TT #2 - Da Puppy and Da Chickens
I’m not at all sure that this newest puppy isn’t killing the chickens. If she is, I may have to find her a new home. She’s a total sweetheart otherwise, much more affectionate than her sister ever has been. But STUBBORN. She will not come when called. And both dogs are really weird around food…and the cat.
I don’t know how much of this is that I’m not home as much as I have been in the past when I was raising puppies, and how much would happen any way. Also, it’s my first time with Great Pyrenees and they are unlike any other breed I’ve spent time with. They are mixes, so that might be a factor too.
Last night someone attacked a Salmon Faverolles hen, she’s missing feathers but seems okay otherwise. Traumatized, but okay.
Time will tell.
Anyway, I’m not entirely sure that it’s her…but I have my suspicions.
As an aside, I put the hen in with a couple of little chicks and one immediately jumped on her back nestled in and went to sleep. Hatchery chicks, they are hard wired animals, they know a mama hen, even if they have never seen a grown hen before. It’s amazing really. The hen could easily kill the chick, but she’s kind of adopted it, so far.
Again, Time will tell.
Chick Hatchery is Ideal Poultry
Lost 65 of 81 chicks. Ideal is replacing them for me. They have been irritated by how long the claim has been going on, but I didn’t want to settle the matter while chicks were still dying in droves. This morning there was only one dead baby. But some of the remaining don’t seem all that vigorous.
APPENZELLER SPITZHAUBEN - or Silver Spangled Spitzhauben (©Poultrysite.com)
Among my favorite of the new chicks is the Appenzeller Spitzhauben — a breed of chicken originating in Appenzell region of Switzerland. The Appenzeller comes in two varieties. Mine are the Spitzhauben, meaning “pointed hood” (which comes from the frilly hat worn by the women in the Appenzeller region in Switzerland.
Brought to America by a doctor who successfully introduced the breed. It has a V-comb and feather crests in both hens and roosters. The bird is either white (mine) or gold and come with black spangling — so they are also called Gold / Silver Spangled Spitzhaubens.
Today the breed is largely an ornamental one kept primarily for showing, but they also lay a respectable quantity of white eggs. This is a light chicken, with hens weighing an average of 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) and roosters 4.5 lbs (2 kg). Behaviorally, it is a flighty breed that doesn’t do well in confinement, can forage well, and will roost in trees if given the opportunity. In North America, it is very rare breed and is recognized officially by neither the American Poultry Association or other breed registries. The silver spangled Spitzhauben [shown] is the most common variety found abroad.
Though there is no standard in North America, the UK does recognize the breed and accepts it as a standardized breed. There is, however, a push in the United States for the Spitzhauben to be recognized by the American Poultry Association.
My chicks top, a gorgeous adult ©Showmesilkies I’m hoping to have a couple with light beards like this one, many have a black beard.
The Brabanter is a Dutch breed of chicken originating in the historic region of Brabant which straddles Belgium and the Netherlands. In a few paintings from the 1670s by Dutch artist Melchior d’Hondecoeter, appear what would seem to be Brabanters. The original form of the Brabanter nearly went extinct in the early 20th century. The few remaining birds were interbred with their close relative, the Dutch Owlbeard, and the breed was recreated by 1920. credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brabanter
SAT 6 FOR HATCHING DAY!
- 7 chicks hatched overnight! More pipping…I hope to get 20 total.
- 2 chicks were even from the incubator that was unplugged.
- There will be photos. Shut up, all chicks do not look the same.
- I have to remind myself, I’M NOT KEEPING THESE CHICKS.
- Still, I’ve been trying to figure out what the chick’s parentage is. They are first generation from my flock - so my roosters, my hens. I can’t squelch that biology-phile part of me that is fascinated with genetics.
- I have chicks arriving on Friday THAT I PURCHASED. Seriously, I know chicks are like potato chips but one has to eventually stop eating them. Right?! Right? right? sigh.
- BAWK. How’s your Saturday going?
Incubators, you’re killing me!
I came home tonight to two frigid chicks and a 70 degree incubator. Just as a reference, below 100 degrees, chicks die. The chicks were still alive however and I rushed them under the heater in a brooding pen.
