We only hatched one, lone Delaware chick from our first round of incubation a couple of months ago. Of the 12 eggs, only two fertilized and the one little guy never made it out of the egg. I figured it would be a good time to hunt for some Silkies, so our chick would have some company for the long winter that’s approaching quicker than I’d like.
Silkies are referred to as the lap dogs of the chicken breeds and are exceptionally good with kids. Searching on the Internet, I found a lovely lady who runs CJ’s Silkies and sells eggs about a 45-minute drive from our house. I e-mailed her and we made plans to meet so I could pick up the eggs (rather than have her mail them). She was so sweet and generous. We came home with a dozen Silkie eggs to incubate. I checked the eggs with the OvaScope egg candler after a week and seven of the twelve were fertilized! Three beauties successfully hatched out of this batch.
Surprisingly, it was simple for Derek to put together and seems to be well-constructed for being an import. It took only a couple hours and the instructions were straightforward. The coop looks nice and should accommodate about three to four full-grown hens. I hope we’ll build a larger coop with a bigger run ourselves in the spring. We have our plans for that coop still and some of the supplies ready. It’s something we both want to take on when I’m feeling up to it! Derek had a great idea to add handles to the coop and retrofit wheels from our defunct jogging stroller so we can move it around the yard. I hope we’ll be able to do this before the snow flies. Otherwise, it will be a springtime to-do!
A word of caution: Be very careful buying anything online! Do your research and make sure to carefully read the feedback for a seller and know their policy if the item arrives damaged or there are missing/broken pieces. Some sellers only give you a matter of days to let them know if there is a part missing or broken. There are a lot of shysters out there, so exercise caution and do not rush to buy anything. Take your time to carefully consider your purchase and read everything about the product listing very carefully. Simply put, buyer beware!
Sadly, our white Silkie passed a couple weeks later. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I tried desperately to do whatever I could to save her. She just all of the sudden ran out of steam and was listless. I called my neighbor friend and the local Agway to see if they could give any advice. There really wasn’t much else I could do. I was told it just happens sometimes all of the sudden. Nevertheless, it was a sad day for us all. It’s just really hard to accept that I couldn’t make the poor girl better.
In the coming weeks, Derek will have a blog about dressing chicken. We had the awesome opportunity to learn to safely and humanely butcher a chicken (thanks to our friends at Spring Meadows Farms, who hosted a recent field day).