Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New chickens

In my search locally for Marans chickens, I came across some five week old Black Copper Marans chicks for sale.. Well, these are the current "it" variety because while the other colors of Marans lay dark eggs, the Black Copper ones lay the darkest brown eggs of all... I was also intrigued by the idea of the possibility of Blue Copper, since blue, being a dilute of black, can be paired with black.. I was guessing that since the seller mentioned only getting a few blues from this hatch, I thought they wouldn't be for sale, but he let me buy a pair of Blue Copper, as well as a pair of Black Copper, plus a little Splash Copper freebee (who was smaller than the others and harder to tell what gender it was).. At first I thought it was a pullet, but now I'm relatively sure its another rooster, which is just fine- he's very cool.. Splash is like a double blue genetically, so paired with black, the splash will throw all blue chicks. They are growing fast!

Well, before the week was over I had located a trio of Ameraucanas which included 2 gorgeous blue hens... they came with a rooster also, so now the chicken numbers are even- 4 hens, 4 roosters.. I think I either need more hens, or less roosters..... The rooster seems to have a very nice disposition.. I'll keep him for now because roosters are good guardians for hens and until the Marans get bigger, he's the only one here, but he'll probably be looking for new flock later on..
Here is the Ameraucana group still in their travel cage:

Monday, March 9, 2009

What's happening at Locksley Fields?

I have been neglecting the blog for some time, due to not having much "farm time" as I've been away and occupied with other things. I'm graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in May.. The most difficult by far has been the past 7 months, but the emergence of spring has made me optimistic that it's not that far away.. I have some grand farm-related plans for my post-graduation break.. Well actually a little before that.. Day old chicks will arrive in early May! This will be the second time I've raised chicks.. they were lots of fun last time, but ended up covering the garage in white chick dust and flying out of their pen while their building was under construction. They will now have their own little "barn." The order mostly consists of Ameraucanas ("Easter Eggers") and Cuckoo Marans.. The easter eggers have been a favorite of mine because of their green and blue eggs, good laying rate and attractiveness.. Plus they aren't that large.. I've wanted Marans for several years because they lay very dark brown eggs... Unfortunately it's going to be a long wait before these chicks (who won't even be born for another 2 months) will start laying, so in the meantime I'm looking for some older chickens.. Pictured is my last Ameraucana/Easter egger rooster and a couple of my favorite hens.

The best summer news is that in early June, LAMBS are due! It's been 2 years since I had planned lambs that I was able to raise friendly, so I'm excited.. The four ewes that are set to lamb are Pandora, Morgance, Evangeline and Lumina. Expecting lots of spots! Here they are when they were lambs:

Shearing is April 5th. I would normally shear in March, but with lambing so late, there was no need and I pushed the date back a little due to heavier class workloads in the weeks of late March.
Still 14 sheep on the farm... The rams, Dante and Joaquin, in the post below are still available. May be willing to trade for a nice ram with spot genetics. Hopper is still available too.. I think Kaya's lamb may be available instead of Kaya.. I was planning to keep her in place of her mom, but she's not as friendly.
Last, but never least.. I leave you with a photo of the handsome Mr Jamie...