Monthly Archives: February 2013

February baby chicks are here

The weather has been so confusing for the plants and animals here in Florida.  This weekend it will be freezing but it in a day or two later, back in the 70s and 80s.  That is one thing I really like about Florida but I do miss snow.

So I have some Silkie hens that are broody and I let one hen sit on five eggs and she hatched out three Barred Rocks female chicks for me.  Now I have another Silkie hen sitting on some more Barred Rock eggs.  I put seven eggs under her and they are due to start hatching March 7th.  It is hard not to want baby chicks around.

I feather-sexed the three chicks and I did that test where you hold the chicks by the scruff of the neck and see if their legs dangle down.  Both tests showed the chicks are all females.  I am thinking my daughter, Bonnie, will take them since she just bought a house and is wanting to start gardening and raising some small animals.

It is such a nice bonding time when your children are interested in things you have knowledge about and they seek out your advice.   We will be heading to NC to help fence their yard and discuss garden ideas and canning.   It is going to be so much fun.  I am also looking forward to cooking for my daughter and my daughter-in-law, Brooke.  They think I am a great cook which encourages me to cook a lot.


Protecting chickens with kite string

I bought some netting to cover my Silkie yard since I have previously lost the little chickens from chicken hawks.  Then my neighbor told me about stringing kite string from pole to pole to form a web over the yard.  It does not have to be a tight web either.  I have gaps that are four or five feet wide.  But it works.  But be smarter than I am and use tall enough poles that you can walk under the webbing.

Extending Shelf Life of Eggs

I watched a Doomsday Prepper show and realized that even though most of the people seem rather paranoid, they do show some good tips for storing food.

One thing was about eggs.  This lady said if you cover your eggs with vegetable oil, it seals your eggs from bacteria and you can keep them for 9 months.   Now, I don’t know if that is true or not since I just learned about it and haven’t had the opportunity to try it.

I have also read that if you have farm fresh eggs, you should not wash them before you refrigerate them to ensure the “boom” continues to protect the egg.  I would wash them before I cracked them open though.

Again, if you aren’t sure an egg is good, you just put it in a bowl of water and if it floats, the egg is NOT good.  I had a few stand up on it’s end and I would not eat them either.

I always boil the eggs that are the oldest so ensure the shell comes off easier.  Fresh eggs seem to stick to the shell a lot worse.

Broody Chickens and Cool Weather

Well, my one Silkie hen sat on her five eggs for over 25 days and I took her off the eggs and put her back with the other chickens.  We had some pretty cold weather and I don’t think she could keep them warm enough so none hatched.

I have another hen that is Silkie/Americauna mix and she has been sitting for 12 days on five Barred Rock eggs.  Her maternity ward (lol) opens in a different direction so I am hoping the cool air won’t be cooling down the temp of the eggs.

Yesterday I noticed I have a white Silkie that is broody, too.  These 70 plus degree temperatures are certainly confusing my chickens and the plants.  Because my white Silkie rooster is in with my Silkies and my mixed Silkie/Americaunas, I don’t want to hatch any of their eggs right now.  I have a separate yard that I will put my Silkies in with a Silkie rooster if and when I want more of their breed.

Baby chicks are always fun and the last ones I hatched out was when my grand daughter, Maddy, came for a visit last July because I wanted babies for her to enjoy.  I still have 42 chickens and I have 6 dozen eggs in my refrigerator right now.  I have a friend I give eggs to and then my two sister-in-laws live behind our property and they appreciate the eggs.

I was thinking about buying 25 chicks from McMurray Hatcheries and raise them to about five months and then sell them.  So by July or August, even if I sold them for 10 dollars each, I could have 250 dollars.  Of course, you have to subtract the money you paid for the chickens (75 plus shipping) and their food for 5 months.  With 2 acres of land, they can find a lot to eat off the land, too.  The best part is you get to enjoy baby chicks even if you don’t make a fortune.

It is a good life.