Monday, January 26, 2009

Updates

A quick and dirty run down for all those interested...

Oprah is till trying to hatch golfballs. I'm putting food in her nest box as she has lost some weight. She only seems to really eat when I put yogurt in it.

Nugget--She's still doing her typical routine, scared of the ramp into the chicken house and wants to sleep on her stick in the chicken run.

Lola--is def. a boy but we can't bring ourselves to rename him, so he is a boy named Lola!

Helmet--Def a boy. He jumped in my lap today to eat some bread. He has vision issues and bad aim, but knows if he jumps in my lap he can grab at all the food instead of little morsels on the ground. Hope his aim doesn't extend to the ladies!

Andy heard one of the chicks making hen sounds last night in the chicken house. They shouldn't start laying for AT LEAST 4 more weeks, so this is odd. We have a large chicken nest box out in the coop for Nugget and whomever if they don't feel like going in the chicken house and yesterday I found that someone had kicked all the bedding out of it. I put the bedding back in there and today I found little spots where someone had been making a nest in there. And I saw Star picking around in there, very odd.

Star--She is coming in the poofiest out of all the Showgirls. Very pretty. I rarely see anyone with non white Showgirls and I'm hoping she'll show really well. I'm kind of hopeful she's about to start laying, since all the signs are there.

Red--the Rhode Island Red that was abandoned and we've taken in. Still antsy around us but will eat out of my hand. She lays EVERY day, guaranteed.

Barbara--Thusly named because we thought she was a Barred Rock. Well BR's typically have a more even patterning to them. We thought she might be a Maran, but they are very rare and expensive so doubt that. After looking through A Pocket Full of Poultry (awesome book filled with pics and info on ducks, chickens and geese) we think she might be a Dominique. Ah well, Barbara suits her fine. She is more inclined to come up to me then Red.

A rooster has showed up in the yard. Our "neighbor" buys them and then takes off for weeks on end so chickens show up at our house. There are two roosters next door and one of them found the chicken coop with the ladies a couple of days ago and he is VERY happy to have found them. I've been letting Barbara and Red free range during the day with him and they come running back to the coop if they need to lay an egg or it's bedtime.

Eggs--I can't see anything in the Pekin eggs, I'm thinking they got scrambled in the mail. I was really looking forward to some poofy headed ducklings! Looks like 2-3 of my Cochin eggs are starting to develop. And a bunch of the Silkie eggs are starting to move around.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Golf ball momma!

Soooo, Oprah is going to be a happy little golf ball momma. She's been broody on some golf balls for nearly 2 weeks now. I purchased eggs and have them in the bator, I'll probably give her the chicks when they hatch. This is the second time she's gone broody (wanting to hatch out babies) in about 3 months.

In about a month, I'm going to have to start selling some babies, cause I can't keep all of them. I'll have: white Silkies (from show stock, hubby doesn't want any more white ones), standard Cochins (feather footed like Silkies, but these are HUGE, I fell in love with them at the poultry show, very sweet and docile birds), and some Pekin ducks (hopefully crested, I only plan to keep 1-2 of them). Price will vary depending on quality when they are born.

Hubby found out yesterday about all the eggs. He was a bit shocked. He also admitted the reasons he doesn't like when we get more: 1-He gets attached to them 2-He hates when chickies get sick or if they die 3-Our pen is made to hold over 30 birds and he fears it's too tight with 10!

He really loathes the buying and selling part and feels it's cruel. I can understand that. But I tried to explain to him it's not likely they are going to slaughter (who wants to eat black meat anyways!) and they are bringing enjoyment to someone else.

In other news the Sizzle Sisters are quite sweet. They come running up to my hand and if they see me feeding the other chickens in the coop get very upset if I'm not feeding them too. They are currently penned off inside the coop (in the bathtub at night) as the others are dreadfully mean to them. Even the teenage showgirls who chase down the Sizzle Sisters and pull out their feathers. Poor girls, they think Nugget is their momma and run to her and she pecks them too!

Everyone is loving free ranging in the evening though. So much so that whenever I try to go in with treats they try to run out the door. Apparantally, the grass really is greener on the other side! (Chickens eat and tear up grass so they have NONE in their coop.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Sizzle Sisters

Whenever I tell someone I'm going to a chicken swap meet they usually get a smirk on their face. It's weird and I probably would do the same if I didn't own chickens! Heck, even other people I know who own chickens think chicken swap meets are funny and odd. But that's where I went today after doing some volunteer work.

Picked up some Sizzle chicks. If you aren't familiar with them they are Silkies but they have been bred with another chicken to get a curly feather. To me chickens who have this sizzled/frizzled gene look like pine cones. It's kind of the hip thing to do right now with chickens.

Here are the Sizzle sisters. Not sure yet if I'm going to keep them or sell them. They don't look like show quality, but I wouldn't mind having them breed with my roos (when they get old enough) to maybe get some sizzle babies. (I don't know how genetics works for these guys, may not work. We'll see.)

Living in the bathtub for right now:

And here's a pic I found on the web to show you what a good Sizzle will likely look like. It came from Knightschicks.com
I also bought some more eggs. Have over 20 in the bator now. The big dirty ones are duck eggs (not supposed to wash fertile eggs if you want to hatch them)The little cream ones are Silkies and the darker ones on the right are standard Cochins.
Cochins are feather footed like Silkies, but the standards are huge! I fell in love with them at the poultry show last weekend. Probably will only be able to keep one or two though and have to sell the rest, if anyone is interested.





