Thursday, January 30, 2014

Live hatch cam

Our eggs have started hatching! So far three silkies and one houdan has hatched. We are live streaming our hatch here. Here are some photos of who's hatched so far!




Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let the hatch begin!

Today just minutes after I turned off the turner and went into "Lockdown" we started hearing peeping. And the eggs all started rolling around. Ten minutes later I come down to see one of the cuckoo silkie eggs has hatched! We re only on day 19! This egg is an early bird! Will be posting frequent updates on hatch later today and the next couple days.
This early bird cuckoo silkie has pipped on day 19!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Snow Fun

Today the sheep were able to get out in the snow, and they had a blast, as you can tell in the video below! 
They mostly ran around overly excited because of the snow, but also ate some here and there. Here are some photos from their adventures today.



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rest in Peace, Butterscotch

About a week ago, Butterscotch, our Partridge Silkie Chick, started to become wobbly and had trouble standing up. Just a few days ago she could no longer stand and wasn't drinking. We suspected she had Marek's Disease, a disease that is incurable if your chickens are unlucky enough to get it. We brought her to the vet today, to find she did in fact have Marek's disease. The vet said she had little time left and that time wouldn't be enjoyable for her, so we made the hardest decision any chicken keeper should ever have to make, to have her put down. We didn't want her to suffer and there was no way we could help her so that was what had to be done.

Rest in Peace, Butterscotch.
About Marek's Disease:
Most chickens are vaccinated as chicks at the hatchery or by the breeder when they are one day old. The breeder we got them from did not do this to our Silkies, and this is what happens. This one was not in our control because if they don't get it as chicks, getting the vaccine later in life won't do much. Take this as a strong warning that you should always vaccine newly hatched chicks for Marek's and you should try not to buy any birds that have not been vaccinated. We made the mistake of buying birds without the Marek's vaccine and we suffered the consequences.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Three Great Chicken Care Apps

Recently I have been asked by readers if I know of any chicken keeping apps, so here's a couple I have found very helpful and interesting.



Backyard Chickens (BYC) App by Ludlow Concepts, Inc.
Most chicken keepers know of the online backyard chicken keeping website BackyardChickens.com, which now has it's own app where you can access the forums on the go.


Pickin Chicken Breed Selector Tool by Mother Earth News
An app made from the well known Mother Earth News, Pickin Chicken Breed Selector tool is the best way to find the breed right for you! By entering criteria you will be given a list of which breeds will serve you purpose best. 

$2.99 - Click here to learn more.


iHatch-Chickens by iHatch Apps
I hatch chickens is a great aid in hatching your own eggs. View how the eggs should be developing day by day with photos of the inside and while candling. I am using this right now to see what my eggs are supposed to look like. 



These are just a few I have taken to liking, but there are many others too. You can also get many free and paid chicken care e-books and magazines on smartphones and tablets. If you find any cool ones please share them with me!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Eggs are Set!

Last night I received the last shipment of eggs.  Inside the incubator, there is a total of 28 eggs. There are 8 Cuckoo silkie eggs, 7 Showgirl eggs, and 12 Polish x Houdan eggs. They are set to hatch on January 31, 2014. They are set in our new Octagon 20 Eco. Here's a photo of the eggs all stuffed in the incubator! I will be making frequent updates on our Facebook Page about how they are doing, and will post candling photos here too. 



Friday, January 10, 2014

Chicken Photo Contest


We will be having a photo contest! Here's how to enter:

1. Share this post on Facebook.*
2. Comment on at least three of my blog posts.
3. Email up to three photos to contest@hensandhooves.com.

If you're viewing this from our blog, there are share buttons on the bottom of the post.

This contest will run from 1/10/2014 to 1/21//2014. 

I will choose the top 5 on 1/21/2014 and then have my blog readers vote on which of the five they like best.

Note: Even if you're not entering the contest, we would love it if you could share it anyways. 

Thank you for entering and Good Luck!

*Only users with Facebook can enter in this contest. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Peek at the Week {Week of 1/6/2014}

Today every human and animal alike let out a big sigh. It was a really nice day and there was no snow so everyone basked in the sun and defrosted themselves after the recent cold spree. While many chicken keepers had much worse weather and had keep chickens in there house, we were fine, although we were sure kept on our toes! Here are some photos from today.

Portia has become such a beautiful and friendly girl! She's very inquisitive and poses for photos now too!


The mini flock got out today and had a ball! They are almost all bigger than their mama! (Shes farthest to the left.)


Today we learned two things. One, the sheep were VERY happy to be out after being stuck inside because of snow and the cold. Two, Bo needs a haircut. He has too much wool in front of his eyes and it limits his vision. Today when he and Clover were out he freaked out because he couldn't find her and started running around the yard until she ran up to him to see what was going on. Then later when they were running around playing he ran into a tree. That's right, a tree. He just bounced off of it, shook his head, and continued to run around with his sister. I later noticed he had a little cut on his nose. It's not too bad so I'm just going to keep an eye on it. If I tried to fix it he wouldn't let me touch it anyways, so it's technically my only choice.


That's this week, er day's, Peek at the Week! Please come back to see our upcoming post about the eggs we will be putting in the incubator!

To get by the minute updates on farm happenings, "Like" our Facebook page! Yesterday our page reached the milestone of 300 likes! Click here to "Like" us on Facebook!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Expanding our Flock in the New Year

First of all, Happy New Year to all our readers! As you read about in my last post, we recently acquired a new incubator, with a capacity of 24 eggs! Yesterday we ordered enough eggs to meet the capacity of this incubator! First, I ordered half a dozen Cuckoo Silkie eggs. Cuckoo Silkies have a barred pattern, and the same you would see on a cuckoo marans hen. Here's a photo I found of a beautiful Cuckoo Silkie. Silkies are very friendly and are good mothers.

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/53805644@N02/6885378131/


I also ordered half of a dozen Showgirl Silkie hatching eggs. Showgirls are what you get when you cross a naked neck and a Silkie. They can be any color that a normal Silkie can be, but will produce Silkie offspring, not naked neck. Showgirls have the same disposition of a silkie, and are good mothers.

Photo from http://www.inspirationgreen.com/the-biodiversity-project.html
Last, we ordered a dozen assorted Polish hatching eggs! Polish chickens have a large crest, which looks like a crazy hairdo, and come in many colors and patterns. Polish are very friendly and good pets.

Photo from http://www.cutehomepets.com/10-popular-pet-chicken-breeds/

 I will post an update when the eggs arrive, so stay tuned! We hope to expand our flock this year and start breeding Silkies.