We are very excited to get our very first season started. This has been a year and a half in the making and it started with a UsedPEI advertisement for an Ameraucana rooster in December of 2014. We had no plans to ever get a rooster, but when I saw him, I had to have him. He is the first chicken we got and he is the reason for this madness, his name is Charlie.
We have 5 Ameraucana laying hens, they are : Harriot, Hilda, Loretta, Mabel and Tilly. We have 2 Marans, they are: Marilyn and Dottie. And we have 1 Welsummer hen named Henny Penny. Our breeding roosters are Charlie the Ameraucana, Ragnar the Maran and Cletus the Welsummer.
We are planning to expand our breeding programme to Copper Marans and Welsummers next season. We have been very fortunate to connect with Katy Touchette from Nova Scotia, we will be trading chicks this spring so that we will have a new blood line for next season. Katy will be getting this season’s first hatch, once her chicks are hatched we plan to start filling the incubator with eggs for the rest of our season.
Getting ready for the breeding season requires the selected hens to go into isolation for 2 weeks to clear their system of the other roosters in the flock. We started this on Feb 19.
We have had a few road blocks come up, our 2 Marans abruptly stopped laying and have not been able to be put in for the start of this season, so right off the bat we are 2 hens down.
With a majority of the hens in the breeding pens, the roosters started to fight, so the selected breeding roosters have gone directly in the pens with their hens. Charlie is used to running the coop, and being put in a pen for the first time has been difficult for him to process. I am not even joking when I say he has been a bit depressed and fairly inactive. We put him in his bed in the garage at night, and he seems to be a bit happier, getting a portion of his old life back.
We put Henny Penny the Welsummer in with Charlie as an Olive Egger hen, and Ragnar has 2 Ameraucana hens also contributing as Olive Egger hens. Charlie also has 3 Ameraucana hens, so 3 Ameraucana layers and 3 Olive Egger layers. Another set back, Henny Penny was being bullied by the 3 Ameraucana hens, they wouldn’t allow her to eat or be near Charlie, so for her health and safety, she has been pulled from the breeding pen. We are down another hen, now down to 2 Olive Egger layers.
For the week of February 22-28 we collected 8 OEE eggs and 10 Ameraucana eggs from the breeding pens. We have 1 week of isolation left before we start collecting eggs. We will track next weeks lay and have a good idea of what numbers we can collect to put in the incubator over a 10 day period.
Here’s hoping the roosters are doing their jobs and we have fertile eggs.
Below are some pictures of the breeding pens, we have recycled some feed bags to put up some privacy walls so there are no distractions from the remaining flock members in the coop, or between the breeding roosters.
Keep checking back for more updates.