Posts tagged Free Range Chicken

My new Bantam Wyandotte

From my last post, I mention that I have recently purchase 2 bantam Wyandotte.. this are older girls because I am loosing patient in waiting for my existing birds to lay their 1st egg ūüė¶

I post my interest of getting bantam Wyandotte on BackYardPoultry forum and received a couple offer from the breeders. I made the necessary arrangement with a very nice lady who offer me the girls at a very reasonably price.  We also made arrangement for me to pick up the girls at the Beaudesert Poultry Auction which we both plan to attend.

Once the wheel is in motion, I have to review at my current arrangement and decide on the best way to accommodate the girls for the first couple of week for quarantine. I have a small back yard which is completely separated from my girls who free range in the bigger front yard.. I have also store my ‘doggie’ chicken coop in that location.. even though I am not very happy with that coop, but it does fit my purpose of a quarantine coop..

For it to be fit for use for the new girls, a few ‘improvement’ will need to be done.. I need to made sure the ‘bed room’ have a floor.. the existing floor was made of plastic and it changed the shape when I leave it out under the sun after cleaning, hence it no longer fit in the pen. We also need to solve the night roost problem. The ‘bedroom’ need a perch off the ground so the girls can roost at night..

I went to Bunning with hubby, we bought a very thin ply wood.. and we cut it so it will fit nicely on top of its existing frame, we also found a couple of off-cut (free) timber which we can use to construct the new night roost for the girls.

The end result..

Bird eye's view - New flooring and night roost for the 'Bedroom'

Side view - New flooring and night roost for the 'Bedroom'

The outcome is exactly what we have planned for the girls. To protect the ply from the birds dropping, I remove the roost and line the ‘floor’ with news paper , roost go on top of the paper and actually help keeping it in place. I than line the floor with fresh sugar cane mulch to give the girls soft landing when they jump down from it.

The bedroom with fresh 'bedding'

The girls quarantine yard..

Their initial set-up, away from the other girls for quarantine..

They will be locked in the pen for the first couple of days.. to let them know where ‘home’ is than they will be let out to range.. once I am happy with their health, I will try to integrate them with the existing flocks..

Alright, let me give a proper introduction to these beautiful girls.

Dottie at 30 Weeks

Wonda at 28 Weeks

Wonda... 2 weeks younger than Dottie, a bit late in maturing.. obvious different in Wattle an Comb

Even though the girls are only 2 weeks different, but the differences in their maturity is very obvious.. Dottie have long hanging wattle and bigger comb compare to Wonda.. Wonda don’t really have a comb to speak of, and her coloring still abit yellowish compare to Dottie..

Dottie and Wonda side by side

Both girls feeling right at home..

The new girls are Silver Laced Wyandotte Bantam.. bantam in the chook’s term mean mini.. they are about 1/3 of the size of a standard chook.. the Wyandotte have rose comb and it is a very curvy type of chooks.. their bottom side have been describe as a “fish bowl on sunshine” round bottom on a pair of yellow legs. ¬†These girls are by no mean show quality.. as the lacing is not very define and too much ‘peppering’ on Dottie’s tail. Wonda’s lacing are cleaner but the black edging are not solid enough.. but for a back yard chooks.. they are very beautiful.

Their progress

3 week after being with us, the girls been through a lot.. After 3 days in the quarantine pen, I let them out to scratch around (only when I am home).. next thing I know, I found Wonda at the wrong side of the temporary fence.. but it is alright as it is still our side of the house so she is quiet save, both girls are a bit upset as they made lots of noise as the chooks really want to be near each other and Wonda being away from the coop, she has no access to food and drink.

So I went on a rescue mission and ‘save’ Wonda from starvation, I help her over the fence by ‘chasing’ her back over the other side with the fence slightly open.. She ran over to Dottie and both ran back to the coop to recover from the shock.

The next day.. same thing happen.. it is Dottie this time, and she is over the other side.. the side to the carport and the road.. when she can be attack by the neighbor’s wondering dog.. after we rescue Dottie, we have decided to clip their wing..

So that night.. we took them from their night roost one at the time.. with hubby help I clip about 1 1/2 cm off their right wing’s flight feather.. I am hoping that it will stop them from flying over the coops. At the same time, I have also decided not to take the risk and integrate them with the other girls, so they can be in the front yard with high fences around..

To be continue… The Integration.

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9 Weeks and 13 Weeks Update

It has been a week since the girls move into their new home.. I think they absolutely loved it..

Lets get some of they progress photos in here..

These is my Bond Brown Ranga and Forhorn, the photos are takes between last week and yesterday.. there are 9 weeks today so a good age indication for 8 weeks chicks..

Oh.. how do I tell them apart.. check out the green band (cable tie) on Foghorn’s left ankle.. Ranga do not have any..

Ranga: Are you looking at me... are you LOOKING at me

Beautiful Foghorn.. free ranging.. she is also the smallest out of the 6..

Bond Brown: Foghorn and Ranga

Bond Brown.. Foghorn and Ranga... chillin in the sun..

Ranga free ranging

Foghorn free ranging

I know previously I have said.. my ‘Bond Brown’ is a commercial cross of Rhode Island Red and Leghorn, I revisit the petshop yesterday to get some flea dust for the girls and re-read the breed info for the girls..

I stand corrected.. Bond Brown is actually a commercial cross of Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island White.. there is no Leghorn in them, sorry Foghorn.. you are still stuck with that name..

The are breed to maximize egg production in the back yard situation.. could lay up to 300 eggs per year (hmmmm eggs… might as well we really like eggs, and I think the family will get some eggs as well). But they only produce for the first 2 years and slow down afterward.. may stop altogether pretty soon after that..

The Bond Black are the cross between Australorp and Rhode Island Red.. They have this amazing green sheen on their plumage which is just beautiful.. I can just sit there all day and watch their color change according to the light.   Due to the cross, when they get older they will probably have rust color feather on their chest so AllBlack will no longer be all black in color.

Some photo of the Bond Black. AllBlack have green cable tie on her left ankle..

AllBlack very elegant, the biggest out of the 'bond' girls.. almost as big as PinkLady

ClownFace.. being a clown..

ClownFace chillin away in summer heat

The Sussex are my only purebred.. They meant to be very good meat bird so they are huge and supposedly eat a lot. I don’t notice that much of a different, it may due to ¬†them able to free-range.. ¬†They should lay about 180 to 210 of eggs per hen per year.. ¬†not as much, but apparently they should lay longer into their life.. some hen are know to lay up to 6 years of age (maybe only 50 – 80 per year)

Photo of my Sussex PinkLady and Cookie (Cookie with the green cable tie)… the photos were taken sometime between last week and today.. maybe a good age indicator for 12 weeks old Sussex.. can’t be sure on that as I was never sure of their age to start off with. Got them at boxing day and suppose to be between 8 to 10 weeks old.. and that was about 5 weeks ago..

Dust Bathing... some would said.. why is the chicken try to bury herself lol..

PinkLady enjoy the young fruit from the orange tree..

Cookie is the biggest of the lot.. I was almost convince that she is a boy.. but at this age, if she is a cockerel, her comb and wattle will be much bigger... so pullet for now...

Some group photos of the girls..

The girls settling in for the night in their new home (first night)

Group photo of all my girls free ranging - One big happy family..

That’s is for now.. ta ta..

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