Thursday, February 02, 2006

Murray McMurray

Hooray! The Murray McMurray Spring catalog has arrived!

Time to browse the different varieties of poultry available and make my dream list of new breeds to try.

I am thinking about adding some guinea hens to my flock this year. Anyone interested in guinea fowl should read the book "Gardening With Guineas". Outside the loud noise, they seem to be quite useful on a small farm.

This year, I am also going to buy some Icelandic hatching eggs to try and start on my own. The hen and rooster pictured above are Cuckoo Marans an old French breed who lay very dark-shelled brown eggs.


bugheart said...

are these all for egg-laying?
the icelandic hatching eggs-
are they also considered guinea hens?
how many eggs does a hen lay a day?
i can't wait to see little chicks on your blog!

rooster said...

Yeah, poultry questions!

Yes, the chickens I raise are all layers. Most of what McMurray sells are for laying or ornimental. They may sell a few breeds that are 'meat' birds. But, essentially, every female chicken will lay eggs.

The Icelandic chickens are not guinea fowl. They are real chickens--a breed decended from what the vikings brought with them from Norway.

In the spring/summer a good layer will lay one egg a day. Some birds totally stop laying in the winter and molt their feathers. But some continue to lay in winter. From 25 hens I am still getting about 15 eggs a week. In summer I will literally get about 25 eggs a day.

Laying and mating in poultry is dictated by daylight hours. For instance, sperm production in male turkeys is coorelated to the amount of light that shines on the top of their heads!

I will do a guinea blog soon w/ photo.