Archive for December, 2009

Photo Update 5 Weeks and 9 Week

As promised.. 5 weeks photo update of the girls.. also, PinkLady and Cookie’s age cannot be confirm, I was told they are around 8 to 10 weeks.. so I am going for 9 weeks 🙂

Cookie and PinkLady.. 9 weeks (guess work)

Two Fat Ladies.. that’s what these 2 girls remind me of, I think they are not really ‘fat’ just lots of fluffy feather.. but the amount they eat.. won’t be surprise if they become real ‘fat ladies’

The gingers and the blacks at 5 weeks… admittedly, it is not so easy to get photos of these girls.. they are just getting so active and I just can’t get a still photos of them. The only time they are still is when they are eating or drinking, but than you can’t really capture their ‘face’ when that happen.. just have to put up with blurry and odd photos for the time being..

Another thing, they also like to come running to me every time I walk into the run.. which made photo abit hard to take as well when they are all over your feets and behind your legs ‘sigh’.. I will get there somehow and hopefully get better photos in the future.

Foghorn at 5 weeks.. she is getting that red showing through her shoulder.. like a free spirited gypsy with a ginger poncho..

Run Foghorn.. run

Silly girl squeezing thought the mesh trying to get fresh grass from the other side of the fence.. ‘the grass is greener on the other side’.. very fitting..

Foghorn getting fresh green..

Ranga at 5 weeks.. really getting the ‘red’ coming through her head feather.. very interested in how she turn out..

Ranga drinking from the new nipple waterer..

I got them the new nipple waterer a couple of days ago, just managed to get it fitted and give it to the girls today.. smart girl learn to drink from it straight away.

AllBlack enjoy fresh water from the new nipple waterer

AllBlack, she is the first girl working out the new drinker system.. as soon as she start drinking from the new waterer, the rest of the girls come rushing..

The last couple of days have been hard for these lots.. the ‘Two fat ladies’ have not been very nice to them.. they will do random attach (peaking at the neck feather) and would not let them eat or drink. Luckily these 4 girls are very agile and can run away very quickly when the attach come.

It is something they will need to go through while establishing the new pecking order within the flock, I just hope it is not going to go on for long and also made sure there is more than one source or food and drink…

ClownFace is making sure the ‘Two fat ladies’ do not attach Ranga while she enjoy her fresh green from the ‘other side’ so cute..

ClownFace standing guard while Ranga enjoy a treat from the other side

Now, let not forget JouDan.. yes, he is still with us, but not for long.. I think tomorrow will be ‘the day’ for him..

He has been a bit mean to me lately.. constantly chasing after me and attacking my feet.. don’t know what’s the go because he only doing that to me.. I was a bit concern at first, that he might hurt or scare Andrew with his attack, but after a few days of observation, I think I am his only target.. oh well :-(, sad for me but good for the boys..

He is also abit lonely since Coffee gone.. I did not let him in the run with the girls simply because he is just too big for them, I don’t want any casualty within the flock so he get the whole yard while the girls get the chicken run.. He has no idea how lucky he is..

But I don’t think he appreciate the freedom and really want to be ‘lock in’ with the girls, especially the ‘two fat ladies’…

JouDan trying to get as close to the Sussex as he can..

The ‘two fat ladies’ favorite shade spot is under the ramp.. as you can see, JouDan will sit himself just the other side of the coop just to be as close to them as possible.. it is so cute, I think he is in love…

Just wait for me... let me find a loop hole around this thing...

No kidding, that is what he does most of the time.. circling the run over and over again, I think he is trying to find a way in..

Maybe I will let him spend a few minutes with the girls (under my supervision of course) just before ‘the time’ tomorrow..

Anyway.. so long from me for now… back soon..

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The Sussex have been named

Hi Guys…

welcome the GREAT BALL OF FXXX… fluff 🙂

Great Ball of Fluff???

Ethan and Kevin decided to name the Sussex..

Let me introduce…. Cookie and Pink Lady

Cookie.. with the 1 Black tail feather..

Ethan named Cookie, he has the habit of stealing name from someone else’s pet.. Cookie being the name of my sister’s Foxy Terrier..  Sorry T..

Cookie is also the mean one.. I notice she peak on all the bird, including PinkLady… I think she is trying to get to the top of the peaking order..

