Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Cockeyed Chicken Farm Begins! We Got Babies!!!

Awaiting chicks
The brooder box Mel built out of scrap lumber now sits behind the sofa. Made from 2x4s and sheeting boards, this thing is heavy! Mel had to dismantle it and carry it in pieces, and put it back together in place. When I asked her why she didn't split the 2x4s on the table saw, she said, "I dunno. I didn't think of it."

Instead of a heat lamp, we're using our heating pad once again. This time it's draped over an arched wire frame work. The chicks can go under it for warmth. We put a layer of pine shaving on the bottom of the box. It's easy enough to clean out with a whisk broom and bucket for the waste...it will all go into the compost pile.

 Mel ordered fifteen All Female Rainbow Chick Layers from Meyer's Hatchery last week and the variety assortment arrived on Tuesday. The ad said at least 5 different breeds of chickens and from the looks of the identifying leg tags, we've got 7-10 distinctly different breeds.

From Meyer's catalog
From the picture in the ad, they should be a colorful assortment. We decided not to free range these because some of them are considered rare breeds. We want to protect them. These are strictly egg layers. With so many varying breeds of chickens in one coop/run, it will be interesting to see what kind what kind of personalities and pecking order they establish. Up until now, we've only raised Rhode Island and New Hampshire Reds, and Buff Orpingtons. We'll raise all of them to be friendly to humans. Not necessarily children friendly 'cause we ain't got any rug rats around this homestead. Or, at least not at any given time.

Every day, these chicks are handled by Mel and I. We just can't help it. They are such cute, little puff balls right now. We'll talk to them and cuddle them. We are certainly imprinted in their little minds already. I expect they'll try and follow us all over the place if we let them. I can see it now, all of them squawking to be picked up and loved on every time we enter the chicken run just like Broody and Black Butt does now. Lord knows, the the decibel level of peeps of these chicks dropped once I put them under the heated section of the brooder or we snuggle them inside our flannel shirts.

From Meyer's catalog
I'm personally looking forward to spring and having our own, fresh eggs again. Broody and Black Butt have stopped laying eggs. For Broody, I think it's age. She is in her 4th year. Black Butt stopped laying in the nest box with the Kassity killing Baby Girl. It could be a winter thing too.  I may put a nesting tote in the bunny/chicken barn. So we've actually had to start buying eggs from the store for homestead use!  I can surely tell the difference between our eggs and store bought ones. The yolks are yellow instead of orange and the whites are runny in comparison. There's a difference in taste and cooking/baking results too. Our homestead eggs were superior. Hopefully these new chicks will start laying by June for abundance of eggs to have and sell. Plus eggs from the other birds.

The quail pens are built and awaiting quail. Next livestock auction, I'll be buying some full grown quail and buying some fertile quail eggs to incubate. So our poultry farm begins. I'll have to revamp this design to add some quail and change it to "poultry farm." I still need to clean up the design some. Or, maybe I'll leave it alone for now.

Y'all have a blessed day!
Cockeyed Jo


  1. How exciting to be getting quail. We are getting eggs this winter, but very limited.

  2. The heating pad covering is a great idea. Closer to how a mama hen would do it.

    We found that our friendliest chickens were the ones we raised by hand. It was easier to let a mama do it in subsequent years, but the chicks were never as friendly as that first batch.

    1. We noticed the same thing when Black Butt hatched out Baby Girl. Though she was sort of friendly, she was nowhere near are friendly as Black Butt.


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