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Archive for the ‘Poultry’ Category

postheadericon Still Kicking and Clucking

It’s Alive….and clucking.

After a way too long hiatus, I’m back. In a way, a lot has changed and nothing has changed – if that makes sense. It will take me some time and many posts to bring you up to snuff. I appreciate you all still being here.

I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing our little world again with you lovely people. I’ve missed you!

Here’s a clue on what I’m still doing….it does have some clucking involved too…

Alive and clucking at Red Barn Blue Skies with the guineas
If you’d like to learn more about Guineas, check out this great book.

postheadericon The Defense Rests

In the case of The Hubby vs.THE CHICKENS, the defense offers this photographic evidence and then the defense rests:

 

She states:  “My husband is very supportive of my chicken obsession.  He helps me out and encourages me in growing our endeavor.  But, he tells the guys that he is just indulging his crazy wife.  He says that he puts up with the feathered fiends to appease me and doesn’t have anything to do with any of the birds.  I don’t understand why he doesn’t want anyone to know that he buys them treats. He enjoys being out with them almost as much as I do and has his favorites in the flock.”
He replies:  “Uh, no comment.  I need to go feed my chickens.”
 
The defense rests..

postheadericon Spring is Sprung in the Coop

Spring is sprung, both in the world and inside the chicken coop. We’re gearing up for a wave of little blue, black, and splash chicks hatching in the near future.

Spring is Sprung in the Coop at Red Barn Blue Skies with Andalusian Chicks

 

I initially started raising Giant (Standard) Cochins with the thought they would be broodies for my Blue Andalusian chicks. Andalusians just have no interest in taking care of their own kids. They produce a bajillion of them, then they are just “dead-beat” parents and don’t want to take the time to hatch or raise them! They’d rather strut around and show off.

Spring is Sprung

The spring fever has hit hard this year. They are popping out eggs like crazy in my Andalusian breeding pen. I decided I was in need of some help to get the blue babies hatched.

Spring is Sprung in the Chicken Coop 2 at Red Barn Blue Skies

So Cochins to the rescue…or NOT. I waited and waited for one of my beautiful blue Cochin gals to go broody. You would think out of 9 hens, one would cooperate? Nope. Nada.

Hovabator Incubator for Spring is Sprung at Red Barn Blue Skies

So I took the plunge and ordered an incubator online. And guess what? The pretty little lady pictured below decided she wants to raise some chicks! The very day after I spent a small fortune on an “alternative” way to get those babies hatched.

Spring is Sprung in the Chicken Coop at Red Barn Blue Skies

And to add insult to injury, her broodiness was contagious and three of the other girls decided they want to be mamas too. So now my dilemma is finding enough eggs that I want my girls to hatch! Good thing they’re pretty…

Check out more of our adventures with chickens – life is never boring around here!

So what are your own plans now that spring is sprung for us all?

postheadericon Baby Blues at MoonCat Farms

I’m sure the title of this post had you thinking of something else.  Never fear, we aren’t pregnant and we aren’t blue at all around here, but our new babies are!

Welcome to our first hatch of the year (from Monday).  24 eggs went into the incubator and exactly 21 days later, these pretty babies made their way into the big wide world outside their shells.  I’m especially happy with these 17 hatchlings because they are the first chicks from my young breeding birds.
In the first week of incubation, 4 eggs were found to not be fertile while 1 started and died.  The other 19 eggs went the full three weeks.  2 eggs didn’t hatch for unknown reasons, but 17 did and 17 out of 24 is still very good.  The fertility and hatch rate should both improve as the breeders get a little older ~ and more experienced 🙂
The fuzzier chicks are Giant Blue Cochins with the others being my Blue Andalusians.  As you can see in the photo, there are some differently colored birds in the brooder.  Most birds that carry the common blue or “Andalusian” gene have the possibility of producing Blue, Black or Splash chicks. I am pleased with the group of mostly blue babies:  10 blue (5 Cochins/5 Andalusians), 5 black (3 Cochins/2 Andalusians) and 2 Splash Cochins.  Splash chicks will be a whitish based bird with blue or black “splashes” of color.  More about the blue genes later.
More photos and blathering on about my birds to come soon!

postheadericon Chasing Chickens

Well, it’s been so long since I’ve posted that I pretty much had to learn how to do it all over again!  Life has kept us very busy here at MoonCat Farms since I last checked in many moons ago.  There’s too much to cover in one post so I’ll just start fresh with one of my favorite and frankly, most time-consuming interests. My chooks…

Mr. MoonCat’s parents call them their “grands”.  When they come up for a visit, they enjoy helping me with the little feathered fiends.  In fact we’re looking forward to a visit next month when I will be enlisting their help in vaccinating the flock and accomplishing a few other chores that seem to need a few willing extra hands.  Plus, we just have fun playing with the birds and spending time outside.  The chickens reward their “grands” by sending them back to Arizona with a bunch of beautiful farm fresh eggs!

 

Rudy Roo – Barred Plymouth Rock

Rudy Roo is called a Barred Plymouth Rock or just a Barred Rock.  He runs with my laying flock of mostly Rhode Island Red hens and a few girls of questionable parentage.  He’s a very gentle bird that takes great care of his girls and is pleasant for us to be around.  (His neck shouldn’t look all fuzzy like that, he’s been sticking his head through the fence to reach the rosebush and messed up his feathers. I will be putting up more chicken wire soon, as Mr. MoonCat accused me of trying to strangle poor Rudy!)

 

“I’ll Be Back…”   Iowa Blue hen

This little gal giving us all the stink-eye is an Iowa Blue hen.  She’s a smallish bird that lays a small creamy colored egg.  They are a personable breed that is enjoyable to be around and as you can tell by the up close and personal photo, very nosy!  (BTW, they aren’t blue..just those Iowa people coming up with a name for their birds… 🙂

 

Boo – Blue Andalusian rooster

This pretty guy is one of my favorite boys here at MoonCat Farms.  He is Boo, a Blue Andalusian rooster which comes from Andalusia, Spain.  Blue Andalusians actually show up in three color variations:  Blue, Black and Splash.  They are all the same bird, they just carry the blue gene differently.  I will do a post on each of the breeds I am raising and go a little more into the colors then.

 

The fluffy butts in the photo above belong to my lovely Giant Blue Cochins.  That is one of the two roosters with his head up while the others were pigging out on a pumpkin. They lay medium-sized brown eggs, but not in large quantities.  In spite of this and in all honesty, because they are so darn cute, they came to MoonCat Farms with a purpose – to sit on and hatch the eggs of the Blue Andalusians.  Andalusians are notorious for NOT sitting on their own eggs while Cochins are notorious for being broody and wanting to spend their time raising chicks – instead of laying eggs!  It’s a perfect match :)If you haven’t noticed yet, I have a bit of a theme with the BLUE chickens.  This has become quite the endeavor and I am truly hooked on my birds.  I look forward to sharing more about this journey with you.