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Cackle Hatchery Surprise Box – 6 Weeks Old

Our surprise babies are 6 weeks old and I thought I’d share how they were doing. If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen some of their baby pictures!

Cackle Hatchery Surprise Box - Day 1
The Cackle Hatchery Hatchery’s Surprise box is basically an unknown quantity of poultry where you get at least 40 birds, when I was reading about it I saw that some people get ducks or turkeys in their boxes but we weren’t that lucky. We started out with 49 chicks and lost one at about 4 days. I think it may have been crushed. In the pic below they are 4-5 weeks old

Cackle Hatchery Surprise Box ~4 weeks

It’s getting easier to tell what they are and the roosters are beginning to make themselves known. They are currently living in the old turkey coop. We call it that but it only held turkeys for about 6 months, last year we kept our meat birds in there.

It’s about 12 ft by 12 feet and keeps them well protected from the wind, rain and predators while letting in plenty of fresh air. Until recently we had a light out there that we turned on when the temp dropped to low at night. They have a few roosts but about half are still sleeping on the floor.

Free Ranging with Alpacas

I’ve started letting them out when I get home from work, either around 2 or 5 depending on the day. They still keep to themselves, staying mostly in the garden or in the small side lot. The other day I went to put them up and they were all sitting in the side area.

Mr. George and Fred had decided to check out the coop. They have been a little bit out of sorts since we took apart the barn. Last Monday we were supposed to get the barn cleaned out but the torrential rain made it too muddy so fingers crossed Mike and his brother with be able to get the barn all cleared out with the bobcat so we can start fresh.

6 Week Old Cochin

I think we got a pretty good mix. This white guy is a Cochin, there are a few white, a few black and one barred. Sadly most of them are boys. I do love me some fluffy chickens!

Welsummer Pullets - 6 Weeks

These two are Welsummer pullets, they will lay pretty deep brown eggs and are an average size bird. There are around 7 pullets (young hens) and one rooster which is a good number if I decided to breed them next year. The pullets have reddish breast feathers and the roosters chest is darker, almost black. I was considering getting some of these so I’m glad they were included.

Cackle Surprise Box - 6 Weeks

This bunch shows a few different types. The two on the right are Cuckoo Maran pullets, they will lay chocolate brown eggs. I was really excited about these two because I’ve wanted Marans forever. (Update, I was wrong, they weren’t Marans!)

The ones with the head poufs are Spitzhauben, they have pretty spots and blue legs. They’ll be laying white eggs and are fairly small birds, at least compared to the other ones we have around here with the hens averaging 4 pounds and the roosters only 5 pounds.

The three little ones in the corner are some of the ones I hatched from eggs my uncle gave me, they are Americana bantam/Quail Antwerp Belgian crosses, super tiny chickens. They are about 2 weeks older than the other ones and probably won’t get much bigger. I want to set up a small run in the garden and use them to clean the weed seeds and such out of the soil.

6 week pullets and cockrels in the weeds

The fluffy footed pullet is a light Brahma. If I could only have one type of chicken it would be these guys. They are adorably fluffy, lay light brown eggs and are big birds. The hens average 9.5 pound and the rooster 12 pounds. The first chickens I ordered for my own flock were light Brahmas and silver-laced Wyandottes.

My main man is a Brahma rooster. He is sweet as pie and takes good care of his ladies. There is one buff Brahma in the group, the had a pretty awful injury that required separation and now she thinks shes a turkey so she’s still in the garage with the three poults. She’s quite a bit smaller than the others, I think her recovery slowed her growth but the wound has healed and shes growing back her feathers.

Honestly I’m not picky when it comes to chickens. The only ones I would have been less than happy about are the Jungle fowl, they tend to be flighty and the roosters are supposed to fight like crazy. I know we’ll end up with a lot more roosters than we need so some will go in the freezer and some might find new homes.

Check out my Backyard Barnyard page for more ideas or start with these:

box of day old chicks

welsummer chick standing on grey fleece blanket

 

 

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