April has been a very busy month for us around the homestead. We are finally getting back into our groove and starting to see a bit of progress. My garden tiller is dead, so i've been working on turning up the garden by hand using a shovel and pitch fork. It's a lot of work and so i have not cleaned out all of the gardens yet.
i've been pulling and re-potting a bunch of catnip which seems to come up everywhere, and i've been pulling a lot of chickweed as well. Chickweed is edible, but i have an abundance and so i tend to feed most of it to my chickens. They absolutely love it.
i started the year with a rather small flock, only 11 birds. i have one mixed breed rooster, 3 game hens, 1 delaware, 1 black star, 1 Black Australorp, 1 speckled Sussex, 1 Molted Java, 1 Campine and only one hen that came from my original birds. The small black hen is the daughter of Sunny, who was the daughter of Little Brother, who was the son of our very first chicken, Mama hen. :) We lost both Sunny and Little Brother last year. i've been hoping the black hen would get broody and hatch out some peeps, but so far she hasn't. The Blackstar, and Black Australorp are both 4 or 5 years old are rarely lay. The other birds lay white or cream colored eggs. i've been a bit disappointed by the variety of colors. So i've been on the hunt for some new hens.
One of my wild hens disappeared while we were in Florida. i found her setting on a clutch of eggs when we returned. She was setting on 8 eggs, but only two ended up hatching. This was really disappointing, we love peeps and were hoping for more. So when i stopped by the farm store i ended up coming home with 8 new chicks. :)
i picked up 6 Buff Silkie Bantams, and two Tetra Tint. The Silkies are really just novelty. i've always wanted some. i also picked up the Tetra tint, only because they were guaranteed pullets. i have no idea what i am getting with the Silkies.
i didn't really know anything about Tetra Tints. They are a cross between White Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds. They are a lightweight bird, like the Leghorns and should produce light brown 'tinted' eggs.
Since i already have the brooder set up,i figured what's a couple more? :) i found someone selling Black Copper Marans and decided to get a couple. They lay the dark brown eggs and are often referred to as chocolate egg layers. i also picked up three Cream Legbar Cross. i'm not sure what they are crossed with, but was told they should produce blue, green or olive colored eggs. So hopefully i'll have a few hens in the mix and not just a bunch of roosters. :p
They are all still inside in the brooder, but i'm hoping to move at least some of them outside soon. i'll keep you updated on their progress.