A Suburban Farm of 6th Happiness.

Chicks available in April

by Alan - April 2nd, 2017

Not to ‘count our eggs before they are hatched…. but we will have extra chicks this year, so if you are interested in some started pullets (or even roos!) you may want to bookmark and visit back in a couple weeks.  Our chicks this year will be a combination of hatchery chicks, and incubated eggs, from both our own chickens and from hobby breeders.

I’m very excited about this years chicks as I have been planning a project to create an unique breed, and some of these will be for that.  Others are just because some of my hens are getting up in age and these are breeds I happen to like for eggs and for pets.  I also really like the Speckled Sussex breed, and when someone gave us a male bantam Speckled Sussex, I just loved it.  I finally was able to get some hatching eggs, so I hope to start a little flock of those.

Chick breeds I am getting are listed below.  For ‘newbie’ backyard chicken keepers, ‘straight run’ means that you just get what is hatched- so generally a 50/50 male to female split.  Bolded ones I will have the most of, by which I mean 8 – 10 available, limited means I’ll have 1 – 3 available, assuming that most hatch/survive:

Standard sized:

  • Cuckoo Marans (Females)
  • Speckled Sussex (Females and a couple males)
  • Buff Orpington (Females)
  • Rhode Island Reds (Females)
  • Salmon Faverolle (Females and a couple males)
  • Egyptian Fayoumis (Straight Run; very limited)
  • Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben (Straight Run; very limited)


  • Speckled Sussex (straight run, but will be sexable on hatching.  These may not be available until early May)
  • Buff Brahma Bantams (straight run; very limited)
  • Buff Orpington (straight run; very limited)
  • Dominique (straight run, but will be sexable on hatching; very limited)
  • Easter Egg Bantams (straight run; very limited)
  • Black Breasted Red Phoenix (straight run; very limited)
  • Mille Fleur D’uccles (straight run; very limited)

I’m told I’ll get some ‘extras’ thrown in but no ideas yet what those breeds will be.  Both large and bantam sizes.
I’m also getting Light Brahma (had one but getting them a friend) and Lavender Orpingtons, but will be keeping these for breeding.

Later in the year, I may try hatching some large/standard sized Easter Eggers, but I don’t have the incubator space to do that now.  If you are interested in EE chicks, or would like some eggs to try hatching yourself, let me know.  I have 2 hens and a rooster.  I could also hatch or provide eggs from our EE rooster over Cuckoo Marans, Speckled Sussex, and Rhode Island Reds – mixing blue egg gene with brown egg gene produces green shelled eggs.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON ROOSTERS: Due to the difficulty in placing roosters, if you want a rooster please contact me ASAP.  I will require a deposit if you cannot pick them up within a few days.  Any roosters that do not work into our breeding plans, and are not claimed before they start to crow, will be humanely euthanised and offered to local snake owners, or wildlife rehabbers, as food.

tags: chickens   chicks   hatching eggs  

Chicken Eggs Come in Different Colours & This is Useful to the Backyard Chicken Keeper

by Alan - March 31st, 2017

a wicker basket full of chicken eggs of many colours from various shades of blue to green, browns, and cream; also there are two black cayuga duck eggs.

Our hens are in full swing, giving us eggs of all different colours!  This year I made sure to share the first spring eggs with our neighbours early enough that it could be appreciated (last year I made the mistake of waiting too close to Easter, and people awkwardly admitted to having 4 dozen already because of store sales at that time of year.)

I love how every day the egg basket is full of different colours: white, cream/pink to shades of brown, and multiple shades of green to blue.   I always try to give neighbours a variety, unless they ask otherwise.  But besides being beautiful, the wide variety of chicken egg colours can actually be very helpful for backyard chicken keepers’ tracking the health, well-being and productivity of their hens. Continue reading »

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2017 Lambs

by Alan - February 28th, 2017

We have 2 lambs this year, both are white ewes.  One is from Carmen, and the other is from her daughter Equinox Joy.  Carmen’s other daughter, Sheepdog sadly had stillborns possibly because a lamb was on the large size and may have taken too long in labour. This was her first year lambing so based on feedback from others in the babydoll community, we will give her another year as this may have just been poor luck combined with inexperience.  Information and photos of our sheep, and availability, can be found on the sheep page.  You can also email me at:


Mikołaj (POlish Tatra Sheepdog) with our second ewe lamb of 2017

Mikołaj (Polish Tatra Sheepdog) checks out our second ewe lamb of 2017

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First Lamb of the 2017 Season!

by Alan - February 22nd, 2017

Late on the evening of the 21st of February, Animal Instinct’s Carmen, our herd’s ‘matriarch’, gave birth to our first lamb of the season!  It is a little off-white ewe-lamb.  Carmen’s daughter, Equinnox Joy, and her daughter, Sheepdog, are both still expecting.  Last year, Joy gave us twins, so I hope that she will twin again, and that Sheepdog will take after her.  Fingers crossed!

