2017 and the chick season has begun

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.