Purchased chicks from McMurray Hatchery

I haven’t had much luck lately getting my two-year old Barred Rock hen’s eggs to hatch out except for a couple chicks out of the 8 that I would put under a Silkie hen.

So, I ordered 25 chicks (plus the free rooster) that are Barred Rock hens.  The BR hens seem to sell pretty well here.  I want to keep maybe 5 for myself and I will raise the other 20 to sell.  The first of June 2016, they will be four months old.  I should be able to get $15 each.  That is 300 dollars and I am paying $95 for the chicks. I will make a little money out of it.  I will have to pay for four months of feed plus a little extra on the electric bill for the heat lamp during the cool nights.

I just enjoy raising the chicks so much that I am not really trying to make money out of the deal.  I would love to make some extra money, don’t get me wrong.

My Barred Rock chickens are at least two years old and I still get 2-4 eggs daily from the 8 hens.  I hatched out BR hens on September 10 and two more on November 14 of 2016 so I do have four more hens that will start laying.

I also have two Cochen/Silkie mix hens that just started laying in the last couple months.

My five Silkie mix hens are still pumping out the eggs daily.  They have been laying for about 17 months.

So even though it is winter in Florida, I am getting between 5-10 eggs a day which is a gracious plenty (as we say in the South) for just me and my husband.  It was 71 degrees here today.

So, just a thought, maybe buying about 25 hen chicks might work out well for you, too.  I do have 2 acres so that makes a difference, too.  Lots of room to keep the chickens healthy.

Isn’t it amazing that they can mail baby chicks to you thru the post office?  I know the chicks can last three days without food or water because they have absorbed the yoke from the egg as food.

I will go to the post office on Jan 30th when the chicks will be mailed off and give them my phone number so they can call me as soon as they come in.  I don’t want my mailman to deliver them to my house.  I think it is mandatory for a phone number to be provided to the post office to call you to pick them up. I expect I will get them the 31st or Feb 1 at the latest.

I am so excited.  Good luck with your chickens.  Keep their water clean and their yards clean and it is not hard to have healthy chickens.

More Barred Rock chicks hatching

My brother-in-law’s chickens stopped laying so he needs more hens.  I put six eggs under one Silkie hen and six under another Silkie hen about a week later.  Silkie number one hatched out two chicks yesterday and two were throw away a day or two ago that we could smell were not viable …. rotten.  yuk

We usually check the eggs about day 14 to see if they are fertilized and going to grow into a chick.  I know after day 16, you are not suppose to move the eggs.

So far, Silkie momma #2 is still sitting on six eggs and hers are due to hatch on Thursday, six days from today. I didn’t plan this too well because I don’t really have two nurseries.  Unfortunately, I am recovering from hip replacement surgery so building something right now is impossible.  I figured out something to do temporarily until I see how many chicks the second momma has.  If the first one only has the two and the second momma only has a few, I will give them all to one momma.  Usually, all my eggs hatch out from my Barred Rock so I am a little puzzled why two went rotten and two still haven’t hatched out.  My rooster definitely has his favorites out of the 8 hens he is with.  The hens are about 18 months probably.

Well, I will update this post as the chicks hatch out.  Don’t you love baby chicks.  And these Silkie moms are the best.  I hated hatching in an incubator….adjusting temperature and moisture.  Made me crazy!

Coffee cans are great for scooping

I have barrels that my daughter got for me in NC that fit a 50 lb bag of chicken feed in them perfectly.  I believe they came from a medical factory or something to do with prescription drugs, I think.

I use the plastic coffee cans with the handles for use in my barrels to scoop out chicken feed.  I have chickens in four different yards so it is nice to scoop out half a coffee can full of corn and walk along throwing the corn to the chickens.

I often turn them upside down and hang them on the fence posts if I am busy with other jobs in the yard.

Added a fluffy Silkie rooster to my flock

I love the fluffy Silkies.  I only have four girls and they are probably 2-4 years old but I can’t decide if I want to have more of them or not.  I may buy about 4 more females to breed with my new rooster.

The lady I bought Bernie from raises show Silkies and travels the country getting ribbons for them, I guess so if they are not show quality, you can get them cheap.  I only paid 5 bucks for Bernie.  I asked about buying some of her hens but she said 50 bucks and I said no thank you.  They are just pets for me.

I picked out Bernie among at least 20-25 roosters that were about 7 months old because he was hiding behind the others and acted like he was shy and scared.  He is brown with a lot of other colors mixed in (mostly reddish and blondish).

I brought him home and put him in a yard with the four Silkies and the five Silkie mix hens.  He acted so scared for over a week.  We have had him now for probably 6 weeks and he has fit in perfectly and we actually heard him crow about a week ago.

I wanted to take all the roosters home because the lady we bought him from has over 200 chickens and she said if they don’t sell, she uses them for dog food.  That broke my heart.

Too many roosters

I cannot believe out of six eggs, five turned out to be roosters.
The sad thing is I am having such a difficult time re-homing them.  I listed them on Craigslist for sale and then decided I just need to be rid of them because the five I hatched out six weeks later have two roosters in there, too.

Sadly, after two weeks, no one wants them.  If I were more of a “Homesteader” I could kill them and eat them but that does not appeal to me or my husband.  Actually, we only like the breasts and I hate to see the rest of the meat go to waste.  His sisters live behind us so I guess I could check and see if they like dark meat.  I guess if we were desperate for food, we would eat all of the chicken.

My third hatching of six chicks are still undetermined.  They are Silkie/Cochen rooster mix and they are adorable.  Hopefully, I can have more luck finding homes for Bantam roosters.  Last time I sold Bantam roosters, they were gone in a week.

September 9 Update on Cochen mix chickens.   One of the six died and we couldn’t figure out why but the five remaining chickens appear to be girls.  Woo hoo.  I put their daddy in with them to see if he would try to mate or fight with any.  No fighting.  There is only one chicken that I thought could be a boy since he appears to be a little bigger than the others.  So, I will be keeping them all.

My chicken yard is now at 25 with 3 roosters.