PinkLady.. named by Kevin

Kevin want to name the Sussex PinkLady, compare them to AllBlack and Foghorn, you will notice that the Sussex is very pink in term of their comb, wattle and legs.. since Ethan want to name one of the Cookie, Kevin get to name this PinkLady..

PinkLady is nicer compare to Cookie, she will share with food with Foghorn and the others..

Even though PL get peck by Cookie, they still behave like conjoin twin.. it is very hard to get photo of one without the other.. they are so beautiful and fun to watch especially when they forage together..

I will post the 5 weeks update on Foghorn and the rest very soon… I promise..

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Welcome 2 new comers and goodbye Coffee…

Goodbye Coffee.. RIP

Goodbye Coffee, it has been almost 14 weeks and we will missed you dearly. Because of you, Ethan learn the full life cycle of a meat chicken.. from egg to table.. thank you for this valuable lesson.

Today, we drove all the way to Morayfield (59Km).. it is very rare for us to drive that distance but I think the trip is well worth it.. We are visiting Cathy (Back Yard Poultry member).. she is a teacher with a passion for chicken.. at her home, she have  lots of chicken (she lost count of the number) more still being hatch up in the incubator..  She also have lots of geese and duck.. a most interesting looking drake (male duck) that follow people around…

Upon arrival, she show the boys the egg incubator.. and what a timing.. there was a couple of bantam polish just peeped (hatched out) and the down is still wet from the shell.. there is one with the belly button still attached to the yolk.. I think the boys may have seen a couple of hatchling before, after all, their daycare centre run holiday hatchling program and that’s where our first lot of chicken come from.. but for me.. it is a completely new experience.. I just can’t get over the size of those just hatch bantam polish.. Sooooo tiny… this newly hatched chicken will stay at the incubator for another 24 hours to dry out before moving to the brooder…

She has proper setup for her chicken at every single stage, it is so well set up.. it look like a professional breeder.. The boys get the tour of all the different stage of chicken life cycle.. it is such a eye opener for them and for me..

For us to get to the Sussex pen, we need to pass through the water hole where the water fowls was kept.. all those free ranging geese and ducks.. there’s also this incredible drake who just follow us around.. scare  Andrew (M3) abit because he is HUGE,  so she put him in a cage while we were there.. We were also shown a wooden box where a broody duck was sitting on her eggs.. nothing beat natural hatch chicks and duckling..

When we get to the chicken pens.. the set up is incredible.. 4 bays of runs with different breed in each at different stages..  I was basically given free access to those pen and pick up anything thing that meet my fancy.. as long as it is not cockerel.. as I don’t want another cockerel again, and these chicken come with pullet guarantee, if any of the chosen chicken turn out to be cockerel, she will swap it for me..

I was trying to pick something closer in size to my current flock for ease of integration.. we found a couple of smallest bird, she give me the once over on how to pick a healthy bird and what to look out for to avoid cockerel.. I saw a few chicken running around, with comb and wattle similar size to JouDan, she has basically confirm that JouDan to be a cockerel as pullets that age will not have comb and wattle that size.. JouDan will have to go, just a matter of time.

With the chicken picked up and a good wipe down.. it is time to head home.. but before than, we were given a dozen of eggs laid this morning to take home..

Freshly laid eggs from Sussex (pinkish) Welsummer (dark brown) Polish (White) and Wyandotte (light brown). The mini eggs are from the Bantam Polish.. so cute.

I think this chookie people are the most friendly and generous lot of people…

It has been an amazing experience for me and the boys (including Keivn).. not something we will forget anytime soon..

Time to introduce the new comers, if you can help with name… it would be great…

My new Light Sussex... Yet to be name

They are abit worse for wear from the drive home.. but generally they seems to settle very quickly.. they walk around my exiting flocks.. and look almost double the size of Forhorn and the rest, at this stage, I can sort of differentiate them by their tail feather.

Sussex with different tail feather..

The Sussex in the front have this sort of fluffy tail that open in the middle.. the tail feather all curl in, so very cute, the Sussex following her actually have a very distinctive black feather sticking out of her tail.. I think it will change when they grow up.. don’t really know how to tell them apart than…

Good thing is, they all seems to be getting along well.. both flocks eating and drinking together without hassle.. I have seen the Sussex peaking on the ClownFace and Ranga, but these babies are very agile and run away very quickly.. I think they will be fine, just need to establish the peaking order..

