Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Blue Eggs! And a chick!

Three of the hens that I raised from chicks are a breed advertised as Easter Eggers by the hatchery, which I believe is a mix with Americana chickens.  They are very pretty birds with fluffy beards, small combs, and pattered feathers, but they are smaller than the Plymoth Barred Rock or Buff Orpington hens that I have, and they seem to be more flighty and easily spooked.  But, they can make blue or green eggs and they are finally old enough to lay! I found this first blue egg laying in the grass and I may have whooped with excitement.  

Eggs in a turquoise shell don't taste any different than eggs from a white or brown shell, but they make my egg basket look pretty.  

And, they sort of match my kitchen!

Remember when I said I couldn't wait to have too many eggs?  Well, I think I'm almost there -what a haul.  

And look who I recently met - a brand new baby chick hatched right here at home.  One of my older leghorn hens decided to sit on eggs in the nest box, so I moved her and the eggs to the brooder with some food and water so she could nest in peace.  She's been diligently sitting on the eggs despite looking so tired that her comb has wilted to the side.  I just happened to be in my corn crib on one of her infrequent water breaks and saw that she already had a baby chick so I ran to get my camera.     

This morning, I could see three little chicks bopping around while she sat on the other eggs.  I wonder how many she will get to hatch?  I had to remove one broken smelly egg and one dead chick, but there is still a pile of un-hatched eggs that she's working on.  

I can raise the lid to the brooder to change her water and give her food, but when I tried to remove the dead chick she fluffed her feathers to three times her normal size and pecked me.  Hard.  Actually, it was less a peck and more like she grabbed my skin and twisted it with her beak.  She bit me!  She's a good mamma.  

Soon I hope to raise the lid on the brooder during the day so she can lead her chicks out into the world.  I hope she brings them back the brooder at night so I can close them up and keep them safe.  These little chicks are the first born at our little farm, and first chicks hatched from a chicken I raised from an egg.  Does that make me a grandma?  

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