Monday, January 12, 2009

Nugget's First Egg

Nugget laid her first egg on Wed or Thursday of last week.

She laid it UNDER the chicken house. She also won't go into the house on her own. I think she doesn't like the ramp. With her big ole poofy head she can't see that great and I think the ramp freaks her out. I don't want to crawl under the chicken house to collect her eggs though. I'm trying to teach her to go up the ramp. Down doesn't seem to be a problem.

This morning she was under the house making herself a little nest to lay her 3rd egg. I crawled under got her and helped her up the ramp. She seemed happy being in the chicken house but couldn't find herself a great place to lay. She wants the small nest, but Oprah is in there trying to hatch nothing. And Nugget doesn't want to be in the box with Oprah. The big chickens don't mind though.

I was a little weirded out about eating her first egg, so we boiled it and gave it back to the chickens as a treat. They friggin love boiled eggs. Scrambled eggs, not so much!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Getting ducks!

After seeing this pic on Backyardchickens.com awhile back I have been wanting some crested ducks. I mean, how friggin adorable, the duck is wearing a barrette!

As adults they look like the following pic. I ordered some eggs from the lady who has the ones below. Oprah, my silkie hen, has gone broody and I told Andy that she could hatch out the eggs. I think Andy thought I was joking. Oh no, it is a done deal, sign, sealed and paid for with Paypal. Woohhaaahaha.

LOL.
So, we went to the Lake City Poultry Show this weekend. Not too many silkies and showgirls for sale that looked that great. Saw all kinds of awesome looking birds. I love the huge Cochins. Andy fell in love with the Lemon Blue Modern Game Birds. I think I might order some eggs and hatch them for him as a suprise. Not like he checks the incubator anyways!
They had some nice birds on display though. I think our Showgirls will def. show well against those next year. Nugget might have a good chance from our Silkies.
Speaking of, Nugget laid her first egg last week. I have a pic, will post it later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time to get dirty!

Probably thought this was a bad post didn't ya?! Dirty mind! Barbara and Red were taking dust baths this weekend. (Oprah, my black Silkie in the background.)

I don't ever see my Silkies and Showgirl's dust bathing, maybe cause they realize that they are little show babies and need baths in the sink!


I couldn't get too close to Barbara and Red (was using zoom lense) when I tried to get close with the camera and the wide angle lense, they jumped up and ran. The babies didn't like the camera either! But, not Oprah, she doesn't mind the camera at all. Isn't that appropriate!
(Excuse her crazy fro, she has bad eye sight and she gets her fro into yogurt and everything else, she always looks like a crazy woman!)

To get more chickens, or not?

We are going to Lake City this weekend for a huge chicken show. May go to a chicken swap meet the weekend after that. Last time we went to the swap meet the only gorgeous silkies I saw were roosters, and well, there's only so many of those you need!

I've had several people ask me if I had any more silkies or showgirls for sale. I've been debating about getting some more eggs and hatching them out. I've been trying to wait until the cold weather is gone for sure though, as that means they can go outside in the coop sooner instead of living in my bathroom when they are more than a month old!

HOPEFULLY, in the next month I'll have another batch of eggs in the incubator. Hopefully, my husband won't read this, he loves the babies, but they scare him since they are so suceptible to illnesses, etc. Plus he doesn't like them living in the bathroom either.

But on to what I was wanting to post about...

If you would like a Showgirl or Silkie, please message me. Let me know which you would prefer and if you have color preferences.

Just in case you aren't sure, here are the colors, I'd likely be getting: black, blue (grey), white, splash (white with black/grey colorings. Those are the colors we are focusing on. We occasionally get a partridge as well which usually ends up being brown, redo, orangeish or black combination. Can't guarantee boys or girls obviously, too hard to sex them.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hen or rooster?

Since we've started selling chickens we always get asked if the babies are girls or boys. The thing with Silkies is you can't really tell until they are about 5 months old and they either crow or lay an egg.

Some however have some obvious traits and adult roosters typically have a couple of different traits then Silky hens.

We currently don't have an adult rooster, our last one was a show winning rooster and we didn't even have him a week when a oposum broke into the coop and killed the poor guy. (Hubby came home from work and IMMEDIATELY started working on the NEW coop which would be a miracle if any animal around here broke into!)

On the left is Oprah, right Bwock.
It's a little hard to tell with these pics being so small, but roosters typically have streamers coming from their top know (fro). It's like they have a poof and then these crazy little pieces that come out much longer.

They also have pointy neck feathers, almost like strands of hair.

You can see the streamers in Bwock's fro on this one.
It was a windy day when I shot these, but you can still see them a bit here. You can also see the neck feathers are very pointy. It's easier to see when you hold a male next to a female and learn the difference. At least it was for me.
The red thing on top of his beak is his "comb." For Silkies, they should, preferable be purplish. And they are kind of flat like, not pointy like other breeds. Bwock's was a little red, but he made up for it. He was a gorgeous splash color (means the black & white or like him black, grey and white, almost like a dalmation with spots).
Decent streamer shot.