Dining in together..

I am so happy with what I have, I think I will only keep pure breed when the time come to replace.. love the productivity of Plymouth rock.. and the look of Wyandotte.. I know what I will get next time.. So long for now.. I will post again soon with 5th weeks update of the Foghorn gang..

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Chickies update… 4 weeks old

I know… it have been a while since the last update, the Black have finally been named.

I have received so many good name suggestion, it is so hard to choose, in the end K decided to name both Black himself because he is having trouble pronouncing Foghorn and Ranga 😉

So… introducing ALLBLACK 黑仔… (so creative… NOT)

AllBlack... black all over, obviously.. ha ha..

Next come CLOWNFACE   小丑

ClownFace... for the white patch on both side of her face.. look like a clown's permanent paint on smile

ClownFace like to follow AllBlack around, it is quiet hard to take a photo of him alone..

Just a couple of photo update on Foghorn and Ranga as well…

Ranga (left) and Foghorn (right)

Ranga is turning quiet a red head, as per name sake.. but Foghorn have better coloring all over.. can’t wait to see how they turn out..

ClownFace on the left with Foghorn at the right.. nice puffy chest 🙂

Ranga, she is fluffing out her chest.. notice the color are not as 'solid' as Foghorn

Looking at these pictures, it is hard to believe, it has only been 3 weeks and they were just a fluff ball.. baby chickies all grown up :sop: ..

Since last week, I have took the girls out of the ‘waste land’ with JouDan and Coffee… I think the crate is getting too small for them and JouDan and Coffee will not leave them alone when they are out of the crate.

I have set them up in the front yard with their own mini run..

Make shift run with tarp for protection from sun and rain

The crate are left open in the morning for them to ‘free range’ if you can call it that…

The crate will be close up at night with the tarp over it for protection from predators and element…

tuck in safely for the night...

They have been in this setup since last Saturday.. and seems very happy with what they have (anything is better that before).

By coming weekend, once K deal with JouDan and Coffee, I will give the coop a good clean and tidy up the ‘waste land’ ready for these chickies to move in before New Year…

By the way.. there might be a couple of new addition (pure breed) after the new year.. will keep you guys posted… very egg-cited 🙂

Ta ta for now…

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Goodbye JouDan and Coffee.. Boxing day chicken dinner

It has been a while.. I have not been updating my blog… Too busy posting and reading the Back Yard Poultry Forum… Anyone who is interested in keeping chicken should really check out the website.. 100% recommended.

Anyway.. as per the heading, JouDan and Coffee have been confirmed cockerels.. if I have posted the photos to the BYP forum earlier.. it will saved me lots of guess work on their gender.

These chicken I had are what know as ISA Brown. It is a sex linked commercial breed. Sex linked mean, you can tell the sex of the chicken just by looking at the color, girl will be brown and boy will be off white.. like mind :-(, the reason it is know as ISA brown, because being a commercial layer, people will only be interested in the brown bird, as the white bird will not lay egg.. don’t even want to think what they do to the male chick at the commercial situation.

Latest photo of JouDan and Coffee before we says goodbye…

JouDan and Coffee head shot..

The boys have turn out quiet beautiful.. very glossy feather...

Forgot to mention, for the last couple of evening, Coffee have been trying to ‘mount’ JouDan.. apparently, a hormonal raged teenage chook will try to ‘mount’ any chook available regardless of gender.. not picky are they :LOL:

Check out this thread from the BYP forum, it provide information on JouDan and Coffee’s gender and breed.. those people are very knowledgeable when it come to chicken. http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=7985305

This will be the final posting regarding JouDan and Coffee… the rest will be dedicate to the new chookies..

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Saying Goodbye to Coffee (maybe)

Coffee start to crow yesterday morning.. that was not too bad because it happened at past 6 am in the morning (not crack of dawn like the other 2)…

Yesterday was Wet n Wild day so K did not ‘deal’ with him immediately.. just before we leave for the water park with my sister.. I received a private message (PM) from a forum member about one of my post on Back Yard Poultry.. Someone is offering to swap my Coffee with 2 pullets of around same age.. I was so happy when I saw the PM and immediately reply asking for arrangement..  Coffee get to live, in a place where he will be appreciated being a cockerel..

