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Author Topic: Time for another tale, and lots of pics, smiling  (Read 3554 times)
Cindi
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« on: December 03, 2009, 11:06:12 AM »

The incubated chicks hatched, they are now two weeks old, and cute as the dickens, (where did that saying come from anyways?)
I have 22 more eggs in the incubator, they are a combination of Blue and Black Cochin, Light Brahma (all standard size).  This weekend I am getting more Buff Cochin, Silver Laced Wyandotte (these are huge birds, this SLW strain is much bigger than mine here) and some more Black Cochin as well, gonna have babies coming out my ears, smiling.

These chicks are growing like that baddest of weeds (yep, know about those weed things).  I've been dabbling in wing sexing day old chicks, think it is totally working. I know now that Cochins, Brahmas and Australorpes can be wing-sexed.  Time will certainly tell this tale as time goes on, but I am feeling pretty secure about this.  This is going to be very handy one day.  Never going to attempt the vent sexing thing, seen that on Dirty Jobs with that gutsy, gutsy dude, ever watched this show, it has some really good shows, seems alot of the shows has to do with poopy stuff.  Must be a really dirty job, this poopy stuff, hee, hee.

These chicks are still in my basement suite kitchen and will stay there for another little while. Then I will move them to the cabin on our property.  It is a good place, raised chicks there before (that clutch of eggs I got from Brian Bray and some of my own).  A groovey little cabin, with lino floors and heat, so they can keep toasty warm (I love warm toast, smiling).  Just wish it had a built in vacuum, smiling. 

Instead of using shavings for bedding, as I have in the past with chicks, I use the non-slip material that is used for shelving, marvelous stuff.  Shavings are nasty things, they get in the food, water and EVERYWHERE, especially when the chicks become of the age that they are testing out their flight feathers, like running along and taking flight for about 4 inches.   I have found that non-slip pad to be the best thing on earth.  These babies don't smell, nor does the kitchen down there.  With those non-slip pad thingies, clean up is so easy, just pick up the corners, dump off the poo, put new ones down, wash the used ones and the cycle begins again.  I am not interested in the doing the deep litter method in my house.  It is really amazing what comes out of these critters, hee, hee.

About the feather sexing that I did with them.  I am of the belief that it is 100% correct, but still, time will tell that tale.  It would appear that from this discovery that I have 3 pullets and one cockeral.  The first two pictures you will see are of the Cochins, I think that after all has been said and done, that they are both splash.  One is a cockeral, one a pullet.  The tail feathers and flight feathers on each are totally different.  I am hoping that the picture will be clear enough for others to see this difference.

This is the last born one, his primary feathers grew so fast I almost thought it was a deformed wing, they stuck out from the side of his body, but now are laying flat.  He has a definite group of little feathers that stick out of his butt, compared to his counterpart, that pullet.  This is him.



This is the Cochin pullet, her tail feathers are far more short and blunt looking, the primary feathers are not as developed, I thought she was going to be a blue, but, sigh, I guess a Splash, look at the shorter feathers on her bum



The Light Brahma, according the the feather sexing, a pullet, she is the most relaxed of all



And lastly the Australorpe, according to wing feather sexing, a pullet, she is a skitzy little freak, much heavier than the other three and really does object to being picked up, but tough tiddy said the kiddy, she gets picked up anyways, smiling



All four of them doing a nice pose, don't they love to watch the camera?



At the watering hole



A little toy that my Husband made for the kids yesterday



And, oh, just a really pretty little picture of the tail feathers of the Light Brahma pullet




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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2009, 12:56:09 PM »

Most of your birds free range right Cindi?


