Posts tagged Light Sussex

There’s a peep.. Cookie is going to be a mum

THERE’S A PEEP…

I open the broody’s box this morning to give it a little pet, like I do every morning.. she has been such a good broody..
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apart from her usual funny sound, I heard something else… little chirping echoing her ‘bok bok’… not sure I heard it right because the chicks are not due to hatch until tomorrow… and I understand, with the colder weather it might take longer for them to hatch..

I took an egg from under her and I can feel movement, and I put the egg next to my ears and I can hear ‘CHIRPING’ :chicks: :chicks: I quickly run into the house and get my boys and I pass the eggs around and let them the sound coming out of the eggs.. you should see the little one’s face.. it is amazing..

When I put the egg back under mum, I expose another egg under her chest and guess what I see
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peeping… and we can even see the little beak coming through the hole.. this is so exiting..

This is the first time ever I seen an chick peeping out of an egg.. the boys seen it a couple of time thanks to the kindy’s hatchling program.. but this is the first time they see it hatch under a broody.. like nature intended..

So excited.. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: quickly checked 4 more eggs, one got a little peep but not as big as the first one and the rest are chirping away.. I am going to leave mum in peace now to hatch out those eggs :chicks: :chicks: :chicks:

It was a close call, as you are not suppose to interrupt a broody mum at the last couple days of the hatch.. because you don’t want them to go off their broodiness at the last minutes and risk having the chicks dying in the shell…

Guess what I did just last night and this morning (before the discovery)…

I moved her out of the nest she was sitting on, as it was a basin with high side and move them to a bed of straw just last night so that the chicks can get back to mum when they venture out after the hatch.. the high side of the basin can prevent chicks going back to mum for warmth and may freeze to death..

I also took mum out of the nest for food and drink and let her stretch her wing and relief herself just this morning.. I want her to get ready for the hatch tomorrow morning, did not realise I was off with my calculation.. think it was luck that mum did not go off her broodiness and happily settle into the new nest I made her.:shock:

Actually.. I did not really miscalculate.. I set the eggs on Monday night… and that would be Day 0, so it is only Day 19 or 20 today..  what a clever mum..

I am so excited.. can’t wait to see the actual chicks peeping out of mum’s.. I feel like a proud grandma..

Until next time.. happy chirping :chicks:

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Setting eggs under Cookie the Broody

Went to pick up the fertile eggs yesterday, 2.5 hrs round trip but worth the drive..

I move Cookie to her new home after dark, I dust her and the new home with Pestene..

I think it took her a few moment to realise what just happen, because she just sat there and let me do what I like and let me move her to the new nest.. I lock her in the pen and proceed to fill the water bottle for the other chooks… When I come back with the filled bottle, I found Cookie off her nest… pacing the pen, trying to get out and back to her old nest..

I took me a couple of go, putting the nest in different position in the pen hoping for her to settle again with not much luck :hmmm:.

What I end up doing, is put the nest in the darkest corner in the pen, leave her pacing the pen and turn off all the light in the yard..

I went back to the house and peek through the blind… So tempted to go out there and set her back on the nest… but OH kept me in the house away from the window :|

15 mins later, the first chance I can get away from OH and peak through the blind again… I want to scream and jump up and down with joy… Cookie is back sitting on her nest..

After work today, come home and check on Cookie before I even get in the house.. Like a good broody that she is.. sitting tight on her nest…

I just stick 10 fertile eggs under Cookie, as before she just ‘wiggle’ her chest and take them all in.. success :thumbs:

just a picture of Cookie sitting tight on the nest in her temp home.. :woot:
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I am going to find out, how soon I can candle the egg, I need to do this to made sure the eggs are indeed fertile and ‘developing’.. I think people normally do it around day 10.. so will find out and keep you posted.

The eggs will take a few hours to warm up, so I will count tomorrow as Day 1, and day 10 should be Thursday the 17th June and if all goes well, the babies should be hatch around Day 21 and that would be Monday 28th June.

Another thing I have notice.. Cookie’s wattle and comb have shrunk.. they are noticeably smaller… see her comb (Cookie on the right, photo taken 8th May) was the same size as PinkLady, but now her wattle and comb is barely noticeable. I think in the chooks’ world.. it is their way to tell the rooster.. don’t look at me, don’t bother me.. I am not in the mood..

