Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Start

I started my coop with four silkies bantams: one black, one paint, and two blues.  I had already ordered 16 day-old chicks from McMurray Hatchery:  seven Mottled Houndans, two Speckled Sussexes, three Columbian Wyandottes, two Golden Laced Polish, one Silver Laced Wyandotte, and a single unknown rare and exotic chick.  I received my order in the mail on June 17, and at almost a week old I had lost a single Mottled Houdan.  Since I ordered five hens and two roosters (the only roos), I don't know what sex chick died.  The rare and exotic is considered a straight run, so it could be hen or roo, and after posting many pictures of the chick, the only guess is it could be an Easter Egger (an Ameraucana with a non-recognizable coloration).  I kind of hope so, and I'm really hoping it is a pullet since that would mean I can get beautifully tinted green/blue eggs out of her.  The Wyandottes and Sussexes lay brown eggs, and the Polish lay white.  Silkies lay small cream-colored and white eggs. 

Terry is almost finished with my coop so I can get the silkies out there.  They are two months old now and one has started crowing.  I am pretty sure that the older silkies (black and blues) are roos, and I think I'm going to get rid of the blues as quickly as I can.  I think I might keep the black.  I like his personality.  I have had the heat lamp off a few days to get them used to being without one.  Thanks to the Texas/Arkansas heat, we have been lowering the temperature of our air conditioner.  The silkies haven't been happy about that, so I turned back on the heat lamp.  The black roo has been literally sunbathing.  I mean, rolling on his side, spreading his wings and feet out, and getting all warmed up.  Funny boy he is.  :)  I really hope my paint silkie is a pullet so I can breed them.  It would be useless for me to keep a roo silkie if I don't have a pullet.  Then again, I could breed him to my Polish or Houdan and see what hatches.

In any case, I handle the chicks daily to get them used to being held and touched.  I was able to keep my hand in their enclosure and pet them while they go to sleep.  Of course as soon as I stand up they freak out, but we are learning.  My favorites so far are my Columbian Wyandotte Angel (the lightest of the Columbians) and Bandit, the unknown possible EE.  Angel is a sweetie that doesn't mind being held.  Bandit is a mess and has a "screw you, I'm outta here" attitude.  So different, but I love it.  The others are pretty cute too.
Pictures to come, tonight I'm too tired to wait for uploads, but I'll give you a tease.  :)


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