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.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Lay

Black Copper Marans pullet, Red#55

I love my Black Copper Marans but when you are trying to breed them to the Standard of Perfection, well let's just say that it's hard. This girl, Red #55 is too dark and should have a lot more copper color around her neck. She should also have a lot more feathers down her leg. Both issues can be worked on in the next generation.

Black Coppers should lay really dark chocolate brown eggs like Orange #69 does. Actually hers is about the lightest acceptable color.

I like red #55 as she is fairly large and has a decent
egg from orange #69 laid 10-2-13
shape to her. But I am sooo very disappointed. I can't tell her egg from one of my Buff Orpingtons. ;-(

I _might_ breed her and hatch just a few eggs and raise a couple of pullets to see if her daughters lay reasonably dark. And then again I might just leave her in the layer flock and go look a bit closer at some of the other girls.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eggs for Hatching

Welsummer eggs
Unless you are a chicken nut (what one of my friends calls me & his wife) you might not know that people often ship eggs around the country for the purpose of hatching them.

When a particular type of chicken is hard to come by in an area then sometimes hatching eggs are a good thing to try.

These are my Welsummer eggs that have just arrived from Erhard Weihs of Kummer Poultry Farm. Shipping is very hard on eggs and they don't always make it through the postal service in very good shape. Since they are perishable they should always be sent Priority Mail. Of course they should be well wrapped and padded. I ordered one dozen eggs, Erhard shipped 14. One was broken enroute so I have 13 whole eggs.

After unpacking them I set them in a carton, big end up to let the air cell settle. I will set them in my incubator tomorrow. I'll know in about 10 days how many are viable and growing and how many got scrambled.

This is a great article with a lot of information and links about hatching eggs and also how to handle the special problems presented by shipped eggs.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Girls Moved In!

Today's Eggs
I'm sure you are probably tired of looking at egg pics, but I love collecting all the different colors, sizes and shapes! So much fun!

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In the second photo I picked out some special eggs, the five in the top semi circle, from left to right are, Black Copper Marans, Welsummer, Buff Orpington, Ameraucauna, Easter egger. The lower three eggs are all from the new Easter Egger pullets.

The girls have moved in

I did finally move some girls into the first part of the new chicken house. Here you can see a piece of plastic rain gutter screwed to the wall for a feed trough and a coffee container has been recycled into an oyster shell dispenser.

Here you can see some of the girls I kept for my flock. The big black girl in the middle is one of my Black Copper Marans; she's not the one that laid the egg in the pictures above. I put her in with the pullets so I can see what color her eggs are but she hasn't laid one yet. (Unless she laid that light speckled brown one next to the olive one at the bottom. If that is the case I am going to be really disappointed as she is one of the bigger hens I have.)