March 25, 2014 @ 1:30 AM

Life has been busy at the farm for a couple of weeks with all the new babies!

These babies are a week old now, and hatched from eggs we traded with a friend. The eggs were put in the incubator and should hatch in 21 days. However, only 13 of the eggs hatched at all, and they were 2-4 days late. On the last day we "helped" 3 babies hatch because they just couldn't do the jobs themselves. We knew we shouldn't, but we did any way. The reason not to help a chick hatch, in this case, is the extra time in the egg can lead to bad deformities. The chicks grow too large for the egg, and can't move around in the egg properly; in our case this caused several to have deformed feet or legs. We lost 6 of this past week, and another...

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March 7, 2014 @ 8:18 AM

I was outside doing the morning chicken chores when I heard a big ruckus in the big girls coop. They had all been let out to forage, but they like to hang around in the barn with me while I'm feeding the various batches of birds, adding straw to the coops and doling out treats. But one of the hens was screaming in anger so I hurried over to see what was the matter!

We've got 16 hens at egg laying age right now. Our coops have several types of "egg boxes" for the girls to lay their eggs in. There's a big old porcelain wash tub that's a favorite with several of the hens, but most often they choose one of the 6 plastic buckets that's we've laid together. Here's the thing: they mostly want to all lay in ...

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March 4, 2014 @ 3:16 PM

Sammy Jo (left) and Seymore, 5 weeks old. As they get older their top knots will grow. Notice that even their legs and feet are covered in downy feathers.

I was so fascinated when our neighbor Cathryn got silkie chickens about a year and a half ago that I knew I'd have to have some! In March of 2013 we wandered into Tractor Supply and left with 9 baby chicks. I REALLY wanted silkies but I came home with what was available. The next day I went to a county farm store and got 6 more chicks. By late June we were getting eggs and I was having so much fun farming with my chickens that I just couldn't stand it.

In early November I got 4 white silkie chicks. They lived in our attached garage for 3 months ...

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