I came back and discovered that the power strip was off. I turned it back on — I believe the dogs turned it off by stepping on it as they wreaked mayhem on a couple of hens that probably wandered into the house looking for food. The dogs bashed the back door open, leaving them a way in. There was poop everywhere and I’m down a few birds — no remains or anything — which is weird. Nonetheless, NOT what one wants to come home to after a 12-hour day at work.
The secondary incubator, in the utility room had two chicks already hatched out and a bunch that were pipping - that’s chicken talk for breaking through the shell. Hatching is a chore. Each chick is born with an egg “tooth” which allows them to cut around the diameter of an egg and pop off the top. Then they drag their sorry asses out, where they flop onto the tarmac (as it were) and rest. Then little by little they dry off and become the cute chicks you see in photos. That can take several hours. or a day, maybe two.
There’s still a LOT that can go wrong.
There are chicks cheeping in both incubators, so who knows what will hatch. The eggs in the main incubator were cold to the touch, and I assumed that they were all dead, but maybe not, as there is chirping tonight coming from a life within. We’ll see.
My egg delivery earlier this week
The bakery that buys my eggs took a photo of them and posted the picture on Facebook. These are 5 flats of 30 eggs each. I’ll do another drop off this weekend.Sometimes it’s important to remember the reason for your madness.
I’ve moved my chicken drivel
You’ll still see some I’m sure, but I moved the bulk here:
Five F_R_I_D_A_Y (mostly chickens, carry-on)
- I’ve gotten dick-all accomplished today at work today, and I leave in 15 minutes, make that 9, make that 3….
- I am transferring 120 eggs, 16 chicks, pullets and three roosters + 2 carcasses from the sub-zero (birds that drowned). All are going to my Ojai friend tonight - I hope tonight, as it’s an hour each direction and a huge time-suck.
- I’m hesitant to give him my good birds as he has been losing his stock to hawks, and drama, drama, drama…I have been lucky not to have a lot of predators or drama. Don’t want any either.
- I ordered chicks from Ideal - my favorites: Wyandottes, Cochins, Brahmas, Barnevelders, but also new breeds - Andalusians, Chanteclers, Iowa Blues, Sussex, Brabanters, Hamburgs, Kraikoppes…the mind reels. I have to sit down and figure out what breeds these chicks are, about half have feathered legs/feet. Hmm…
- I received a message from my Dad who has dementia. My sister is in the background egging him on. He says, “I say it now?” She says yes, say it now. He says, Now? She says Yes. He says - “I reserve the option to break your arm. Pause. Hold up your right arm. Pause. My sister talking in the background. Silence. Then she says Have her call you… And my Dad says, call back and you will talk to us.
This is not delivered in a joking manner, and it totally creeped me out. I mean, who does that?! I have no idea what this is about, or why my sister would be sick enough to egg on my demented Father to call and leave such a horrible message.
For discodroid, I found you the perfect Canadian chicken for your upcoming flock…
The Partridge Chantecler
It’s A CANADIAN original
Bred to be winter-hardy
Comes in two colors - white & partridge
There’s Scandel in it’s heritage:
(which makes keeping the breed more fun)
The “Partridge Chantecler” is actually unrelated to the original Chantecler. “The Partridge Chantecler was developed by Dr. J. E. Wilkinson around the same time. When this bird was submitted for inclusion to the American Poultry Association in 1935, it was erroneously placed with the Chantecler chicken (thought to be a variety, not a separate breed). This, ended up causing the demise of another distinct breed of Canadian chicken. The proper name for the Partridge Chantecler should have been the “Albertan” - but it is not… (source)
So, sour grapes in Alberta…
It’s the ONLY breed of chicken in the world known to have been created [primarily] by a monk
At the dawn of the 20th century, no breeds of chicken had been established in Canada. Canadian farmers only had fowl of European and American derivation. This fact was noted by Brother Wilfred Chantelain, a Trappist monk and Doctor of Agronomy, as he toured the poultry flocks of the Oka Agricultural Institute, an agricultural school at his abbey which is affiliated with the Université de Montréal.
