It has been a while since I last blogged. In that time we have had lots of changes as well as a fair few ups and downs along the way.
I last blogged before the birth of our first born boy in April 2012. Sadly Logan passed away shortly after birth sending our world into turmoil. We were blessed though 5 months later when I fell pregnant with his little brother Gabriel, who is now 10 months old and into everything – he is going to love helping mummy with the hatch this year!
As well as changes to our little family we have also moved home to North Wales and are now living close to my parent’s smallholding. This of course means lots more space – and lots more poultry plans 😉
Before we moved our existing flocks were moved to new homes as where we are living there are a lot of foxes, and without fox proofing there would have been inevitable carnage even with careful after dawn let outs and before dusk locks downs. Now though Spring is upon us, and it is time to get planning, fox proofing, building and hatching. I can’t wait!
Incubation & Hatching
The plan is this year to use an incubator. Normally I would use a broody hen (there was always one in my flock willing to oblige) to hatch as not only was it easier this way, it was always a lovely sight to see mummy hen and chicks trotting around the garden on a sunny day. However, without a flock we will be trying our hand at using an incubator and brooder. I know we could attempt to make these, I have friend’s that have been very successful in their attempts, however my technological abilities don’t stretch that far especially in a regularly sleep deprived state (the 10 month old tink sees to that…).
I think we are finally decided on breeds – Wyandottes, Cream Legbars and we will also be purchasing a couple of pol hybrids to keep us in eggs while the youngsters grow up. So all that is needed now is to get the incubator sorted, collect the hatching eggs and get my husband fox proofing and building the housing.
We’ve recently taken over BLP Books and with it the back catalogue of Katie Thear’s books – which includes a book on incubation as well as a number of other poultry titles. This is certainly keeping us busy, but is also a very exciting venture with so many possibilities and such a wonderful selection of books to be working on, updating and reprinting. The Starting with Chickens book is the very first poultry book I bought 7 years ago before I decided to keep my own small flock (how those 3 laying hens grew in numbers so fast!) and I can highly recommend it to anyone thinking of dipping their toe into the world of chicken keeping.
The difference in space we are going to have for poultry keeping now is huge. Before I had a small urban garden, now we have multiple fields to choose from! The problem is going to be making sure we stop at just a few trios….