Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Bird Pictures!

Sorry I have been remiss in catching up my blog this week, I have been plagued with several migraines.  This week I have sold off several birds that don't work with my breeding plans and extra roosters.  It will be nice to have a drop in the feed bill!

Here are some pics of my sebbies!  The two original boys are not looking to me for as much attention as before.  Now they have their own girls. That is okay though. 

These are some busybirdies!  They are nibbling on the garden hose, extension cords, pulled the label off the BBQ propane tank, chewed stems to stick-like shrubs down to nubs, etc.  I don't mind they are worth it. =}
They are also very curious.  Whenever we are working outside they are right there seeing what is going on in their domain.  If we have guests over they honk at them until they think they have been intimidated sufficiently.

They are great eye candy for the yard and they eat less than a chicken in feed!  The hen that was given to me to set on the 2 sebbie eggs lost interest and so they are both in the incubator now.  They are on day 6 and when candled don't show anything yet.  Since these eggs take about 30 days to hatch, they grow slower and may not show growth until later.

I found some blue and splash marans in Kingston with Wade Jean bloodlines.  I bought 13 splash and 6 blue chicks last week. 

Doesn't that last one have a cute face??   These should make a nice breeding flock.   I chose to incorporate solid blue birds into my splash flock to keep the splash from washing out too much over time.  These birds will lay medium dark brown eggs. 

On Friday I had 3 polish chicks hatch.  It looks like there is 1 black, 1 blue and 1 splash.

I also ordered 5 blue polish from a hatchery that will come in March.  I hope to make a blue, black, splash polish pen with these. 

My 2 white polish project chicks are getting a little older.  They are getting buff colors on their wing feathers. 

The one on the right is bigger and very noisy when I pick him up.  I think it is a boy.  I think the one on the left is a girl...we shall see.

The cuckoo silkie chick is as cute as a button and tiny compared to all the long-legged polish he is in with. =}

I was trying to show what I think is barring showing on his wings.  I am really excited to add this color to my silkie plans.

My show quality silkies are looking really nice.  They are getting really puffy cheek feathers and crests. 

They kept panicking when the flash went off.  The last pic caught it on film.

Today I got my first egg from my buttercup hen.  I am so excited to hatch it!  Also one of my silver laced polish pullets laid her first egg today as well.  Spring is on it's way!

I have about 50 of my own eggs in the incubator to hatch out cuckoo marans, olive eggers, white polish, bantam frizzles, giant cochins, and white silkies from a friend.  As well as the 2 sebbie eggs and 85 jumbo coturnix quail eggs.  I plan to raise these quail for meat birds. 

I have a friend who is going to sell me his 11 bobwhite quail.  These will just be pets.  I love the call the males do!  Also he has offered me 4 peacocks. (2 males and 2 females) I am still thinking about these as they could be a bit much.  I may also buy some of his meat rabbits.  I would like to have a source of year around meat for our family that is healthy to eat.  I should be getting these animals this week. 

My friend and I are planning a road trip next Saturday to Seattle/Tacoma area to pick up some chickens, hatching eggs and a guinea pig.  I am sure I will have more to tell you about after that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Announcing More New Additions

I am so very ecstatic to announce that I found 3 more sebbies!  Yay!  There are 2 girls and another boy.  So I have 5 now.  They are a big honking gaggle of geese. =}  The new ones are nearing 1 year old and one of the girls is already laying eggs!  The man I bought them from in Redmond had two of the her eggs under a broody hen and gave me both! 

Then since gas is so expensive I decided to make the trip worth wile and make one more stop in Kingston.  I found a man with quality birds that is starting a hatchery.  So cool!  I bought 12 splash and 6 blue marans from him!  Most are only days old but a few are a few weeks old.  They are adorable!  What a steal!

I will take pics of all of them soon!

I have had 3 olive eggers and 1 more white polish chick hatch yesterday and today.  I also have 5 blue/splash polish pipping today!  So eggsciting!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Arrivals!

Yay!  My new polish mix chick is finally here!  He is very big, very fluffy and very cute!  He is white or yellow colored and has one black spot on his head.  Maybe he will be splash colored?  Here is a picture of him next to my newly hatched petite cuckoo silkie.  They are both adorable!
I am very excited to add these two interesting colors to my flocks!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sicilian Buttercups

I have a nice little flock of a rare breed called Sicilian Buttercups.  They are a standard breed, but run on the small size.  They are a little flighty but have interesting personalities.

Aren't they a handsome pair?  They are hatchery birds, but this breed is pretty unusual.  I just love their crown or flower shaped combs!   I recently added 3 more hens, so now I have 4 hens and the one roo.
Here is the flock together.  I will be selling hatching eggs and chicks from these guys.  Please contact me for availability.  I have some eggs in the incubator as we speak.

Productive Few Days at the Farm

Yesterday my daughter and I were able to extend the duck coop so they have a little more room.  We also enlarged the run for the golden polish and Maestro.  So we were able to move some birds around.  Then we moved the boy tractor to new grass and put the divider back up in the silkie pen so that I could get some teens out of the garage.  It feels good to get so many projects done like this. 

