February 27, 2014

A Black Copper Maran hen looking just immaculate.

A Black Copper Maran hen looking just immaculate.

Hello once more.  Winter still  firmly in control though the water pipe under the barn floor thawed out on Saturday and once more we have running water in the barn.  That certainly makes chores a lot easier and quicker. The driveway remained easily passable until today when blowing snow filled in half the track.  A short while shoveling cleared it sufficiently far along that it is passable until more snow blows in over the next six or so hours.  Everyone still doing well from chickens to horses to us but we will all

A flock of Black Copper Marans.  Marans is the breed name and Black Copper is the colour variant.  From around the town of Maran in France.

A flock of Black Copper Marans. Marans is the breed name and Black Copper is the colour variant. From around the town of Maran in France.

Welsummer Rooster in all his finery.

Welsummer Rooster in all his finery.

sure welcome spring when it finally gets here.  Should be tapping time for the Maple syrup, setting taps anyway, but all that must wait.  We need warm sunny days and below freezing nights to get a good sap flow and I think that is a little way off just yet.  We should also be starting a few vegetable varieties, in particular the onions, but still a bit cold for that as we don’t have a very good germinator.  All in good time I guess.

We have been looking at getting a few different breeds of chickens to meet a specific need.   The breeds that we would like to get are the following

  • Olive Eggers    an F1 hybrid, for the olive coloured eggs
  • Black Copper Marans   an Old French breed for the very dark eggs
  • Barnevelders   from the Netherlands for a rich terra cotta egg colour
  • Young Welsummer hens looking to have a bit of a lighter colour pattern than the other flock

    Young Welsummer hens looking to have a bit of a lighter colour pattern than the other flock

    Welsummer   again from Holland for a nice dark brown egg

  • Ameraucana   an American breed for their unusual blue or green eggs
  • Silkies   for there reputation as excellent setters of hatching eggs
  • Rhode Island Reds   for a reliable brown, plentiful layer of brown eggs
  • Brown Leghorns   as a white egg layer and for their good looks

Far too many breeds of course and there may well be one more.  When put together, all the contrasting egg colours make a carton look much more interesting.  To make life

Welsummer Rooster with Hens.  A handsome bird laying a variably dark egg.

Welsummer Rooster with Hens. A handsome bird laying a variably dark egg.

even more trying for us, we were thinking of acquiring chickens for meat, but we have not yet decided on which of the meat breeds to go with.  Finally to really do a job of it we may also get a few turkeys and egg laying ducks.  These are the likely duck breeds that we will try.

  • Khaki Campbell  a really superb layer
  • Barnvelder Rooster and he is a fine looking chap don't you think?

    Barnvelder Rooster and he is a fine looking chap don’t you think?

    Welsh Harlequinn   a very good layer and a very pretty duck as well

  • Runner (either the Black or the Indian )  these are an excellent layer as well as being very unusual looking

Should we get more geese too ?  Maybe next year.  I have some pictures but it has been very difficult finding any good ones.  I’m sure that

Barnvelder Rooster and Hens at Fossil Rock Farm in Ct.  The welsummer and Barnevelder Roosters look very similar though the hens of the two breeds are distinctly different.

Barnvelder Rooster and Hens at Fossil Rock Farm in Ct. The welsummer and Barnevelder Roosters look very similar though the hens of the two breeds are distinctly different.

they are out there somewhere but what a lot of internet searching to find just these pictures.  Of course I had to read all about the experiences these people had with these breeds.  They all add to the stack of knowledge.

This is all for now as it is now way past the time when I try to post, 7:00 p.m.  I have a few photos for tonight and tomorrow

Another view of the Barnevelder flock.  these have the double laced feather colouration.

Another view of the Barnevelder flock. these have the double laced feather colouration.

I’ll post the photo of the usual weekly photo spot.  I was very busy today collecting firewood late among other even more important things and this is why I am so far behind.

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One Response to February 27, 2014

  1. Robert Feagan says:

    There is just something about chickens. Some kind of nobility, and a certain kind of pragmatic character. I know that I am reading likely far too much into this bird, but I can’t help myself. Plus, and I will be quite candid here, I like a good smoked chicken. Robert F.

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