We have had some chicken things going on around the farm the last couple of days.
First, we are continuing to make progress on the big coop and it now has a window! It will be great for the pullets to have some natural lighting as well as fresh air (on warm days). My husband took some very old windows out of a very old house to replace them and they are perfect for coops. More pictures of the big coop to come as we make more progress.
Secondly, we leg banded all the pullets in preparation for our breeding program and selecting who we will be selling in two weeks. I haven’t mentioned the breeding program yet as we were still very much in the planning stages (and still are) and I hope to get a full post with details up soon. We had to order 25 chicks to get the assortment we wanted, but we only need 19. So we have friends who want to buy the extras from us. Plus we have the cockerel, which we have decided to keep for the time being.
We chose to do colored spiral leg bands. They came in an assortment of ten colors, but since I have several breeds it was easy to be sure we didn’t double up on band color on any certain breed (ie we have a red banded RIR, and a red banded BR, and a red banded BA – so we can still tell individual birds apart). The tough part was picking the band size. I wanted them big enough for growing space since the pullets are only 7 weeks old, but not too big to be flopping around. We measured their legs and I got size 9 hoping they would fit now and size 11 to change them into when they got bigger. Unfortunately, the perfect size for right now would have been size 10. 😦 We decided to go ahead and put on the 11s now, even though they are a bit big and floppy (seemingly not enough to fall off), and we will see how it goes.
Lastly, we culled our adult hens. It is definitely not my favorite thing to do, but culling is an important part of an efficient farm. And they don’t go to waste because we use them for meat. It goes along with raising our own healthy food – it’s just not my favorite part of farm life. At least I know they were treated well in life and killed quickly and humanely.
So we now have two adult hens, an adult rooster, 26 pullets, and 1 cockerel. But in two weeks the numbers will change again when we sell some of the pullets.