...JP
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 08:05:24 PM »

Cindi. Did you build your incubator or is it more commercial ? Does it have the egg turner in it ?
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 09:57:59 PM »

JP, for the most part my chickens all free range, in a way.  They have their own yards, three of them.  Each yard has high 6 foot one inch poultry wire fencing, buried 6 inches along the ground, so nothing can dig in, climb over.  The fence is not taught at the top, it has give, less chance for something to climb over.  The main chicken yard is about 1/8 of an acre, massive fencing has gone on here to ensure their safety.  We have bears, coyotes, weasels, minks, raccoons, if they could, they would eat up my birds.  I have not had a loss of any of my birds ever, since about 8 years ago.  That was my fault, locked up one night, incorrect wire, something chewed through, mass slaughter, lessons learned.  They free range in their yards all day, munching on grass and bugs, and stuff.  At dusk, they go into their night houses, which are just as secure, if not more, than their day areas.  During the day they have free access to come into their houses or not, they usually chose to be outside, unless coming in to get the feed, that they free feed upon.  Each night house for the birds has 1/2 inch poultry wire half way up the sides, and any opening that any critter could possibly try to get through has been double reinforced.  Nothing, and I mean nothing could penetrate these birds fortresses.  And I say that with 100% confidence.  They do not have any access to the outdoors until I let them out of the homes in the mornings, and that is long after sunup.

Sparky, I have a large incubator, a cabinet model, it is called a Sportsman 1502 model, I would venture quite a few years old, it has automatic turning trays, forced fan, and a thermostat that is factory-preset at 99.5 degrees F.  It has the capacity to hatch approximately 190 eggs at a time, and it has done some nice work over the years.  It lives in my basement during the wintertime. In the spring it lives out in the bee barn, close to the chickens.  We did not build the incubator, I purchased it second hand for a substantial amount of money, but has paid for itself, over and over.  I tried a small incubator, styrofoam type, was not pleased at all.  But I believe it was human error, not the incubator itself.  I learned a few lessons attempting to hatch in that -- I do not forget the lessons that I learn in life.  Hope this has helped to answer some questions, have that great, most beautiful day, health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2009, 10:11:05 PM »

Cindi, my chickens would kill me if I waited too long after day break to let them out! I now truly know the meaning of "cooped up" lol!

Man, the boogers put out some waste come nightfall, mornings there's lots of doo doo. If they didn't I'm sure they'd weigh 500 lbs each. They sure can eat!

Enjoying my birds Cindi, they're lots of fun. Hey, I spoke with Dallas today and he says he's a chicken person too, I didn't know that.

Your little chickadees are cute.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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annette
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 11:10:23 PM »

As always Cindi you make the art of chickening (is that a word?) so exciting to read about. The photos are always adorable and I always feel like the chickens are totally in tune with you and what you are up to. They look so, so happy in your home. As usual you make everything that comes through your door extremely welcome and loved.

Sincerely
Annette
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2009, 10:28:10 PM »

Annette, you say such kind words, thank you for being you, smiling.  So, Annette, this one is for you, gonna rock your socks!!!  I never in my life would believe how much pooping little chickies can do.   You will see by the picture below.  They are loving to live in my house, smile again, they are warm, they are indeed nurtured, Annette, that is me.  They are becoming quite friendly.  As soon as I poke my head into that kitchen suite where they are, I see all their heads turned and looking to see who is coming.  When they see me they begin to get very active -- I know that they are excited  shocked, cool eh?  They know that I have loving hands that pick them up, I cuddle them to my neck, let them smell my hair, they love my hair, and I can feel them to relax, after they have settled down after a moment.  They are a wild critter, they are "made" to trust others, other than their own type, the human being must be one that they get to know, then that trust begins.  Many of my other chickens are very friendly too, as friendly as a chicken can be, they don't run away from me.  Ivan, the Light Brahma rooster is particularly calm. He really loves me alot, I can tell, and he never runs away, nor moves away, I walk freely amongst the birds.

JP, think your chickens are pooping alot, get a load of this!!!  Beautiful days, to love, live and share, with that beautiful health.  Cindi

I clean the babies pen every morning, it makes me feel good to know that they are laying/walking in poopy stuff.  This is what it looks like in the morning.  The non-slip cupboard liner cloths are the most wonderful tool, and wash up beautifully.  Am I strange, yep, yep, you all know that, hee, hee.  I take pictures of EVERYTHING, I am that camera gal too.



And this is what it looks like after I have given them new bedding.


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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2009, 10:40:19 PM »

Cindi, my chickens are very happy to see me as well. They seem to love humans but are not that interested in being held. I have to snatch them up to hold them, which of course I do. They follow me around and like pecking at the buttons, tie strings on my jackets and zippers, etc...