Last night the wind blew the gate to Louie's pen open and Louie beat up Raptor (my cuckoo marans roo) pretty badly.  I stopped all the bleeding and put iodine on his cuts.  But he kept swallowing funny.  I finally looked in his mouth and it was bleeding profusely!  Louie must have grabbed the membrane under Raptors toungue and tore it.  I put flour in his mouth and the bleeding stopped.  Raptor was in shock, so I gave him vitamin water and put him in the garage bathroom for the night.  He was fine this morning, with a few more scars to show off to his ladies.  And I fixed the gate latch to Louie's pen!

I also had some people come and buy some birds in the last few days.  I sold one of our drakes to a nice person who will give him his own mate.  I sold my frizzled giant cochin roo to a nice couple who are really excited to give him his own harem.  And I sold all 5 of my cuckoo marans chicks to someone who is really excited about marans!  All in all a great weekend so far!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

White Polish Projects

One of my projects is to mix my silver laced polish hens with a buff laced polish rooster.  Here are some pics;
This is Elvis.  Isn't he cute?
Here are the girls.  There is currently a golden laced hen in here.  I was growing her out in here because she was close to the same age as the silver girls.  I need to enlarge the golden laced pen then she can go in there with Maestro.  Then I will put Friendly, my older silver laced hen in here with Elvis.  I am always playing musical birds to make sure everybirdy gets along and has enough space. =}  Anyway I have been told that this mixture of colors should come out primarily white.  I had the first fertile egg from this mixture go into lockdown today.  It is due to hatch on 1-22. I am so excited to see what it will look like!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Laced Polish X Mottled Houdan Project

I am trying to breed a golden laced polish hen and a mottled houdan rooster to see if I can get a calico-colored, crested chicken.   It should come out with black, brown and white on it.  Since Mottled houdans have 5 toes, it might have that too.  We shall see.

Introducing.....Maestro!  He is one pretty boy!  I got him from a friend that lives in Port Townsend. =}  He is very gentlemanly with my girls.

I have 2 Golden Laced hens with Maestro.  The girls are from Welp hatchery.  I am collecting there eggs and trying to hatch them now.  I will post when I see what they look like.

Silver Laced Polish Flock

My silver laced polish flock is still growing.  I have 2 young hens from last summer and one hen that is 2 years old.  So I only need a rooster right?  Well I am raising some chicks for that.

Here are a picture of the two young pullets in fall.  Their crests got so muddy and wet I had to cut them shorter.  Above are before pics.  Here are some more

This last one is after the hair cuts. Is that a buzz or what?  I find it makes them healthier so they don't get wet crests and then get chilled.

This is Friendly, my older hen.  She is so friendly because she cannot see you coming. =}  All the hens are from a nice small hatchery that unfortunately has gone out of business.  It is called Leon Valley Hatching Co.  They had great quality birds!

Here are my young silver laced polish.  They are from Privett Hatchery, I hope they turn out nicely.  There are 3 boys in there to choose from.  They are currently 6 wks old.  I hope to have this breeding flock up and going summer 2010.

One more new addition

We had one more silkie hatch from a different batch of eggs.  It is a little black silkie with a humongous knot on his head!  It is so cute!
It was helping me type! =}

The Newest Pen and Brooder Building Projects

Well I wanted to share with you the last couple of projects my hubby and I have completed.  I needed an enclosed coop/run for my silkies as they tend to not get out of the rain when they should.  So I started by picking up a couple of carport shed pipe frames and put them together to make one long frame.  Then I cut the legs off to 4 feet high, because I didn't need it any higher than that.
This is what it looked like. The pen is 10 feet by 26 feet.  My son David is climbing on it.
Then we added plywood to the side for weight so that on windy days it couldn't fly away and to enclose the sides.
Then we added chicken wire to the top and used zip ties to attach it.
Next we covered the top with a heavy duty tarp (two actually).  This will keep the rain and weather out.
The next step was to frame in the ends and add doors.  The upper part is covered with chicken wire and it open for ventilation.  The big square plywood pieces are removable and have chicken wire underneath.  That's if I want to remove them in nicer weather.
Here is a shot from the inside.  I put the 2x4 across the middle so I can put up a fencing divider for 2 pens.
Here is my son, David acting like a caged animal. =}
The whole pen took a week and around $300 to build.  It is my favorite pen!  It keeps the birds nice and dry and safe.

The other project we did very soon after the pen was my brooder. 

I spent a few weeks researching other people's ideas on brooders and came up with this plan for mine.  It has 2x2 legs that are 6 ft tall, the back is a 4x4 piece of plywood.  The sides are 2x4 with the plywood on the inside for smooth lines for the chicks.  The 2x2 runners are for holding the 3 shelves. 
Next we added the 2x4 shelves and secured them.
Next we installed ceramic light bulb lamps, these will hold the heat lamps.  We just used an indoor extension cord and cut the end off and attached it to the socket.  There is one in each level.  (BTW-we ended up having to install 2 sockets in each level for more even heat for the newborns.  I use 2 100W red flood bulbs at first then down to 100w red light bulbs and finally turn one of them off as they need less and less heat.
This is how the cords look coming out the side.
Then we framed in doors for each level on hinges and with latches.  Next we added plastic hardware cloth (my new favorite thing!) to the fronts of the pens.  Then we added a 1x4 across the bottom of each pen to keep the litter inside.
This is the finished project.  It took one day and about $50 to complete.  I enjoy having a brooder that is always ready to throw babies in. I can put 25 babies in one level for maybe 1 week, then I have to start splitting them up as they grow. =}