Chicks on the Farm
Well, it is that time of year again. Chick season. I have been steadily working on our Coucous de Malines stock trying to improve the flock towards better representation of the breed standard.
Of course, the breed standard is in Dutch and I have been working my way through it with the help of my Father-In-Law John Rozema. I am hoping to type it out in English and post on the Malines/Mechels Club of North America breed Facebook page. I have seen some interesting birds being sold as Malines but they do not conform to the breed standard. In this it is definitely buyer be ware!
Early on I had some interesting throwback chicks…and ones that look more like Bielefelders than Malines. While they are definitely purebred, I would never use them for breeding stock.
I will be bringing more stock int he form of hatching eggs from Bulbs of Fire in May to increase my genetics so that will be a great addition to our flock.
For now, I have day old chicks strengthening up in the shower of our guest bedroom and more in the incubators. Happy hatching!
I was just re-reading my optimistic post from early 2016 when I was firing up the incubator. Little did I know that last year would stretch every farm muscle we had with tough seasons for chicks, for bees and for garlic.
2017 seems to be getting off to a better start. I already have 20 eggs in the hatcher and so far 7 out of their shells. 4-5 more working on extracting themselves from their eggs — a process I know is a lot harder than it sounds. It remains to be seen what all of 2017 will bring. We have several off farm events so have had to schedule incubator starts around them. Good thing we are both planners and spend a considerable amount of time laying out our goals for the year ahead early in January.
Coucous de Malines are not a common breed of chicken. There is certainly a biological limit to the genetics we have in Canada but dedicated breeders across the country are working hard to ensure breed standards and health are paramount. Llast year I tried to entice a Belgian breeder to work toward the regulated oversight needed for us to import European eggs, but the task was too onerous at the time. I am going to continue to try so that we can at least bring in some fresh genetics to improve our stock over time.
My list of interested Malines owners is being refreshed (as it is every spring) so if you are interested in chicks, please contact me.
Malines are gentle giants and truly wonderful free rangers. They have a commanding presence in the yard without any fear of aggression. I have had other breeds of chickens and think, of course, that Malines are the perfect choice for the small holder, backyarder, or medium sized producer.
Chick hatching season is almost upon us. I have some fencing repairs to be done and need to separate out the first breeding group. Looks like we will be ready by the end of January. Last year we hatched from January through August but I won’t be doing that again this year unless demand requires.
Orders for hatching eggs and day old chicks are now being taken. Hatching eggs will be $75 a dozen (plus extras) and day old chicks will be $12 each. Chicks are autosexing and I get approx. 90% accuracy.
We _only_ raise Coucous de Malines chickens and focus on health, conformity to standard and temperment. Quality over quantity.
Our birds are fed exclusively on non-GMO feed, garden scraps and free range over half of our property.
Please pm me if you would like to be put on our waiting list.
So, now we have our website starting to look useable. It will be a short time before we have all the information fleshed out, but, it’s coming. Other than working on a website, it’s a very busy time of year. We have just finished cutting the garlic scapes, we have new queens in mating nucs, and the new permanent farm gate stand is under construction.