Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What's going on?

It's hard to say EVERYTHING that has happened since April....  I'll try to get it all down.

Some chickens (and a ducks) have left, some have been added.  Okay, quite a few have been added.  The goslings are getting bigger, a broody hen hatched a clutch and has gone broody again.  Another hen has started being broody, the cow is getting bigger, and the donkeys have damaged the pasture fence to the point of needing repairs, and we now have turkeys.

Let's start from the beginning:
Starting with Snow White (the cripple from the park), she is no longer with us.  It became so hard for her to move around, we felt it was more humane to put her down than force her to suffer any more.  She is now at peace.

On to sweeter news, we added two Muscovy ducks to our flock.  I think the hen is a Muscovy mix, which means she won't lay any eggs.  She's sterile, so she is strictly a lawn ornament.  The boy is just here to keep her company.

The goslings are all white now, and so pretty.  They have to be my favorite of the fowl.  They come up to me willingly to check what I'm doing.  They talk to me, and they are just sweet animals.

Anyone up for Duck, Duck, Goose?

I traded the Cayuga (the black duck in the above picture) as well as an EE for 2 pure Ameraucanas from show stock, not that they will be entered in fowl shows or anything...  I have no pictures at this time, but I will try to remedy that soon.

Turkeys!  We have four Bourbon Red turkeys.  They are DH's little ones, so they are in HIS care.  I still enjoy watching them run around the yard.  DH still needs to build them a pen to keep them from flying around, but that's his responsibility.

I suppose we have a free form of entertainment with my niece and nephews visit.  Very animal friendly, they get a good sense of responsibility and fun from caring for the animals.  They also understand the dangers of having a calf near when holding a feed bucket.  :D

The result?.....
Best Fowl Farm EVA!

On to broodies and new chicks....  Two weeks ago, I had 26 chickens (not including Myrtle's young'uns), but I have to go back further for the chicks.  Remember the Barred Rocks, Sex-Link, and Tolbunt Polish?  They are about 18 weeks old now....  18 or 19.  The newest addition are two pure Ameraucanas, mentioned above.  They are about the same age as the Barred Rock group.  When I put them in, they get picked on, but not horribly so.  

I went out to get some pictures of the Ameraucanas, and this little guy greeted me.  :)

The adolescent group (made up of 14 chicks now) usually hang around this little corner of the yard.

Thanks to the donkeys, Jack and Jim, the fence is low enough the other side is literally just a hop away.
 Those Polish are getting some major poofs.  :D  Can you tell which one is the cockerel and which one is the pullet?
 I'll give you a hint.  This is the boy.

 Here's the boy again, (Labelle II is in front, though a bit out of focus).
 Labelle II
 Boy, oh Boy, he is beautiful.

 Labelle II will be fun too.  <3

The Ameraucanas are blue.  One is a little darker than the other.  They should lay blue, strictly blue (no green whatsoever) eggs.

This little guy is an EE.  I am wondering if SHE is actually a HE...  I haven't heard any special crowing from any of the other cockerels so it's still hard to say.

Moving on to the BABIES, the itty bitty babies in the brooder.  I went to a local breeder who has Bantam EEs.  I have been wanting some, but didn't feel like it was a good idea to buy them from a hatchery.  I ended up coming home with 8 bantams.  The lady was left with a single bantam, and she popped it in for free.  It is a Black Japanese Bantam.  They are so pretty when they get older, I am so happy to get them.  I doubt I will be keeping many of these babies since they are straight run.  It is likely I will get several cockerels, which is why I brought home so many.  Sadly, one of the babies died, and I'm not sure what happened.  She was fine the night before, and I found her the next morning laying in the back of the brooder. 
Bantam EEs (none of the Japanese...  It didn't want to hold still.)

 A few of the other chickens.  Myrtle (top) and Lavender EE (bottom)

 I love just sitting out with my flocks.  They all come up to me, either expecting some company, conversation, or food.  Okay, they wish it was food more than any other....

 The turkeys also come up quickly.  They prefer not to be touched, but I think it has more to do with protection.

Daisy, Daisy 
give me your answer do!

    On to the broodies....  A couple months ago, a Silkie went broody.  I put her in her nest with six eggs.  A few days before the expected hatch date, she decided to kick out ALL of the eggs, and one of them had pipped.  The others went to the incubator, and since Myrtle went broody (you saw her above with her two chicks), I gave the chick that pipped to her, along with the two chicks that survived in the incubator.  Out of the three, one was eaten by a chicken snake....  I killed the chicken snake, so we now have two chicks in the coop.  

    Last week,  a Phoenix went broody.  I put five eggs under her, knowing I will have to move her if someone else decided to go broody.  
 Well, someone went broody.... 
Well, next thing I know, the other Phoenix went broody.  

It took a bit of thought, but I came up with a quick fix since the turkeys are in my brooder, the ducks are in the spare coop, the little coop is at capacity, and the big coop is out of the question.

 It works.

Bandit is no longer with us.  He has spurred me for the last time, so we ate him.  To replace him as the main rooster, enter Rocky, the 3 year old Barred Rock rooster.  He is pleasant to be around, and he will at some point become the sire of of the next Barred Rock flock, a well tempered, dual-purpose breeds to stick in the freezer at slaughter age.

 As I stated earlier, the cow is getting bigger.  Oreo is listed for sale for $900, which is $200 less than his half brothers and sisters went for at the auction recently.  He is an excellent breeding prospect for anyone looking to add a good meaty bulk to their herd.