I am finishing up forms and photographs needed to get the herd properly registered (finally!) with NABSSAR, so by the time they are ready for new homes, I should registration papers available for those that want them.

I will not know how many lambs, or of what sex(es), will be available until after the other two girls give birth.  I may place lambs only, or I may place a lamb with mother… we will see.   I expect only off-white lambs.  I likely will be rehoming Diego, who is the father of these lambs.  He was just born last year.  And I will thus be looking for a new ram to replace him, so I am open to trades.

tags: lambs   sheep  

My first youtube video

by Alan - February 11th, 2017

You can subscribe to our channel for future videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrOTgPgQ-nu2tLx5DQSjDDg

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Going to try getting this site active again…

by Alan - January 17th, 2017

Just finished filling out my NABSSAR membership form to get our Babydoll Sheep properly registered.  Then to start thinking about an order for spring chicks and ducklings; the flock needs some younger girls.

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Doodle’s Broken Foot

by Alan - October 24th, 2014

Pat and Sylvia

In going through old files, I came across some photos I meant to post a while back but forgot about.  Doodle was a special hen- the very first we had hatched from our very own chickens- Sylvia and Pasquale (shown here).

And of course, obligatory ‘baby’ pics of her…

Pasquale has always been a very involved, paternal rooster…

Anyway, the point of this post is that she broke her foot.   How it happened, I don’t know, but one day, she didn’t want to leave the coop, and when we brought her inside, it was clear she couldn’t walk.  Even limping was more of a stumbling act.

There were no open wounds, and nothing seemed out of alignment.  We carefully made sure that her leg and foot were in a natural position, and used a popsical stick as a split, and for reinforcement.  Then we carefully wrapped her foot using that all purpose supply… duct tape (black coincidentally, although silver or hot pink would work just as well).   She was able to hobble around with the cast on, as the popsical stick provided support and acted as a crutch.  She didn’t venture far from the coop as she knew she couldn’t run for cover quickly (had she lacked in this “street smarts” for chickens, we’d have kept her inside; but since she was smart, we knew she’d be happier (and thus get healthy faster) in the company of her flock.

I didn’t think to photograph putting it on, or her walking in it, but I did remember to photograph removing the cast. … (the following images can be clicked to see larger)

All better!!!  First thing she had to do was clean her foot.  And then dash off to see what treats we had for the flock…

Here is one last pic (pre-injury)… Doodle with her parents:

tags: chicken health  

A few things you may not know about eggs

by Alan - June 22nd, 2013


tags: eggs   links  

Mutation in Rhode Island Reds

by Alan - May 26th, 2013

Earlier this month, I made a trip to the country to pick up some Rhode Island Red (RiR) chicks. I was not thrilled with the conditions at this particular farm… but they were cheap, I had already spent the time and gas to get out there, and the few critters I took would have a nicer place to call home.  At least for a while.

As it turns out, all but one of the chicks had a lethal mutation… they appeared normal at first, but gradually you could see that they just weren’t growing as fast as the healthy hatch mate. The tail feathers never came in, the wing feathers tended to stay stuck in the shafts, the legs were weak and the toes curled. They had varying degrees of scoliosis, and most defining was the deformed beak- the top half being shorter and the lower one, sometimes but not always crooked (“scissored”) as well. It was only coincidence that someone gifted me The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow, where I found the disease mentioned.  It was not much more than a footnote, but enough to identify it, and relieve me of any fears that despite almost a decade of raising chickens, I somehow managed to screw up their diet.  We tried to give the chicks a chance, as I’ve heard of chickens living long lives with “scissor beak” before (See The Chicken Chick’s blog post here for more information on what it is, and how to care for them), but in this case, these chicks just had too many things wrong with them.

As Most of my hens are a few years+, I was really looking forward to some new young stock.  Well, it is best that I know about this now and not accidently breed this terrible disease into my flock.  Still, it was a devastating thing to deal with, especially at this time, when despite nearly 2 years of living in harmony with the support of our neighbours, one anonymous person has begun to make life difficult for us by making bogus complaints against us and our animals (for example, calling Animal Control out on the accusation that our yard is full of animal poop, when in fact, I pick up after the dogs every evening, and I have an elegant composting system that keeps the yard clean, and our veggie garden lush.)  More on that another time though.

Click image to enlarge:


tags: chicken health   chicken mutations   Rhode Island Reds   RIR  

Going to cross the road?

by Alan - May 15th, 2013

I saw this photo on Facebook and loved it so much I had to share…

“TOT reader Lisa Kirkpatrick forwarded this awesome photo of her grandfather Josh Bonham from Cleburne Texas. This was taken in Johnson County in 1910.  I’ve put up quite a few itinerant photographer pony shots and itinerant photographer goat cart shots, but only one other itinerant photographer chicken cart shot. I wonder if it’s going to cross the road? ”

Originally found on Facebook; click here to go there.

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