Sunday, August 11, 2013

Busy Housewives

We've been very busy this spring & summer.  Many hooves & feathers have been joined us. We've also built 3 chicken coops between us. Oh and another quail coop too.  Unfortunately we've learned about predators.   We'll do our best to catch you up.

The Silkies are coming along nicely. We've got a nice variety if colors and lots of BOYS!  I haven't actually figured it out but I think we've hatched about 75% boys.  Silkies are very rare around here & I've been able to find homes for the extra boys.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

DIY Brooder

This chick brooder was very easy to make. The hardest part was cutting the hole in the top. I used a box cutter to do it, I'm sure there has ti be a easier way but that's what I had. I used hubby's cordless drill to put several holes just big enough for a zip tie to fit through (I won't lie, I got lucky with the first bit I grabbed) I cut a piece of plastic poultry fencing a little bigger than the hole. I attached it to the lid with the zip ties.
I think this will be perfect for the quail when they hatch.
No more escapees :-)
Kitty made a big brooder for the Silkies, they are now 6 weeks old and have most of their feathers. They have so much room now.  It's still a bit cold here so they aren't going outside just yet.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Artificial Sun Light

I decided to add some light for the quail. I think it may have been too drafty for them and one of them did not make it when the temperature dropped to the teens and it was very windy. I put a board up to block the wind but that made it very dark in to Menards I go.
I'm not allowed to use incandescent light bulbs in my coops because of the fire hazards. Fluorescent bulbs won't turn on when it's cold out side (and this is the only time I'll need to supply artificial sun light)  The do sell a cold start fluorescent light fixture but $50 is a bit to pricey for me. While wondering Menards I found a LED light bulb!  Perfect, no heat and I can put it in the $5 clamp on light fixture.

I also added some artificial eggs hoping they get the idea :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Corturnix Quail have been aded to the menagerie of animals.

I'd been thinking about getting some quail for a couple of months. Their eggs are supposed to be delicious and they don't have cholesterol.

I found someone that was giving her quail away, she was moving and couldn't keep them. She really didn't know anything about them.  She thought they were all females.  She was also giving them the wrong kind of food. She told me she hasn't gotten an egg since October, this could be why she didn't get any eggs. (Hmm maybe they are boys is what i'm thinking) the coop alone was worth the hour trip there. Did I mention they were free :)  Quail will mot lay eggs if their diet doesn't have enough protein in it. They will also not lay eggs durring winter without artificial light. 14 hours of light is needed to create an egg.

They make this cute noise kind of like a cricket. So they cheerped on and off on the car ride home. Then a much louder call was made, I knew there was a boy in the mix. He's not very loud and will not disturb the neighbors. Just sounds like a wild bird.

I tried to check them out when we got home but it was too dark to get a good look at all of them.  I could tell by the markings that 1 is a male, 1 kept hidding in the corner so I couldn't get a good look. The "Tuxedo" colored one will require further "inspection"  you can flip them over and check it's vent to tell it's gender.

I'm going to give them some time to adjust before I add artificial light to encourage egg laying, so I won't have any eggs for a bit :(


Both incubators up and running again :-)  we've got 7 Silkie eggs and 8 Ameraucana eggs this time.

The Blue Silkies can come in three colors, black, blue or splash. The picture is of the splash  variety. The Blue Silkie picture belongs This is where the hatching eggs are from

The Ameraucans will be blue or black. Their picture belongs to Chichen Scratch Poultry. This is where the hatching eggs are from.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hot Chicks!

All four of the chicks that developed past day 7 hatched!  It was a very looonngg process.  The first pip must really take a lot of energy out of them. Once they make a hole about the size of their beak, it goes much faster. It took about 20 hours from the first pip to hatch.  I missed all but the last one hatch :(

The incubators are all cleaned and sanitized and awaiting the next shipment of eggs...which should be here tomorrow!

Hot Chicks at 1 Day old

Enjoying the warmth of the Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Longest Week

The chicks should hatch this coming Saturday!
Just 4 of the 12 are growing. (I did break 1 egg)  The 4 seem to be doing well, it's difficult to see much now when candling because the embryos are getting so big.
Wednesday is "lock down" day. The humidity will be increased, no more turning the eggs and no more candling. The chicks will begin to move to the wide end of the egg where the air sack is, and they will start pip.
The picture of the egg in the dish is from one that was fertilized but did not keep developing. I think it stoped around day 2 or 3.
The other picture is from today day 16.