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White Power Chickens

November 23rd, 2010  · stk

NewsBrief: [Mo' Chickens] The Kimlers bring home 10 new laying hens • [White Stuff] The Hutton House sees it's first snow • [Power Outage] Snow in, power out - for 18 hours.

Mo' Chickens

Hutton House - Reporters learned today that the Kimler clan has added ten more chickens to their egg production company. These new additions more than doubles the number of producing layer hens, as the Hutton House is now home to 19 laying hens.

Rachel, Scott and Alex made the drive down to Duncan on Sunday, to fetch the ten young hens. All of the birds are of the famous ISA-Brown variety, which are bred as laying hens. All were purchased as POL (Point-Of-Lay) chickens, which means they are approximately 5 months old - at the point where they are due to begin laying eggs.

Purchasing point-of-lay hens is a change for the Kimlers, as all of their other ISA-Browns hens were raised from week-old chicks.

"Buying point-of-lay birds is more expensive," said Scott, owner of the Hutton House Hen Farm, "but we actually save money on 5-months-worth of feed, reduce our chances of losing stock due to illness or predation and they begin earning their keep right away."

The 10 hens were transported in the back of the Kimler Subaru wagon, to their new home at the Hutton House. There, they are acclimating to their new environment and getting to know the 9 older girls.

"It will take a couple weeks till the new hens become acquainted with the older birds," Scott says, "During this time, they'll be lots of clucking and pecking, as the older girls will make clear to the youngsters, who is in charge!"

Ah yes. The pecking order must be established!

About ISA-Brown Hens

ISA Brown is a hybrid Sex-link chicken, the result of crossing Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island Whites. The ISA Brown is a hybrid, not a true breed. They are known for their high egg production (approximately 300 eggs per hen in their first year).

"ISA" stands for Institut de Sélection Animale (the company which developed the hybrid in 1978). In 2005, via company takeovers, the hybrid is now maintained by Hendrix Poultry Breeders. More information about the ISA-Brown can be found on the Hendrix website

ISA-Browns make great family pets. They are confident and not afraid to try new things. When they get older, however, they show their love by pecking you a lot!

About the Hutton House Hen Farm

Hutton House Hen Farm is renown for farm-fresh, free-range brown eggs, which are distributed to local Vancouver Island clientele. Sales inquiries may be made by clicking the email link.

White Stuff

Hutton House - The arrival of ten new hens to the Hutton House was coincidental to the arrival of the first winter snow. Nearly 5 inches of the white stuff fell, mostly on Friday night, but more fell on Saturday, Sunday and a bit on Monday.

Most of the accumulation occurred Friday night, however, blanketing the Hutton House acreage with a thick blanket of big, heavy, wet flakes.

"The thermometer has definitely taken a flight south this week," reports Rachel, who has had to dust off her car several times, in order to make tracks into town, "Temperatures are well below freezing and we have to keep hauling warm water out to the chicken run, so that the hens have liquid water to drink. There's nothing more difficult for hens than to have to peck at ice cubes in order to quench their thirst!"

 

Power Outage

Hutton House - Along with the arrival of heavy snow and winds, came the first power outage of the season. It started early on the morning on Saturday (3:30 AM), just as Scott was returning from a MVI call-out near the North Cedar Fire Hall. As he was sweeping snow off of one of the temporary tarp "garages", the lights went out.

The power remained out for approximately 18 hours. Fortunately, the Hutton House is heated largely by a wood stove, so the power outage doesn't affect home heating. Water, however, is an issue, since the pump, cistern and pressure tank are all powered by electricity.

The 2Kw gas-powered generator kept the television, lights, microwave and computer functioning for most of Saturday, enabling Alex to watch her Saturday morning cartoons and Scott to catch the Penn State Indiana college football game (Penn State won, of course!)

Power was restored at approximately 10 PM Saturday night, this after the family meal - roasted chicken, pan-fried potatoes and salad - was prepared largely on the outdoor barbeque (which has a side-burner).

Everyone was happy to have electricity - flush toilets, hot water, lights and a clothes dryer - though it did mean setting the time on several blinking clocks. Extension cords were coiled and remain at the ready. Rural life can be "rough"!

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Updated: 28-Nov-2010
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