January 18, 2016

We're So Egg-cited


I walked into the chicken coop Friday morning and was nearly giddy: there in the corner was a little brown egg.


No one took the credit for the egg, so I'm not sure which one of the pullets was responsible. I thanked all of the girls profusely.


We have fourteen pullets in the coop. We bought the four black sex-links, two Dominiques and two speckled Sussex together as day-old chicks. The four buff orpingtons are four weeks younger, and the two buff brahmas are two weeks younger than the orpingtons.


The older girls are now twenty weeks, about five months old. Pullets usually begin laying between four and six months of age. Since sex-links are well-known for their productivity, I think it might be one of them. My guess is this one below, because her comb and wattles are the most-developed and have the deepest, brightest color. Yes, I know I could turn her over and give her an examination and maybe figure it out, but I don't need to know that badly.


Black sex-links are a cross between a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire Red rooster and a Barred Plymouth Rock female. The chicks can be sexed by their color as soon as they hatch: their color is linked to their gender so they are called sex-links.


They're very pretty birds, and contrary to their name, they aren't completely black. Ours have varying amounts of gold hackle and breast feathers.


I was feeding the growing pullets a medicated "grower" feed; I prefer non-medicated feed but it's very hard to find where I live. I asked at the feed store a few weeks ago when I should switch them to layer pellets. The owner said to wait until the first egg is laid, then switch feeds. The first eggs should be thrown out because of the medicated feed the hens have been eating. I decided to switch the girls early, as soon as they'd finished the current bag of grower feed. I'm glad I did.




This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops


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24 comments:

  1. Yeah! That's so exciting. Congratulations :-)

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  2. First eggs are so exciting. When we had our first "first egg" about twelve years ago, I was really really excited!

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  3. Congratulations! Getting hens was one of the best decisions I ever made. Your ladies are lovely.

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  4. Thank you, Sarah! :-)

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  5. Kati,
    When changing feed for your chickens, do you just stop one and start another? We use to raise chickens and will start again this year. However, my husband did all the feeding and way back then, I didn't pay much attention. I do know that when we need to change food for our English Bulldogs, we ALWAYS start slowly by mixing the new feed with their current feed, working up to all new feed after 5 or 6 days. This way their digestive tract isn't goofed up and they don't get the "runs." Was just wondering if this is true with chickens as well?
    Congrats on your first egg - I hope you have many more!

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  6. That's an excellent question, Bobbie. (Egg-celent?)

    I always introduce any new feed slowly just as you used to do with your dogs. I take more time when it's goats or horses, but I did take several days to mix the chickens' grower crumbles with the layer pellets. The texture is also different so they needed to get used to that. But since chickens are opportunistic omnivores that will eat anything they find, they adapted quickly.

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  7. How fabulous! Eggs in winter! Your girls are certainly striking with their various colors. Thank you for sharing on The Maple Hill Hop!

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  8. Thank you, Daisy.

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  9. The first egg is always so exciting! I remember frying up our first next to a store bought egg and 6 of us had a taste testing of them. (Had to cut that pullet egg into pretty small pieces!) Then that flock was wiped out and we tried again. The second "first egg" was nearly as exciting. :)

    Enjoy! Soon you will have more eggs than you know what to do with. Those sex links really are great layers.

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  10. Thank you, Jamie. I can imagine how proud you all were when you fried up that first egg and shared a taste of it. How exciting!

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  11. Oh - that truly is exciting! I am so jealous... I can't wait until I get my first girls - I will be eggstatic! Thanks for sharing your eggciting story!

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  12. Vickie, you will love having chickens! I hope it won't be too long before you too can become a chicken mama.

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  13. Finding a egg from a new hen is always so exciting for us even when we have other girls that have been laying regularly. Those are some gorgeous birds you have!

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  14. I agree, any first egg is very exciting! Thank you!

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  15. I am always like a kid at Christmas when I get that first egg...brings me pure joy!

    Thanks for sharing on the Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop!
    http://oursimplelife-sc.com/simple-homestead-blog-hop-35/

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  16. Thank you, Tracy. There are 13 more pullets that will soon have first eggs, so there will be a lot of excitement here!

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  17. Congratulations on your first egg! Your chickens are beautiful. Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home.

    Jennifer

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  18. Thank you, Jennifer!

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  19. Yay! So exciting! I was reading through past posts on my blog the other day and came across our first egg post. It's still just as exciting to find eggs out in the coop every day. I love it!

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  20. It never gets old, does it, Jennifer? Finding several eggs in a cozy nest, maybe even freshly-laid and warm - it's a gift.

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  21. So many of my meals revolve around fresh eggs these days! I no longer keep chickens but fortunately I have a neighbor who does and he is most generous with the eggs. I do remember how thrilling it was to go out and find my first egg....I had Bantams and the eggs were teeny tiny! I later got larger chickens...and therefore larger eggs...but those Bantam eggs were the tastiest!

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  22. Fresh eggs are always great, I have seen warm fresh eggs in my mom's friend's house. It is really fun. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

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  23. I'm glad you have a generous neighbor, Mountain Mama. My grandparents had Bantams and I remember those little eggs. A couple more of my girls are laying them now too. :-)

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  24. Thank you, Swathi.

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