This will be a pivotal year for us!
We have decided to make a huge (for us) increase in our flock for 2014. We have over 800 up and coming baby chicks being prepped for egg production this spring. The demand for our eggs from chickens raised on pasture has been growing. We don’t have enough supply to meet the ever-increasing demand with our 400 hens, therefore we decided to get the larger group of chicks.
We have also expanded our delivery area to include Chattanooga and Signal Mountain as well as the Knoxville area. This is a big jump for us and we will see how this next season goes. There won’t be much left over from the egg money coming in from the laying hens after we feed the youngsters, but come spring we should be knee-deep in eggs! I guess that’s a good thing, right?
5 day old chicks already eating non-stop
When the chicks are only a few days old they resemble fuzzy little marshmallows with legs.
This look changes very fast and by the end of the first week feathers on the wings are already being formed.
The waterers need to be refilled several times a day and they need to be fed nearly as often.
When they swarm the feeders they do make you think of locusts. Ha!
Night patrol on day shift
We have two flocks to try to keep safe from predators. Obviously the little ones are the most vulnerable, but the older girls are also a concern. Our two dogs are on patrol at night to guard against coyotes, opossums, racoons, skunks…you name it…they all like chicken.
We have two Chinese geese in with the girls out on pasture to help protect against hawks and consider ourselves fortunate that we have only lost one bird to a hawk so far this fall.
One of the dogs receives special instructions from the giver of food.
“OK, now here’s what I want you to do…wait until I get the food buckets out of here…then follow me.”
“And remember, don’t eat the eggs and no chasing chickens.”