Wednesday, October 6, 2010
It's chick time!
Last fall, I ordered 50 New Hampshire red pullets, knowing there would be a few roosters in the bunch to provide us with the capability to make more. We wound up with five or six roosters. This year, I ordered 25 Ameraucana pullets, and I'm sure there are a couple roosters in there too. (I don't know anyone who has received 100% pullets in their pullet orders.) Depending upon how the New Hampshires lay next year, I may or may not add a white egg layer to the flock. You see, I'll know how the New Hampshire girls are laying because they lay brown eggs, and the Ameraucanas lay blue-green eggs.
Next year, we'll hatch 50 eggs from the best New Hampshire girls, assuming they will be 50% cockerels for meat and 50% pullets for replacement layers. We'll keep them separate from the older hens, and in December when the older girls stop laying, they'll become stew meat. The following year we'll hatch 50 Ameraucana chicks and do the same thing. I'm still debating whether or not to add a white egg layer and make a three-year cycle. Everyone says they really don't lay well in their third year, but since we've never known who was laying what, I really don't know for sure. And I'm always one of those people who wants to test things, so there could be some white egg layers in our future. And I am rather enamored with silver spangled Hamburg chickens.
Sorry the photos are not great. I'm still using my cell phone, and the chicks are in a horse water trough, which makes it kind of tough to take photos.