Thursday, August 23, 2012

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #71

Just Clucking Around...

Little more than a week ago, one of my young hens Ruby (pictured above right) layed her first egg.  I was so excited I spent that afternoon cleaning up the little chicken cottage and visiting with the girls looking for more eggs...  Silly I am sure, but I couldn't help myself.  I've spent many hours nurturing and socializing my chickens.  They each hold a special place in my heart.  I was one proud Grandma.   


I was pretty surprised to find an egg so soon. 


Pretty soon a few more hens began laying...


My husband loves the flavor of these deep yellow fresh free range eggs.  They're so cute and tiny.
 

Peaches, the buff orpington in the above picture layed her first little egg today too. Woohoo!  Queenie, my little rooster stands guard for every girl now as they sit in a nesting box clucking and working to lay those eggs.  He really takes his job serious.


 Some of our little hens started by laying their eggs on the run, literally.  That's not good since it leads to broken eggs.  


Jerry made me some wooden eggs and we put them inside the nestboxes.  So far, so good.  No more eggs on the run since we put the wooden eggs inside the boxes, but now we have a few gals that don't want to get off the nests all day long.  Lol.  I have to evict them after a while so they can go eat and drink.


Ruby and the rest of my brood were less than 18 weeks old when she started laying and they're 19 weeks old now and today I found SEVEN cute little newby eggs.  It's a new record.  We seem to have a new layer each day.  One of my new layers today was a tiny salmon favorelle.  

WWSF Free Range Eggs
They will not be five months old until the 28th. Though I have read that some large breed hens can begin laying at 18 weeks, that's not too common among my friends and their chickens locally. I certainly did not think a small salmon favorelle would lay eggs at 4+ months old. I had been told by my vet that my girls wouldn't start laying until closer to six months old. My hen house features rhode island reds, black australorps, salmon favorelles, silver laced wyandottes, easter eggers, buff orpingtons, and plymouth barred rocks.
 
After a visit to our veterinarian two weeks ago we began adding some supplements to our hens diet after learning that our little rooster Queenie had cataracts.  The vet informed us that it's not that uncommon for a Vitamin E deficiency to  lead to cataracts, especially among rooster populations.  So, we went to the local feed store and bought everything we could find with the vitamins our vet recommended, Vitamins A and E.  The supplements are loaded with nutrients and minerals.

I began adding them to the flock's feed and the Vitamin/Electrolytes powder to their water three days before Ruby started laying eggs.  Though I do not know for sure, I am suspicious that these supplements may be atleast partially responsible for the fact that 7 of our 15 girls started laying in the last few days.  

Have you had any experience with poultry nutritional supplements? If so, what was your experience?  Good or bad?  When do your new hens usually begin laying eggs?  

I am a new chicken Mama and everything is school for me so far.  I sure love these little chickens.  They are the funniest little animals.  So curious and cute to watch.  I cannot help but laugh when I see one break into a run...

I hope your weekend is relaxing and that next week is a good one for you.

Heidi

Here are the rules for the Farmgirl/guy Blog Hop!
1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals, quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!

2). Leave your entry in the Mr. Linky space to your Farmgirl Friday post.

3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!

Be sure to leave a note if you're new to the hop or my blog! We want to get to know you! 

Thanks to all who enter each week and everyone who visits these pages.





8 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your eggs!!! I didn't realize chicks needed supplements. Thanks for the lesson! Enjoy your weekend.

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  2. Hello! Thank you so much again for the invitation to join your linky! I really appreciate that and look forward to reading many of these posts.

    Your chickens sound like so much fun! While we are urban homesteading in an apartment...someday we hope to have land and have heirloom chickens, turkeys and ducks along with a few other animals (I have wanted a Jersey cow for as long as I can remember). Have a wonderful weekend and thank you again! :)

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  3. Glad to find some more farm girls!

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    1. Me too April. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Don't you just love chickens? I know I do!! :)
    My Buffs started laying right at 5 months. It does make you wonder about the extra vitamins but I certainly wouldn't think it would hurt them!
    I love the wooden eggs Jerry made for your girls, mine just got golf balls! LOL!!

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    1. I sure do Candy. I don't think the vitamins and supplements will hurt them. The doctor told me to follow the dosing on the packages and I have.

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  5. I would love to have chickens. I just love fresh eggs.

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    1. I am new to fresh eggs and I can say that there IS a difference in flavor and color.

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My email address is whitewolfsummitfarmgirl@gmail.com.