The very nice lady replied with address information.. Wamuran, that is so far away.. almost 1 hour drive. K don’t really want to drive that far.. but he definitely don’t want to ‘deal’ with Coffee either.. 😦

The 2 pullets on offer are Light Sussex X.. Light Sussex is such beautiful girl. When I was considering pure breed.. it was one of the breed on my list, I know this will be a Cross and not pure.. but close enough for my Light Sussex fix :LOL: ..

Light Sussex Pullet

What should I do.. should I do the distance and do the swap..

BTW… Coffee did not crow this morning.. K went out in the crack of dawn, took him out of his roost and put in on the ground with a laundry basket over him..

He said, if Coffee is unable to stretch his neck.. he will not be able to do the crowing noise (is it animal abuse??).. look like it work.. for this morning anyway..

K is happy to deal with Coffee this way to stop him crowing and me keeping him longer.. (how sweet)… I still need to made the decision on the swap.. can someone help me out..

Just a couple more photos on Coffee at the ‘Waste Land’..

Coffee checking out his new home.. JouDan at the food station..

The green tarp will eventually get replace by some sort of fencing..

Happy couple checking out their surrounding..

JouDan get camera shy and hide behind her man..

JouDan and Coffee made such a nice couple.. it will be sad if we have to split them up..

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Babies.. 3 weeks today

My babies is turning 3 weeks today..

The amount of poo they produce really stink out the bathroom… I have made a decision to move them out.. but I can’t really leave them out there with JouDan and Coffee because the Big Chook will pick the babies to death..

We went to the market yesterday morning.. I am hoping to find some sort of bird cage or hatch that I can use to protect the babies while being out there with the Big Chooks…

You can’t imagine my joy when I saw this galvanize crate (for use at the back of the ute) for sale at the very entrance where we walk in.. Told K I must have it for my babies.. K being K.. will not let me commit.. made me walk all the market to made sure there is nothing cheaper or better..

Saw a pet carrier, one with plastic bottom and cage top.. a fairly large one that can house my 4 babies quiet comfortably.. look worn but only for $20.. Point that out to K again.. and he shake his head.. “This thing is not going to last” he said..

After about 40 mins.. we did not find anymore.. my daring K walk me back to the guy who sell the crate and let me buy it.. even-though it is more that double the cost of that pet carrier.. I am so happy..  I have also grab another bargain buy.. 3 x Large Feta Cheese bucket with seal lids for only $5 (good for keeping the chicken feed away from the possum).. very happy..

Back home.. I have 30 mins to prep and move my chicks before I am due to go out with my sister.. didn’t get a chance to take a photo than, but what I did is, turn one of the Feta bucket on the side for their shelter, line the base with newspaper and some straw.. use the lid from the bucket as a base for their food and drink.. I am so proud of the set up.. time to bring out the chicks..

This is the photo I took this morning of their new home.. they are set out in the ‘waste land’ with JouDan and Coffee. This crate come with a lid as well to protect them from the attack from above.

JouDan and Coffee don’t really seems interested in the babies as long as they stay in the crate and away from their food.. this morning when I open the lid, on of the babies (Ranga or Foghorn, not sure which as I can no longer tell them apart 😦 ) flew over the crate and invade the big Chooks space.. look like it is a big no no because Coffee basically  launch into attach mode and peak the poor baby in the neck and I have to intervene and save the baby from being peak to death…

That attack incident attract the attention from the big Chook, now they constantly walking around the crate looking at what the little one are doing..

The hole of the crate is large enough for the babies to stick their head out of the crate and eat the grass surrounding the crate.. The big Chooks will go around the peak at the little head they see pocking out.. I know the integration between the big Chooks and the babies will be hard, I just hope it will get easier and the babies should be able to defense themselves when they get bigger.. by that time, it will be 4 against 1 (side note: Coffee crow yesterday morning.. his life span is now limited).

Other photos of the babies when the ‘lid’ is open.. this is before the attack incident..

The babies love to roost

Check out ‘All Black’ (temp name, this is the one without the white patch next to the mouth) roosting on top of the crate.. the Big Chooks were busy scratching for food.. not giving the invader any attention..

More roosting chicks

These 2 babies checking out all the yummy green on the ‘other side’..

This little Chickies have a dead wish..

This little baby is getting ready to invade the other side.. I think she should check her size before attempting stunt like that again..

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