We have kept chickens on our finca since September 2015, and started incubating eggs (mostly from our own chickens) in January 2016. Our first flock (Sanchez & his Sanchitas) were completely free-range / pasture-raised - we moved the coop around on different terraces. They went were they pleased; sometimes they followed me around the finca, or they tried to steal food from the dogs - most of the time they were just scratching away in the grass. However, on April 29th 2016 (on a very rainy evening, when we had locked the dogs inside), a fox came and decimated our chicken population - only the smaller chicks survived.
After that, we reconsidered our setup; our chickens are now on rotating pastures most of the year - which means they can free range with an electrical fence, to keep predators out. They spend the summer in a fixed run, for their own protection. We wrote a blog post about this setup, click here to learn more!
We have incubated eggs (mostly from our own chickens) since January 2016. Sometimes in an incubator, and sometimes we're lucky and a broody hen takes it upon herself to raise a bunch.
This way, we're proud to say that all of our chickens have been born and raised with us. Most of our current flock are descendants of our first chickens.
We have a mix of "red layers" (like Fatima, on the right on the banner image), Brahmas (like Ramona, on the left on the banner image), bantams (smaller breeds) and random chickens from fertile eggs we got given by friends.
These are the chickens we currently have, we hope to update this list from time to time:
- Buster is our rooster - he's from an egg given to us by our friends at Kurkum Farm.
- Fatima is a daughter of Sanchez & the Sanchitas, and from the second batch we ever hatched (Feb 2016)
- Lolita is our speckled bantam (small breed), born in February 2017.
- Caramel, born in March 2017, is half Brahma - Fatima's her mom, Ramon (our pretty Brahma boy) her dad. She's also the first hen who ever got broody on our farm... in the dead of winter.
- Caramel's brood are not technically her chicks... the eggs all came from other chickens. Long story! They came out at the end of November / beginning of December 2018. We've got 3 of these left.
- After another visit from the fox, we incubated all the eggs we could gather. The result, born in January 2018: 5 chicks, and their mothers are Lolita and Marbles (both bantam). Buster is still the daddy, so we're waiting to see what the chicks will become!