My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Friday, April 19, 2013

More New Layers

New Pullet Eggs
Well some more new girls have begun laying. I have a pen of Black Copper Marans, which lay a very dark egg (well they are supposed to, but sometimes they don't lay as dark as the breeder is hoping for). In with them are some crossbreed girls which are about the same age, some of which have begun laying.

In this picture I found the egg on the right on Thurs and today I collected the egg on the left. Probably from the same girl. One of the Marans girls has a pretty red comb, so I think it belongs to her. I'll try and get some pictures of them up in the next couple of days.

Also today, in another pen one of my young Welsummer pullets left a cute little egg. I love all the freckles! More ducks and chicks are hatching and the weather has been pretty warm and dry. Going to have to water the garden this weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Chicks Have Arrived!

Well this was a great hatch this time. I am loving this big redwood incubator, it's keeps the temperature and humidity up really well. If I have to open the door, they go right back up where they should be in a just a couple of minutes. Temperature and humidity are really critical when you are incubating eggs. These little guys hatched right on schedule, the early bird was out early in the morning of day 21, which was April 7. About half of them had hatched by the evening.

I had set 46 eggs from my three easter egger hens, a young Welsummer pullet, an old Welsummer hen and a Welsummer / Leghorn cross. They were all bred by my pretty red easter egger rooster, Lil' Red.
Lil' Red
I'll have to take some pictures of their mammas, I don't have many on the computer right now and none of them very good. I had to be gone overnight and when I got home on Monday I pulled all the now dry and fluffy chicks out and marked them so I would know who their parents are when they get bigger. Now there was one egg that had pipped (had a little hole in it) on Sunday. The chick had made no progress at all in almost 36 hours, but was still alive and talking to me. I could see the chick was kind of stuck and beginning to dry out even though the incubator was at 65% humidity. So I chipped some of the shell off and put it back in. In a little while the chick was able to finish hatching on it's own.

The girls from the easter egger hens will lay some shade of blue or light green. The girls from the Welsummer hens will lay some shade of olive, probably from light to a medium shade of olive green.

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Now I've been raising chickens for a while and I don't usually go gaga over chicks, although they are cute. But these guys with their little cheek puffs are extra cute!

Not all of them have puffy cheeks, but a lot of them do and some have bigger cheeks than others. The cheek puffs and later a beard are traits from the Ameraucauna breed of chicken, which is what Easter Eggers are bred from.

There is a range of colors and patterns, most of which will change before they are adults.

Friday, April 5, 2013

More Chickies on the Way

46 eggs set to hatch on 4/7/13
Well I have 46 chicken eggs set to hatch this weekend. The girls from this hatch will all lay some shade of blue or green egg, those hatching from the brown eggs will lay olive.

Ducks and chicks set to hatch 4/14 and 4/21
There are also 29 more chicken and 9 ducks due on April 14. Then on April 21 there are 12 Muscovy duck eggs, 7 Welsh Harlequin ducks and 27 more chickens due.

Easter eggers & Olive eggers going in to hatch.

And tonight I set 27 more chicken eggs!