, Flo, as the feathers on her neck and chest looked like lava flow.

Someone else had asked about the black chicks, they did not understand that the chicks were hatched somewhere else (they are from the Costa Rican Agricultural Administration), they are provided to home owners who want to have their own flocks of good layers and meat chickens. I like them as they are unique to Costa Rica and the eggs are large (they are supposed to be from relatives of Flo). You may remember the photo that I took the next morning after I brought the chicks home.

This was the photo that lead to the confusion, I don’t think I explained things correctly. Momma PJ had been setting on eggs in a nest in the brooder area when I brought the chicks home. I had heat lamps already set up for the chicks, what I didn't think of was Momma PJ getting off her nest and adopting the chicks. As you can see they took to her right away, the heat lamps were left on as not all of the 30 chicks could get under her at once although they tried.

The chicks now considered pullets and cockerels are 11 weeks old and filling out very nicely. We've had some strong winds and have all kinds of debris floating around the yard, the 3 pullets in the left background are just starting to lay, they were from some eggs Momma PJ hatched maybe last July or August. Some of the chicks Momma PJ is hatching now will look like these older pullets.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a nice sunny day without wind so Momma PJ will have the chicks out in the brooder and I can get good photos of the chicks which I will post to my blog.

More goodies to come from Costa Rica!

     Art Sulenski

So much to do so little time!

BTW, the feed the pullets and cockerels are eating is the fermented feed that I have been making for them. The FF is a mix of regular growth feed and cracked corn, fermented for 3 days. Also included is some raw milk yogurt that I have been making, the chickens, cats and dogs like that and it is good for them too, the process of making yogurt changes the milk sugar, lactose, into good stuff that cats and all animals can tolerate, the raw milk yogurt is even better as it has more good probiotics. 

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