Thursday, January 20, 2022

A Little Break before the Storm


Spring is just around the corner. Hatching has begun, at least in the case of Watermaal, d'Anvers, and silkies. So I'm taking a social media break, reworking my website a little, and taking a mental break before spring speeds up. 

So far things are going well. I've got 3-4 possible mottled Watermaal babies in the brooders, along with a handful of white and black d'Anvers and Watermaal. I'm concentrating on mottled, so keep an eye on the available page for chicks coming up! I've also got a handful of silkies and showgirls happily bumbling around in the brooders. I've switched around goals for my silkies - I'm concentrating on getting some nice showgirls and silkies with a gorgeous white rooster that I got from Red Barn. All of Chewbawka's babies will stay here and grow up, along with a handful of silkies and showgirls from her daughter Parton. So no silkie eggs will be available this year.

The d'Uccles, booted bantams (sablepoots), and Ameraucana have not started laying yet. They tend to start up later in March. Which works out well, since my new breeding runs probably won't be ready until then. I haven't started a hatching egg waiting list yet - moving to new digs can mess up laying, so I won't have a good grasp on what will be available and when until we get closer to finishing those pens up.

I've got a new page on the website with hatching plans for this year. Hopefully it will work, although broody hens sometimes have other ideas! 

Hope everyone is staying warm and happy this winter. Tomorrow is going to be COLD here - a high of 29. Brrrrr. Bundle up and enjoy every day!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Winter Planning


Winter is the time for planning here at Green Grables. And so I'm watching babies grow, hatching a few silkies and soon Watermaal and d'Anvers. My husband is working on new breeding pens, and I'm making breeding plans. It's a big year, a project year. I will have my first true lemon mille fleur pens with lemon mille fleur, blue lemon mille fleur, and cream mottled (lemon golden necks, like Cici above). My Watermaal pens will finally start producing a few mottled Watermaal, my end goal for those pens. It's definitely challenging to select for a recessive quality. Once you get splits, only 1/4 of the babies will show the quality, in this case mottled. Although I also have recessive white in there which can mask mottled and takes my chances down...And then you have to pick the best of those. And only half of those (if you are lucky) will be girls. And you only want the best.... so to get two flocks going with hopefully 4-5 girls each it will take... um where's the calculator? So say you want at least 10 to pick 5 from.. one flock's worth of girls means I need to hatch 10x2x4x2 = 160, so for two flocks I'd need 320 chicks... the head spins. That's what I did to get the lemons, by the way. 

But boy oh boy those lemons are worth it. I'm not sure what I'll be offering in them this season. Probably some sablepoots. Not sure about d'Uccles yet, as they need more work, and I need more for my own flocks. The other d'Uccles are doing well and gorgeous this year, and the roosters are the best I've had so far, including the frizzles. 

The Ameraucana bantams are in a big year, as I'm concentrating on adding a lot of genetic diversity to make at least three new lines. I'm using some blacks from a BBS line, a gorgeous black pullet from Brad Stonebarger, and some lav cuckoo d'Anvers to make new lines, increase beard size, and add in lav cuckoo. So I will have some black splits and lav or lav cuckoo bantam Easter eggers available this year. Can't wait to meet those little guys. All the Easter eggers I've made with the lav Ameraucana have been amazing, so it will be fun to see what these will be like.

The silkies - I'm always on the edge about them. I'd probably get out of them, except I adore Chewbawka. And after taking her to her first show, I really realized what an amazing gem I have in her. So I got her a fancy new man and I'm concentrating on getting as many chicks from her as possible. She's almost four, so her eggs are slowing down a bit. I may actually sell Mopster (the sizzle rooster) and two hens with him and just concentrate on Mr. Right and Chewy. 

I have a new page on my website - 2022 hatching plans. It will probably change a bit, but I'm publishing my pen and pricing plans there, and we will see how it goes.

Well that's it for news here right now. I hope everyone is staying warm and healthy!