Michigan Marans

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Introducing New Birds

Posted by MIMarans on June 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (19)

I have had a lot of questions about introducing new birds to existing flocks.  What I have found and experienced is that if not done gradually and porperly, it could end up a small disaster.  I usually fence off an area and add the new chickens so they can see each other, but cannot reach each other.  I normally do this for a couple of weeks, just so they get used to seeing their new roomates.  Although it doesn't ALWAYS work out, I have a hen that likes to reject newcomers.  I think the cockerals could care less most of the time.  Although I have seen the boss hen fight with a newly introduced cockeral.  It usually ends quickly once the hen gets spurred a couple of times.  Here are some general guidelines:

  1. DO NOT add chicks to established flocks of older chickens unless a hen has adopted them.  It usually does not go well.  I normally wait until the juvenile stage to even attempt it.
  2. DO NOT introduce older chicks / early juveniles with adult birds without proper introduction time and with close supervision.  The newbies will need enough room to retreat.
  3. DO attempt to get a broody* hen to accept new chicks.  This is the best method if you can have a foster mom raise them, she will show them the ropes, feed them, and protect them at all costs.
  4. I recently added 8 new laying hens to my layer flock.  There was a couple days of fighting.  Eventually things simmered down once everyone learns their place.  There are still shots given to the new girls from the old hens, normally near food or water.  This is known as "the pecking order".

While these tips may not be precise nor scientific, they are all from my own experiences.

*Broody -A hen who has a strong desire to sit on eggs in order to hatch them. WIll sit for days without leaving nest, ruffle feathers when approached, and may peck if there is attempt to move her. See video:

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LP Marans

Posted by MIMarans on June 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

We have been fortunate enough to acquire some LP Black Copper Marans from Heaven Sent Ranch this spring.  They were bought directly from LP (Little Peddler aka Brenda Little, Founder/Chair of Marans of America Club).  LP (Brend Little) was gifted the original stock from Monica Berte, Grand Champion Marans Breeder of France.  I will post some pictures of the juvenile birds I have and I hope I will be able to begin offering eggs next year.  So far I am very happy with what I see, they are going to be gorgeous birds.  I also hope to get to a couple of shows next year, but I will have to wait and see how they develop. 

Spring? Is That You?

Posted by MIMarans on May 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Thanks to a record cold start this year, many shipments have been dealyed.  Hopefully spring is here to stay and my egg numbers hold up.  I have shipped some orders out, but am seriously behind.  Some spring orders will not be delivered until the summer unfortunately.  Thanks for your understanding and know that I am doing my best to fill the orders I have.


C'mon Spring!!

Posted by MIMarans on February 18, 2013 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I have begun collecting eggs and what an exciting time of year.  Even though it was -1F last night, I am hopeful that spring will come to Michigan sooner than later. 

I got three eggs today, not bad considering the frigid cold. 

They sure are pretty.  The light egg is an Isa Brown.  The Isa's lay eggs so large they don't even fit in an egg carton.

Happy 2013!

Posted by MIMarans on January 6, 2013 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Wow, time has flown and I haven't posted anything good lately!  Hope everyone has a great year.  Here is the new condo 90% completed.  Need a few more trim items, finish the gutters but you can see the little problem there...ugh, winter.  I am working around it though.  Yes, that is a new vinyl window.  I know....I know.

Have a game in this photo..can you see the cat?  Hint: she's in one of the trees.

New Coop Construction

Posted by MIMarans on June 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (1)

I have finally begun contruction on a more permanent residence for my flock.  Right now I have 3 small coops sort of pieced together.  So, this will be a grand consolidation when it is complete.  There are several features that I am looking forward to having, but most importantly, more room.  My other coops were small elevated coops, so they were difficult to clean, collect eggs, etc. This coop will have external egg doors.  Being able to walk into it will make cleaning much easier.  Will also have plenty of storage so I can keep the feed in the coop.  The 8' walls in the main part of the coop will be nice.  The roosting/nesting area has a 6' wall.  I was going for a little architectual diversity rather than just having a plain box of a coop.  It will have opposing roofs, the main will be a standard gable, and the roosting/nesting area will have an opposing shed style roof.

Yes, I am aware that it looks more like a house than a chicken coop.  My wife was kind enough to point that out already.  She asked if it was going to be two floors.  My 5 year old asked later, "daddy, are you building a new house?".  Straight from the mouths of babes.  I got down from my ladder and took a few step back....it's not THAT big is it?  Yep...it is. At least I am able to recycle my own cyclone fence I had laying around.

Spring is in the air!

Posted by MIMarans on February 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

We are excited to be starting our 2012 season!  The kids and I will be planting seeds this week to begin our early planting.  Love is in the air in the coops and we are getting beautiful eggs.  Things that are happening:

  1. Starting to sow seeds for this year's crops.
  2. Have our first couple of egg orders for 2012. Order today to get in line!
  3. We will be consolidating our 3 coops into a large coop.  The foundation is in!
  4. We have developed a really neat ICF coop that uses insulated panels rather than traditional stick build. 

So....A LOT going on!  We will be posting pictures soon....

Share what is going on in your neck of the woods, we want to hear about it!