The chicks born just before Easter have now moved outside into the chick shed with the older chicks.
They are slowly getting used to each other.
And starting to explore outside
They have a nice outside run and when they are a little bigger we will move them over to the smallholding.
This year I am trying to hatch out sufficient heritage hens (Ixworths, Marans, Blue-egg layers, and Rhode Island Reds) to increase our egg production for next year and replace natural wastage – yes, that’s a euphemism for those hens we kill and feed to the dogs. I don’t like to leave the hens to slowly wither and die. I prefer a quick intervention, minimal suffering and food for my dogs.
Anyway, I have set a goal of 30 hens to hatch out, but as the split between hens and cockerels is 50-50 I have to hatch out 60 chicks. So far I have 36 so we still have a way to go. The next batch is due to hatch next week …. right when I am in Sarajevo …. whoops, bad timing there.
N.B. Unlike in the commercial egg industry our cockerels don’t get mashed up or gassed as soon as they hatch. They have a wonderful summer exploring the smallholding and then one day in the autumn they have a quick death and then they feed us (and the dogs) for the next year.