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Photo used under Creative Commons from Larry Lamsa
When I went to my local farm store to purchase baby chicks I choose several of the normal varieties like brown leghorn and the Barred Rock, but to add some color to my eggs half of the chicks I bought were Araucana. The Araucana laid blue and green eggs and these were fun to add to my basket when I collected the eggs everyday.
Araucana chickens don't have as long of a laying season as the other chickens do so I didn't have them as the only chickens in my coop, but they were the most fun. They come in different colors and can have ear tufts and other fancy features and always lay the blue or green eggs.
The Araucana also does not reproduce as easy as the Ameraucana who also lay the blue and green eggs, so that is why you will find more Ameraucana hatching eggs for sale then the other.
The reason why the Araucana is harder to reproduce is when both parent birds have ear tufts. If both parents have this gene the baby chick will not develop in the egg.
Since my rooster was a different type of chicken my eggs always hatched.
Once a chicken decided to sit and hatch some eggs I would choose the eggs I wanted her to brood and mark them with a child safe marking pen. I usually choose 12 eggs. Then each day I checked because other chickens would lay their eggs in her nest and those had to be removed.
Once the eggs hatched I would put the mother and chicks in a tiny pen inside the main pen so the other chickens would get used to them and the mother and chicks would be able to join the rest of the flock as soon as possible.
Chickens are really good for fertilizing your garden. I planted many of my fruit trees in my large chicken yard and would like to do this again but a little differently next time.
The first thing I would do would be to make a small yard around my chicken house. Then have two large fenced yards connected to this smaller yard with small openings that can be closed to each. One year the chickens would use one yard and then switch to the other the next year. The one not being used would be for my garden that year. It would be free of weeds since the chickens would eat all the plants, and be very well fertilized. I haven't had a chance to do this but would really like to try it some day.
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Dear Hatching Egg Fans,
I am writing to you in behalf of your Heavenly Father. He is seeking you like a lost sheep. You remember the Bible story? It is about a shepherd who has 100 sheep. But when he brings the sheep home one night, one is missing. He then leaves the 99 sheep and goes out into the wilderness until he finds that lost sheep.
In this parable the shepherd goes out to search for the one lost sheep-the very least that can be numbered. So if there had been but one lost soul, Christ would have died for that one. To read more click Lost Sheep