Next week at this time we’ll be receiving our first batch of new littles. (The old littles have graduated to being called Biggies… all the biggies are together.) We’ll be getting 15 baby chicks and 4 ducklings. The chickens are Delawares and the ducklings are Welsh Harlequins.
The Delaware breed was developed in Delaware and was once the top provider to their broiler industry. These beautiful birds are mostly white, but their tail and neck feathers are striped with black bars. This dual-purpose breed features very good egg production, they lay large brown eggs, and have superior meat characteristics,- if we decide to process these. Some of the characteristics that we found interesting were: very heat and cold hardy, they have a calm disposition, they lay up to 5 eggs per week, and can become broody – which is a characteristic that we want for those chickens that we’re going to, hopefully, breed.
Welsh Harlequins get their unusual, and I think very pretty, look from a flock of miss-colored Khaki Campbells. The Welsh farmer who first discovered the mutation began breeding for the unique color around the middle of the 20th century. A couple of decades later, the first hatching eggs, followed by adult breeders, were sent to the United Sates. Just like their predecessors, these ducks are great foragers and prolific layers. We’re excited about these little guys because they are supposed to have a very calm temperament and are very good at foraging, plus they lay 5+ eggs a week. We ordered 3 females and 1 male, and we’ll see how they do.
Both of these breeds are Livestock Conservancy animals. The Livestock Conservancy is a charitable organization that is dedicated to protecting endangered livestock and poultry breeds from extinction. Why save them? “These rare breeds are part of our national heritage and represent a unique piece of the earth’s biodiversity. The loss of these breeds would impoverish agriculture and diminish the human spirit. We have inherited a rich variety of livestock breeds. For the sake of future generations, we must work together to safeguard these treasures.” We joined the organization because we like the idea of preserving heritage breeds, and will do our best to raise these types of animals when they work with our needs and abilities.
When we get the new littles, we’ll upload some photos to our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WAAP2/ Be sure to like us and get the in-between blog posts. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Weather: The weather is supposed to be calm; however, we continue to have major gusts. High for today was supposed to be 66°, again, not being around most of the day, I cannot confirm this. Low is forecast as 37°. Maybe we’re out of the 20’s for now.
Egg Report: Yesterday we didn’t get any eggs at all. BECAUSE~ Sue was in the coop all day working on finishing the brooding area and made such a ruckus the hens refused to lay. Today we got four eggs- three from the sisters and one from Maeve.