In 1907, the Brother set out to remedy this void. He create a practical chicken suited to Canada’s climate and production needs. He created the White variant of the Chantecler. It was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1921. To this day, the Chantecler is one of only two breeds of poultry from Canada, and the only one known to have been created primarily by a member of a monastic order.
Also, handy as a dual meat/egg bird in case of society collapse, or zombie apocalypse.
I ordered the Partridge variety — because partridge markings are awesome. Given that it’s suited for extreme cold, and we don’t have that in Los Angeles, I’m going to install a chicken door in the deep freeze so they can amble in and cool down during the summertime…what, you didn’t think I was going to EAT them?!! Sheesh, it’s like you don’t know me at all. :)
I’ve met quite a few local chicken keepers via Craigslist but yesterday’s interaction was a first.
I was perusing the Farm + Garden section, as one does, and there was a posting from a local person looking to piggy-back a chick order onto someone’s order, at Ideal Poultry. This is a smart move as they only want 3 chicks and the minimum order at Ideal is 25 birds. If you order less, the industry’s response is to add roosters ‘for warmth’ to pad out the order and ensure the safe arrival of your birds. This can be a little overwhelming. Also, it’s expensive for shipping, etc.
I had just ordered chicks from Ideal a few hours earlier.
I sent over a note.
That started a conversation with the engaging, Jonathon.
Breed? Pullets? Inoculated? Was the ship date doable? Once I ascertained the basics, I called Ideal and easily added three Standard Buff Cochins to my order.
Jonathon asked me to see if Ideal would mark the birds if I requested it. I did. They will. Also good to know for the future given that IDing chicks can be really tough to do.
When I contacted Jonathon afterward, with the news that his birds will ship with mine is early February, his enthusiasm was catching. I had been rather blasé, now, I’m all excited.
It’s always exciting to get new chicks. Potential.
The conversation back and forth has been so much fun.
Jan 12 Reblogged
Two of the 10
Two of the chicks from this week’s hatch. The bright yellow in the background is an Brinsea Eco Glow Heater. It’s ridiculously expensive, but it works and it is much less of a fire risk than a traditional heat lamp.
Not sure of the breeds yet. These will be crosses.
Current Status on a Sunday morning
DOUBLE LACED BARNEVELDER HEN & ROO
This are quick becoming one of my favorite breeds. They are friendly birds with beautiful feathering. I love the iridescence off the black in their feathers. The top is a young rooster (he’s even prettier now), and the bottom is a pullet, both at about 24 weeks.
The Barnevelder is a medium heavy dual breed (meat/egg) chicken named after the Dutch town of Barneveld. Between c. 1850 and 1875 many breeds were arriving in the West from Asia and being crossed with each other and with local chickens to create new/better breeds. One of the meat breeds was a black bird that was crossed with Brahmas, then Langshen, then Golden Wyandottes eventually breeding true and producing the Barnevelder.
The Barnevelder today is known for laying dark brown eggs — though mine lay dark enough eggs, they are not nearly as dark as a Maran’s chocolate-brown eggs.
The trade-off though is that these birds are beautiful.
THE HENS ALL SURVIVED
The hens all survived. They shivered, then snoozed under the heat lamp, ate, pooped, drank some water, and when they looked at me sideways, I threw feathery butts back outside. The truth is that they were pretty happy to be back with their peeps.
None of the girls seem any worse for the experience. It may be CA and warmer than the rest of the US, but it’s high 30s, low 40s at night so the water does get cold, and stay there. Hopefully the slant board will help if anyone else falls in. Fingers crossed.
Also, upped the number of water stations around the property, just in case.
Three Hens in a Hot Tub
Three hens in the hot tub. I’d thought the dog was chasing them in, but it seems that they lean over to drink the water and fall in. When hens fall in, they pull up their legs and sink. The first 3 years I lost one hen, last year I lost two hens, this morning three hens were rescued floating around. If they don’t have hypothermia, they will likely survive. They are under heat at the moment. I put a slant board in so that if the fall in they can hopefully walk back out. Oy!