The guy I got my chickens from said one day he fell asleep outside and awakened with chickens perched on each shoulder and one on his head and they were pecking at his ears and nose, which, that he says woke him, ha!

My chickens are getting much too braven and are now venturing outside of their main run, which means there is the potential for one of my lunatic dogs to get a hold of one. They so far have the sense though to fly back over and into the run. I may have to place netting over the top of the run, just in case one of the dogs get lucky. shocked


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2009, 10:51:36 PM »

Ah, JP, you have been assimilated, smiling.  The world of chickens is so totally fascinating.  Good that you hold them, and good that they love you, cooool!!!  Yes, JP, get that net up, the dogs are primal and their instinct is to kill for food. One day you may be able to trust the dogs around your birds, but for now, yum, yum.  My dogs have become accustomed to the birds over the years, I trust them 100% now, but there was a time when I was very cautious with them.

Now, something I must caution you about.  Chickens love shiney, watery things.  When you pick them up, take great care that they cannot reach your eyes.  Eyes glisten, and believe me, know from experience, the eyeball is very intriguing to the birds, use caution in this manner.  And also warn anyone that may pick up your birds, keep them below eye level.  I felt horrible last summer when my youngest Grandson picked up one of my chicks and it pecked his eye.  It hurt him, he didn't cry, he tried to save face, but I know it hurt, thankin' my lucky stars that he eye wasn't damaged.  Just some words of wisdom here, friend.

Enjoy the birds as you are so doing.  You ain't seen nuthin' yet, that illness will get worse, smiling  shocked Lips Sealed Wink Smiley Smiley Smiley  Beautiful days, to love with great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
The Swarm King
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2009, 10:58:46 PM »

Glad you mentioned the eye thingy, glad your grandson's eye wasn't pecked out. Of course if it were he would had to wear a pirate's patch, which of course all the ladies would have gone crazy over! Wink


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2009, 11:05:54 PM »

Of course if it were he would had to wear a pirate's patch, which of course all the ladies would have gone crazy over! Wink
...JP

Bwahhh, that was funneeeee!!!  He is gonna be a lady killer for sure, a patch might have just made that even more of a cool thing.  As an aside, they wouldn't peck the eye out, it is just that peck that they initiate when they want to peck something, just a single peck, they are very curious creatures.  Be having that wonderful and awesome day, health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2009, 03:53:08 PM »

Cindi. I think I will probably save some money and build one like this one. Put on the to do list with the home made plucker. What do you think ?
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=10364-als-homemade-cabinet-incubato
I have a cabinet just like this one that was removed from rental unit that I have not trashed yet. Looks very doable and not near as expensive as the ones you professional chicken people use. Ha Ha. Wink
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2009, 06:44:32 PM »

Sparky, well that was quite the innovation of that fellow, and he documented his travels with design, etc., very well.  If you wanted to try to do this thing, I would certainly encourage you, wow, it would certainly be something that you would want to let the world know you have done, great.  Beautiful days, to love, live with great health. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2009, 09:20:18 PM »

Cindi nice to see you're trying your hand at sexing chicks.  I assume you are using the flight feather length to determine sex.  It is a fairly easy way to do it but not all breeds or even generations are all the same.  One generation can have all long feathered males and the next generation may be all females.  Then crosses or breeds can upset the sexing cart.  One breed might have long feathered males and short feathered females, while another is just the opposite.  It will run true a a specific breed for a specific generation but each breed/generation needs to be sexed by itself, on its iwn merits.

Picked up a late Spring Lamb to replace the 2 ewes that got pneumonia and died.  This one is half grown so she won't breen until next year.  It has perked up the ram though, as he was a little lonely, no he has a buddy.  a real nice lamb, 4H quality, I should get about 8 years of breeding out of her.  She had a twin (ram) so should be prone to throw twins as well.

Spent the last 2 weeks with walking pneumonia myself.  Today was the 1st day back out doing chores.  I installed rubber strips on the wheelchair ramp to make for better footing when we have ice, and maybe snow.  The Wind was pretty strong, must have had 50 mph gusts.

