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{Flock Updates} Yup, Still Cold Outside

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It’s still below freezing outside, despite the weather predictions of it getting above freezing today. The flock is doing okay still, despite being cooped up in the barn for over a week now. Odysseus definitely seems to have issues with all the dust in the barn as that is the only time I catch him sneezing. When I take him inside to clean up his nares and apply the VetRX, he’s totally fine. The minute he’s back in the barn and on the ground, he starts sneezing. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do about that while it’s still colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra outside. Just have to keep cleaning him up and making sure he can breath and isn’t displaying any other symptoms that might suggest this is more serious than dust until the weather warms up and I get the bigger coop built.

Other than that, everyone else seems to be doing fine. They all rush out the door when I open it in the morning, everyone is eating and drinking like royalty in Ancient Rome, and eggs are still being laid every day.

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Granted, it’s only one egg a day, but there’s a distinct difference in shape and size that it makes me think maybe more than one hen is laying right now. I’d be okay if they didn’t want to lay at all during this weather, to be honest. I’m not really into this for the egg production or the meat. My flock is definitely going to die of old age or natural causes and not because they stop laying eggs or anything. I think most of the chicks I’m getting in May will eventually be more frequent egg layers than the hens I have now (I guess Polish aren’t the best egg layers), so eventually there will be more eggs. I have been trying to decide what I want to do with my flock now that I’ve got an incubator arriving on Thursday, and I think I’m pretty set on just being a breeder of Heritage/Rare breeds and interesting Barnyard breeds for people in Colorado. Talking with a few of the ladies from CO on the BYC board has helped me come to this decision. I might be interested in shipping eggs out of state, but I’ve heard that that lowers the hatching success by like 50% so I’m not too sure I’d be willing to try and provide breeds to people outside CO. I know that there are Heritage and Rare breeds that people are interested in that are extremely hard to come by here in the US because breeders and hatcheries are charging thousands of dollars for eggs or chicks (the Ayam Cemani is one such breed). I’d like to be able to build up good stock so that I could provide people certain breeds to people without emptying their wallets. It’s something I’m still thinking about and talking over with my mom (since I’ll be building the coop and pen on her property and all). The expansion of the coop and pen to accommodate a breeding area wouldn’t be that difficult at all to do, and would actually be a good idea to do as a space to house chicks that are out of the brooder but not yet fully integrated into the main flock yet. Like I said, it’s something I’m still thinking about since it’s going to take a nice chunk of cash to get this all built and started. The coop build is already pushing back my Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid purchase back at least another year, so I have to decide what I want to do and focus my wallet on more this year: a breeding program or my artwork.

imageThe only other thing that’s been going on right now is that Athena, Calypso, and Penelope are getting hard to tell apart. At first, it was easy because only Athena and Penelope had white tipped feathers in their crest. Well, now Calypso is growing some in and it makes it very hard for me to tell them apart. I was thinking about buying some leg bands for them, but it was suggested to me to just use nail polish on them as a cheaper alternative. This is a great, cost effective idea for me since I have an drawer full of nail polish and just got two paint cans full of nail polish samples for Christmas. I’m going to have the most fashionable chickens there ever were.

 

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