Moving along

DSC02777 DSC02774 Adding chickens to the morning chores hasn’t been much of a change yet, but I guess that’s because there are only five of them, four hens and a rooster. It’s been really cold at night this week, getting down to -15 degrees, and when I went out to check on eggs yesterday, I found three, all completely frozen solid and cracked. Their water was also frozen solid. I think that will get better when we have more chickens in the coop, but for now, we are just bringing them out new water, often, and checking for eggs more often as well. I managed to snag two yesterday afternoon that were still warm, and there were none this morning at all. They’ve done so well considering they were just kidnapped and moved someplace strange.

DSC02770 DSC02822 We’ve got two incubators going now, the fancy one with 26 eggs in it started yesterday, and a cheap Styrofoam one from Agway with 54 in it. We put the newest eggs in the good incubator. Theoretically, we could get 80 chicks, but somehow I doubt that’s going to happen. They should start hatching at the end of the month! It’s very exciting. I will try not to take lots of pictures of eggs in incubators.

DSC02788 DSC02790 Yesterday, we took 44 eggs to Elaine and David at Frelsi Farm, plus her two hens from Lyle. She has a great Icelandic rooster already, such a handsome, friendly boy. We had a great time, and hopefully absorbed all of the information about Icelandic sheep that they so generously gave. They shear really late, after the wool break, in late May, not before lambing like everyone else always recommends, and gave us a lot of other stuff to think about. I can’t wait to have as many sheep as they have!

DSC02785Their pack of Icelandic sheepdogs was just amazing. So friendly, so cute, so smart, so much fun to be around. Our little guy is going to miss running with them all. I can see how they can become as much of an addiction as the sheep are. Elaine says they are great at rooting out rodents, which should come very much in handy. Boy did they keep all of the crows out of their yard, too! My garden will appreciate that.

DSC02817 We are, of course, smitten with our new little guy. I think I’m going to take Valerie’s suggestion and name him Bjarki, pronounced Byarrr-ki, with equal stress on both syllables. It means “little bear”, which seems to suit him. He is just precious, and so far, he’s been an incredibly easy puppy to have. (She says after not even one whole day!) We are going to crate train him, and even that wasn’t too bad for his first night away, and right now he’s taking a nap there. He woke up once at 4, needing to pee, so I took him out, where he piddled quickly and headed right back inside. Brrr. -10! He followed us around for morning chores, happy as can be. Did I mention that we really, really like him? A whole lot? We are signed up for Puppy Kindergarten classes, as he’s going to be a working dog and I really want to do this right.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted March 9, 2007 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    We never had any luck with a styrofoam incubator. You have to keep turning the eggs by hand and I guess we never turned them often enough.

  2. Frank
    Posted March 10, 2007 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    That was what my research turned up as well, and why we got the fancy one from Brindsea. But when Lyle gave us 162 eggs instead of 48 and we could only give away 60 of the extras, well, it was that or omelets.

  3. Posted March 12, 2007 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I think this is where the old saying “Don’t count your chicks before they hatch” must come in. We make sure ours are turned at least three times a day, more if we can.

    But the real caution is not to be conservative about how many will hatch, but the fact that little chicks are like potato chips: very addictive, and you can’t stop at just one.

    Also – don’t know if you have electricity in the coop, but we use one red heat bulb and that does the trick for us. We hang it above the waterer, and it keeps water flowing, and gives off enough heat so the wattles and combs don’t freeze.

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