Fall is officially here. Halloween is over and it's getting really freaking cold! lol It's that time of year when the stores start bombarding you with Christmas and while I'm not quite ready...I know I have to accept the inevitable! *sigh*
The cabinet incubators have been turned off for the season. Only a small Brinsea incubator remains...to be used only when absolutely necessary. It's time to make a firm decision on which breeders to buy from for the new year. I'd like to add 2-4 chickens to each flock...Marans, Silkies and D'Uccles. I'm still thinking it through though. The final trip to the auction was made. the last of the Guinea keets are sold. We're down to about a dozen (or less) Silkie chicks. Silkies are hard to stop from being broody, so I'll allow them to hatch a few over the winter. How many depends on demand. Sadly our Mille Fleur D'Uccle rooster was taken by a hawk. This picture was taken in the morning, by afternoon he was gone.
He was an awesome rooster and we'll miss him so much. Luckily we had a few chicks left and selected a male to keep. We're already working with his son Romeo and hoping he'll be a good addition to the flock. (but still looking to add in a roo from another NPIP flock) I tried desperately to hatch the next few weeks of eggs from the hens. The first one to get close to hatching had a terrible accident! The incubator lid slipped out of my hand and landed on the egg crushing it! I was so upset, but managed to fix it and just over a week later little Lucky hatched. (I took pictures through the whole thing...the post about it should be up this week.)
The chickens have loved playing in the leaves! I added some dry leaves to the run again. I do this every year and they love it! I posted about it last year: Using Fall leaves as Litter in the Chicken Run.
We gave them the rest of the pumpkins and Jack 'O Lanterns, a few zucchinis and some green beans that were getting a bit woody. The garden fence got pulled down and they have been having the best time just digging for bugs and eating weeds. They're turning the dirt and having a good 'ole time!
I finally caught the critter that's been stealing the Guinea feed! I'm not real sure if it was a small rat or really big mouse, but he's gone now. It took awhile! He was a sneaky one. I caught a glimpse of him on the thermal camera a month or so ago. I knew the minute that I saw him that he had to go, it was just a matter of when. At first I closed up the traps every morning and put them back every night. I really doubted that method would work, but I didn't want the chickens getting into the traps and getting hurt or killed! (imagine if it snapped shut on a neck. *shudders*) After a week of that not working, I put the 2 traps side by side and built up the area around it with plastic trays and boards. It sat there undisturbed for another week or so. I would drop some dinner leftovers in through the top every few days, but didn't dare touch it. Finally he wandered in and got caught. Yeay! I've got the traps back out, but I haven't seen any rodent activity since he went away so I'm hoping that was it. Kinda cute though, isn't he?
If these pictures look a little familiar, some of them have been posted on Instagram. I post there several times a day. My name on there is @MuranoFarms If you're not following me....please follow me and let me know you're a chicken person (or other farmer) so I can follow you back! I run a family friendly account, so it's safe to let your kids follow me too.
I guess that's it for now...have a great week and Happy Fall!