Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hey There!

It's close to Thanksgiving, and the chickens are doing well.  We haven't had any casualties in a while, which is a great relief.  YAY!  So I am saving my "wish-list" for the next Spring order.  The Polish are necessary, and so are the EEs.  The Barred Rocks are great egg producers, and they are heat tolerant.  OEs?  I just like the color eggs produced.  Speckled Sussex are just cool to look at, and they are good producers.  Natural broodies too.  

We have donkeys....  But they are awesome!  And friendly.  They don't try to stomp the dogs, though they have only been near Rose who doesn't do anything but stick her nose anywhere there's another nose, since the nose is so close to the mouth anyway.

Rose does not go out with the donkeys alone if they are out in the front yard, just in case, but that doesn't keep the donkeys from checking her out.

Shaine poses so well, he is often the subject of my puppy portraits.  The classic Sheltie smile is amazing.

Then again, so is this...  :D

There was a day where it was just dreary and raining all day long, so I left all the chickens in the coops, and they were not happy.  I do believe I received ONE egg from them that day....  Not happy...

Dora is posing.  She loves the attention, but no touchy.

The silkies.  The buff silkie died...  Not sure what took her, but all that was left was a pile of scattered feathers.  The others are doing well, and they love to free-range.  The silkie rooster has fallen in line of the pecking order.  He knows he is low on the totem, and he's made due, so he just stays out of the way and tries to keep the bigger girls at bay.

The adult chickens out running amuck.

Joan, a Columbian Wyandotte from the 2013 McMurray order, is looking pretty poorly during her time of molt and recovery.  You see, she's been overly raped by the boys earlier this year, and it really took its toll on her.  I tried separating her, but she was so stressed over not being with her flock, I was worried it would do more damage than good, so I tried a hen saddle.  That didn't work either.  Actually, it kind of seemed like it made it worse, as if it was a beacon saying "HEY!  Come rape me!" So I took it off, and now her feathers are growing back.  Right now, she has one pitiful tailfeather.

The last clutch of eggs I hatched in the incubator.  The first three are the day after they hatched.  They were all fairly friendly at first.  Now they run for their lives!

As shown in this picture (and the few following), they tried their best to get as far away from me and the camera as possible.  There are five total in the brooder.

The red chick is most definitely a cockerel.  The others are still holding their secrets, though I suspect (and hope) the other four are pullets.

For sure, this is Jersey's baby.  We're not certain who the sire is, though I suspect Bandit is all of the little bundles' father.

This is only to show the two formation of one of the EEs.  The toe curls out and up rather than down and under, like the others do.  This is because when they were hatched, I put them all in a brooder with hay as the base layer.  They flattened it out too quickly, and this is the result.  I have a cockerel that does this, and he gets around fine.  I'm not worried, just making a note of it.

This little one has very unique features.  I'm not sure who the mother is, but Bandit shows through well enough.

OE mixed cockerel in the back and a Phoenix pullet.

Buttercup the Buff Orpington and Poof's EE mix.

Red the Golden Buff checking out my phone.

Poof's clutch EE mix pullet.  Instead of being dark like the others with her color pattern, she is more of a blue-lavender.

Red the Golden Buff.  :)

The Phoenixes and an EE from Meyer Hatchery.

OE cockerel from Poof's clutch.

No post is complete without the Disney Ducks.

Monday, October 13, 2014

We need some Good News!

I have 23 eggs in the incubator right now, all are EE mixes.  Tomorrow they will have been in incubation 14 days and are due to hatch next Tuesday on the 21st with them going on lockdown on the 18th.  I don't think all 23 will hatch, though I am hopeful.  I have already had to throw out 2 for lack of fertility.

As I stated in the last post, there will be another order in the spring with Polish, Barred Rocks, and maybe some EEs and maybe a Phoenix or two.  I have decided no more ducks, though I never know until I see them.  I have problems controlling my impulses (associated with OCD, I'm still fighting).  Now, I'm not so sure how good that news is, but it's not bad news so it's good news.

Our numbers are still going strong, even though we lost several, we added a few new faces.  Three Silkies, actually.  Names are still pending, but they are beautiful.  I picked up Cinnamon, Goldie, and No Name last week.  I have no idea what their history is, other than their pens were dirty because No Name is stained...  gross...  Don't confuse No Name with Poof.  They are the same variety, but not the same chicken.  ;D

 I was thinking about buying more Silkies because they are natural broodies.  They go broody often, and they are excellent mothers saving me time and the headache of having to get the temperature and humidity just so.  When these guys came available, I immediately jumped at the chance.  I may be getting a rooster to breed Silkies, though it would be for my purposes, not to breed to make money or anything.  I find Silkies have a good use on my "farm," and I plan to use that use to it's fullest.

Remember last post, I said I kept two of Labelle's hatchlings, and one of the hatchlings as well as Labelle perished?  Well, that left the other little baby all alone.  She didn't mix well with Poof's babies.  They pick on her and the poor girl was all alone.  Well, that first night I went out to put everyone up, and that little girl has taken up with the new Silkies, more with Cinnamon.

Labelle's baby and Cinnamon

The new Silkies have been free ranging with the others during the day, and they just seem so happy but at the same time confused.  It's as if they are thinking, "This must surely be a dream."  They are so sweet!

  The other bigger chickens are doing well, and they haven't shown me any signs that would say otherwise.

Here are some pictures to show some of the younger faces in their grown-up feathering.


 The Salmon Faverolle features a couple of guests as photo-bomb outcry.  Chemi, the SLW on the left is flashing her fan, and Lavender Orpington is showing off his comb.
One of the Wonder Twins is gracing us with her presence.

 Cluck Norris is an OE I bought with the Maran and Blue (posted in past post).  His color has grown in so nicely, I can't see myself getting rid of him before breeding.
Red.  Oh, Red!  She's the best production-bred chicken I have ever met.  She is so people friendly, she lets me pick her up, take her to the coop, get any eggs that may be laying underneath her.  I doubt I'll ever breed her or even buy another, but I'm not going to say I won't or never will because I don't know what my impulsive decisions will make me get another in the future.  Breeding them is not an option because she is a sex-link that is a cross between two different breeds, and they do not breed true.

Ducks!  My wonderful white ducks...  Nemo, Daisy, and Donald are laying out, enjoying the peaceful weather.  It stormed later, but they don't mind that either.  You'll see one of the Phoenixes in the background.  They have grown to be be very unique.  They are also pretty friendly, though they don't like being touched, they love getting fed.