Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 Breeding Projects

I know the snow's on the ground and it's -9F outside, but it is February, so it's time to think about 2014 chicks. I've already ordered WAY too many chicks (Hello, my name is Erika, and I'm addicted to chickens) but I have a couple of breeding projects planned as well.

You might remember that last year I ordered some Ameraucana hatching eggs. I'd planned to keep all the birds, but I ended up selling them since the hen house was getting full and I didn't want to be crowded over the winter. I did keep one blue Ameraucana cockerel, however. He doesn't have a name (any suggestions, leave them in the comments), but he now has a flock of his very own.

Pretty boy.
I put him and eight ladies in a separate breeding pen. Weird fact: hens can store sperm for weeks, so in order to make sure that you know who the Daddy is, you have to keep them separated from any other roosters for at least three weeks to make sure sperm from any other rooster is gone. He's got a lovely flock of Leghorns and Marans, and he might get a few Red Wicket-bred barnyard specials in there, too.

Looks like the Lord of the Manor, doesn't he?

We're breeding specialized Easter Egger chickens. Super Blue Egg Layers should be reliable producers of large blue eggs. Olive Eggers are really hot right now, and are just what they sound like--hens that lay dark olive green eggs. I've made a tentative agreement to take some Black Copper Marans roosters later in the summer, so I should be able to breed Blue/Black/Splash Copper Marans as well this year or next.

I'm excited to see how my little projects turn out. We'll be selling hatching eggs for people to hatch at home as well as day-old chicks. And, of course, I'll be keeping chicks for myself so I know how the project is going. I'm excited. This is something that I've planned for quite a while but never could get the logistics to work out. I think 2014 is the year!

Don't worry--even the birds in the breeding pen get to run around outside.