Went out to check on the sheep and goats and noticed a mallard drake wondering around with the guineas.  Mentioned to the family and my daughters said there was a hen there a few days ago, but I could not find any evidence of a hen mallard.  Sir Francis (so named) the Drake appears to have been injured, but I wasn't able to get real close to verify, but if he came in with a hen and is now here alone and not able to fly, then I may have a new addition to the farm.  If he's still around come spring, and still unable to fly, I'll get him a Khaki Campbell hen from my younger brother for company.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2009, 09:37:25 PM »

Brian, yes, trying my hand at flight wing sexing, but now you have shed doubt upon what I am discovering, sigh.  That's OK, I will delve deeper and deeper and deeper.

I have made an attempt to feather sex two cochins, an australorpe and a braham, the only survivors from the broody hen that got off the nest, I know you read the post.

They were all feather sexed before the age of 72 hours, evidently after that the flight feathers catch up and impossible to determine gender.  The difference in the feathers of the cockeral were extremely noticeable.  His primary and covert feathers were the same length, the pullets all were in that sawblade fashion, short and long intermittent.  I am keeping a very close watch on these four chicks, taking weekly pictures to keep an eye on the feathering.  Clearly, there is still only one male. 

I guess that the next generations may mix things up as you say, but I will study more about that to understand this aspect better.

How dreadful for that drake that the duck may have left him behind, I would think he has been injured and she just could not wait.  Too bad, he would truly appreciate a Rouen duck next spring if he is still around, nice mix you will have there.

Ah, a lady for the guy, that ram will definitely be a happy camper.  It is sad that they get so attached to their clan and when tragedy occurs, such a cryin' shame.  Those were the two ewes that fell into the creek?  I recall your speaking of this disaster.

Walking pneumonia, that sounds dreadful, would love to hear a little more of what it is all about, how does it affect you?  I am happy that you have healed, I wish that your health will get better, maybe it will, I know that you live a very wholesome lifestyle, do take care with this cold snap we are having.  These winds have been brutal beyond brutal.  At least it has blown away the moisture and the air is drier.  With that month of rain, things have been very very damp here, you too?  We have still had massive wind gusts today, but not nearly as severe as yesterday, wind scares me, I have never liked it one little bit.

Get a load of these pictures that I am putting in this post.  They were taken on Friday and it is interesting how the feathers are developing on the cochins and the brahma.

Set 22 eggs in my Sportsman incubator a week ago, Light Brahmas and Black Cochin

Forty-two more are going in tomorrow.  These are all a combination of Light Brahmas (your lovely dude that came from your egg, he is magnificent, and oh what a wonderful and friendly rooster, he's my pal), he has two hens of his breed, Black Cochin (12 eggs) Buff Cochin (20 eggs) and Silver Laced Wyandotte (4 eggs).  I got these eggs from a pal of mine in a neighbouring town, his birds have all taken prizes in shows this year, they are very lovely.  The Silver Laced Wyandottes come from a strain that is bred in Ontario with a pretty famous breeder.  These strain of Silver Laced Wyandotte are massive, the rooster took first in his class.  Evidently the Silver Laced Wyandottes that are so common these days are smaller than the original Silver Laced Wyandotte, they have been bred more for egg production and the size of the bird has hence diminished.  This breeder in Ontario has retained the size of the original Silver Laced Wyandotte, and my friend's birds display this work.  My Silver Laced Wyandotte, which is now about 9 months old, coming from McMurray hatchery, is about 1/2 her size smaller than these nicely bred ones.  Clearly a difference in the genetics.  I only could get 4 of his eggs for now, as the hens are beginning to go broody.  Go figure, why on earth would hens go broody coming in the depths of winter, I can see after the Winter Solstace, when the days begin to lengthen, silly gals.

Here's some cool pictures, just for the fun of it....have that wonderful and beautiful day, with health.  Cindi

The chicks were 17 days old when I took the picture.  These are the shoulder feathers of the Cochin pullet, if according to the feather sexing, is a gal.  I am using the Cochins as a comparison between gender.  As these chicks age the feathering is showing to be of such extremely different growth rates and style, I am amazed and having fun....



These are the shoulder feathers of what I believe to be the Cochin cockeral



The tail feathers of the Cochin pullet



The tail feathers of the Cochin cockeral



A picture of them both, side by side, the pullet is larger than the cockeral


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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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