Monday, May 11, 2009

The Hatch Continues

I ordered 50 chicks from the hatchery. They arrived on May 5th. During that week, my DIL Tiffany had a school project called Flat Stanley. Each child drew a self portrait and mailed them to someone for an adventure. I received Flat Lillian. Flat Lillian lived with me for about a week. She helped with the chick chores, went to work with me and enjoyed the apple blossoms on the trees. By the time she was ready to go back to school, she was very tired. She was a very good guest , she didn't eat much, and didn't take up too much space, but I know she had a good time. After her adventure with me at the farm, we put together a poster of her activities and it was presented at the school's Open House.

Flat Lillian with the new chicks.

The new chicks were doing great and then the eggs we ordered, and my friend Jim put in his incubator, started to hatch. It was very exciting! We now have 10 Blue Jersey Giant chicks, 27 Ameraucana chicks, 25 brown egg laying chicks and 8 Silkie chicks. They Ameraucana Chicks will lay green or blue tinted eggs.

Well it didn't stop there..... the other eggs we put in Jim's incubator started to hatch and before we knew it, there were about 100 chicks. We decided that we would take our chances and try to sex the chicks ourselves. When you order chicks from a hatchery, they come sexed, which means they are either pullets (females) or cockerels (males) and straight run ( mixed sexes).

When you hatch them yourself you have no way of telling them apart unless you do a vent check. Chicks have internal sex organs, so you have to put on your glasses and in a good light, and look at their behinds! Jim and I took a stab at it and checked one of the chicks that we knew was a male( came from the hatchery marked as a male) and started to compare chicks. We think we did a pretty good job. All the cockerels will be sold at the auction, females will be kept as egg layers at our farms.

I am waiting for my eggs to hatch that I have in my incubator. They are due to hatch this week.

My Guinea hens also started to lay eggs. I collected them and put them in the incubator. They take 28 days to incubate before they hatch. They have about 2 more weeks. The keets will then go to Jim's house.

Jim and his wife Gail, also raise Flat Coated Retrievers. He brought some of the puppies over for a photo shoot. They are really so cute! My problem is I can't tell them apart!

Can you?