Tuesday, August 2, 2016

some mighty fine laying hens and about the birds

We had some glad shouts happening in the kitchen when there were two double yolkers in a row.
The glad shouts became more amplified with three double yolkers in a row.
And then...four double yolkers in a row! The hooting and hollering and mayhem could be heard down the road.

We started off with 65 laying hens early this spring. About half way through June I couldn't handle them escaping the field, wrecking my vegetable garden, turning up the mulch in the flower gardens, and the endless blobs of chicken poop everywhere. I sold half of them but we continue to have problems with chickens laying in the pig pen, goat house, pigs eating eggs in the field, and so we have a very low egg production rate but very healthy animals.

*About double yolkers
~Occurs when 2 egg  yolks are released into a hen's oviduct too close together and end up encased within the same shell.
~Its more common in the beginning of the eggs cycle (meaning younger chickens are more likely to produce the double yolkers).
~Roughly 1 in every thousand eggs is double yolked (but I think it must be more common than this statistic)

After last year's experience of birds flying out over my head, this year I filled the coop with heritage chickens.
We have breeding pairs of silkies, frizzles, and jungle fowl.
In the front of the coop we took out the window and made an outdoor aviary for small birds.
There's a small hole for the birds to fly through and they can get some warmth in the inside of the coop.
Budgies are able to live outdoors during the harshest of climates but for some reason I couldn't keep a budgie alive for more than a few days. The bright flashes of their colouring and their soothing tweets were a highlight but I needed to find another bird. Now we have zebra finches gracing the aviary and they seem to do be doing well.