Friday, February 5, 2010

Chicken Class

Last night Larry and I went to a free class at the University of the Fraser Valley. It was called 'Keeping your flock healthy'. A decent turnout, with 40 people or so, and I think most of us there had some sort of poultry already. Some parts of the course were 'dryer' than others, with a lot of emphasis on the health and biosecurity aspect of keeping chickens. We came home with half a tree's worth of paper, most of which will end up in the recycling bin. Not that what was on the paper wasn't interesting, it was just too small really, being miniature versions of the power point presentation. I did hang on to this full size picture of the innards of a hen, and it was really interesting learning the journey of the egg from the ovary to the nest box. When a hen is in full lay, an egg will be produced approx. every 25 hours. This fact sheet from Oklahoma State University (you'd think some one around here could have come up with one) was pretty interesting too. Based on what it said, we think it must be a raccoon that killed the last two hens. That ties in with our neighbours telling us about seeing a raccoon in their pond. Despite being in the country, we see raccoons very rarely. In the 23 years of living here, I have only seen them a handful of times. Anyway, we are diligently herding the hens in at dusk each night. According to the sheet, the raccoon visits every 5-7 days, so hopefully it will be disappointed on it's next pass through our place, and head for greener pastures. Had to chuckle at the inclusion of humans as predators on the list. If hens are missing with little evidence to go by, we are not to overlook that it could be humans:) You can click on the pictures to see them fullsize, and hopefully read them if you are interested.

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