Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Poultry Management & Goals for 2014

 I am pleased with the Sebastopol geese I bought last spring. Ella & Fella are beautiful, easy to keep, and I am hoping they follow the plan and lay fertile eggs THEY will incubate & raise. These geese just make me happy. They know my voice and squawk & honk every time I speak to them. They also follow me around like puppies.
 Our laying flock is comprised of Americaunas, Cuckoo Marans, and white Orpingtons. The Cuckoo Marans have been a disappointment because after the first few months of laying, their chocolate brown eggs became the typical brown color of most every other brown egg layer. Aside from my disappointment over their egg color though, the Marans have been hardy chickens laying all year round and my Maran rooster is a handsome and very nice fellow.
 Last weekend I cleaned the laying pen out. 12 wheelbarrows of yuck were toted out and spread in the garden and a shallow area needing more fill. I dusted the flock with lice powder and also the nest boxes & perches. I am putting apple cider vinegar in their water and have begun giving them Hen Grit . They seem to appreciate the grit . For the last 2 months I've been getting only 1 or 2 eggs a day but since Monday of this week the girls are giving me 3 to 5 eggs a day ! I think the total cleaning, dusting, and minerals have helped but have to admit the increasing daylight hours probably are the reason for the better egg count. That and the girls are finally all done moulting.
 I love my Bantam White Cochins, especially the frizzled ones. I am definitely going to keep raising them , maybe add some new breeding stock . The rooster is my original rooster so he must be a few years old and from what I've read, the fertility of roosters decreases significantly as they age.
 This is Mr. Fancy Pants. He is a Silkie / Bantam White Cochin cross hatched and raised here by his momma. I was afraid he was a goner 2 weeks ago. My Bantam Barred Cochin rooster decided after a year of getting along with Mr. Fancy Pants and the flock that he wanted to kill Mr. Fancy Pants. I found Mr. FP cowered in the corner of the bantam pen, bloodied and battered. I captured the barred bantam and caged him up to be sold at the auction. I had planned on keeping the barred cochin for breeding, but I simply don't have the desire to accommodate aggressive roosters anymore and Mr. Fancy Pants is easy going, tends & protects the hens and their chicks from predators and is fun to watch. I was concerned he had lost his right eye in the fight and until today it was a swollen shut blob. But look he has healed quite well !
 The two youngest doves are sitting near the lamp keeping warm and out of the way of the adult doves.
 I have a pair of doves sitting on eggs again. My doves are prolific and the dove population is always growing around here. I have 3 pens of doves. this is the backyard pen where they thrive. I captured 6 of the 20 living here and took them to the auction last weekend. It seems they are intent on replacing their numbers.

 These are the chickens I am really excited about ! Paint Silkies. No, they are not dirty. ( Well, their head tufts are because they keep pushing their heads into the chicken wire surrounding their pen to get whatever looks good on the other side. ) They have black spots !
 I bought them at the poultry show I attended with my grandson Bugs. There are 2 roosters and a hen. I will be breeding the roosters to the white Silkies I already have and begin looking for some more Paints. I have been scouring the internet for as much info as I can find on this new variety. Just think, spotted sheep, spotted ducks, spotted chickens.....

Best of all fresh from the chicken eggs !
2014 Goals for my poultry :
  • Buy more white Orpingtons & Americaunas for laying flock
  • train geese & ducks to live and graze near the pond which will be a better home and environment for them ( in other words, they aren't to live in the backyard anymore )
  • Prepare the new Silkie Shack for my Silkies and breeding program.
  • Begin culling doves for the whitest , hoping to breed out the ghost of a ring around their necks I find in a few doves.
  • Nurture assorted bantam hens , make new nest boxes for them to incubate & brood chicks.
  • Buy new Bantam White Cochin chicks, some frizzled.
  • Learn more about the Porcelains I have ( thanks Bugs ) and begin preparing them for show.
  • Look into local poultry shows and begin preparations.
  • Enjoy my chickens fully !!!!!!!!


  1. Kathy,
    You are one busy lady, and I think those geese and chickens are the cutest things I've seen lately, I'm glad you rescued Mr FP from the bully!! Hope you meet all your goals this year
    Teresa from
    sugar ,spice and whatever's nice

    1. Thank-you Teresa. I really derive much pleasure from my chickens, ducks & geese. In the mornings I will step outside , in my p.j.'s and robe, sipping my coffee and enjoying their antics. All for the price of chicken feed.

      Mr. Fancy Pants is quite a character. The hens seem to like him very much, and he can dance ! Really.

  2. I just found your blog and am looking forward to seeing how you do on your goals. Can we see a pic of what your set up looks like?

    1. Christina, I have my poultry set up in the back acreage of our home, in dog kennels with corrugated metal roofs , hanging feeders, nest boxes, lights. I am also adding hanging planters made from discarded poultry waterers and feeders. I have posted pictures previously, but will continue to add pictures throughout the year. Thank-you for your interest !