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Until next time.. happy booding..

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Cookie is going broody…

Cookie the Sussex have been sitting in the nesting box for 5 days now.. for the first couple of days,  when I am at home I would constanly ‘throw’ her out, she would scratch around with others but before long I would find her back into the box :hmmm:

When I work, I would come home finding her sleeping in the nesting box on all the eggs laid that day (6 of them). She is still laying since she start showing the sign, I think she is determine to go all the way.. so I am going to let her be a mum instead..

This morning, I put 5 eggs (infertile but not edible – eggs laid right after worming) under her to ‘concrete’ her broodiness (she has now stop laying) because I will be getting some fertile eggs hopefully tomorrow :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:.

It is the funniest sight.. I put the eggs around her chest area and move her a little to remove the fake egg from under her.. she start to move her chest without moving :hmmm: just sort of wiggle her chest and the eggs disappear under her one by one.. once all eggs disappear under her… you can just see her sink down even further (if that is even possible) and make this very content ‘burk burk’ noise.. Yup… this is one broody chook..

So.. a broody chook and some fertile eggs on the way, I will need to provide her a separate area so she can set her eggs in peace…

Earlier today, me and Kevin was just outside getting the brooder ready for Cookie, she decided to come out of her nest to stretch her leg, I was a bit concern for a while because I though she might has change her mind already…

She went for a drink.. scratch around a bit.. and did the biggest pooh.. OMG, it is the size of her egg.. at first I thought she just laid an egg right in front of me, but no… this egg ‘STINK’ and it is not the shape or colour of her eggs.. I think I just experience my first broody pooh..

She hang around the yard a bit longer than she went into the coop for some feed.. next thing I know, she disappear.. back into the nest and continue sitting her eggs.. all up, I think she was out no more than 15 mins.  She is showing all the good sign of being a good broody.. I just managed to clean up the brooder just before the sun go down, it is still wet from the wash down so I am going to move her tomorrow night instead :thumbs:.

Before the move tomorrow night, I will need to dust her and the new brooder with Pestine (flea powder) before I move her.. I just hope she will stay broody after the move. From my research, I should not give her the fertile eggs for a couple of nights yet.. I need to made sure she will settle into her new environment and still happy to sit tight after 2 nights, if all go according to plan, I am going to put the fertile eggs under her on the 3rd night..

I am getting about 10 fertile eggs from a very generous BYPe forum member, it will be from a mixed batch back yard layers so will be a bit like a lottery.. I will only know what I get until they hatch.. I so wish they will hatch.. I think I am more excited than my boys.. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

So.. regarding the brooder… we have a few of the Bunning garden tidy laying around so we proceed to build a min A-frame for Cookie as her brooder.. half way through the project, Kevin decided that the A-frame are more suitable for his quails and Cookie can have the spare chook pen (currently housing the quails) as her brooder, who am I to argue :wink:
Now just a couple of pictures…

Cookie the broody, hogging the nest box..
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The mini A-frame… was going to be Cookie’s brooder… but… it end up become the quails new home instead..
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Cookie’s clean brooder.. sitting along side the main chook pen so she will still be amongst friends..
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oh.. I have also fenced in the chook area so I have more space to dedicate to my plants.. until next time.. happy brooding..

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Layers all round.. 2nd May 2010

After feeding these lots for 23 weeks.. I am finally being rewarded…six out of eight are laying now.. but so far I collected 5 eggs per day max..

I am lucky in a way that they just come into lay now.. I was lead to belief, if they start to lay going into winter, they will lay through winter… I think I am pretty safe and don’t have to worry buying anymore eggs this winter.

The Wyandotte, being purebred, are more of ‘eye candy’ rather than layers.. it took them awhile to get into swing of laying eggs.. lots of break in between eggs.. some time up to 7 days between eggs..

The Light Sussex, I am still unsure of when she did really lay her 1st egg.. it could be just over a week ago when I notice a different colour egg in the nest which is very different to the Wyandotte’s bantam eggs..

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it is dark pink, obvious differences but same weight as the bantam’s egg at only 39 gram.. I post the picture out to the expert, and was told it was the Sussex that lay this egg.

I was told.. despite of the Sussex’s huge size, their first egg is actually quiet small.. it should get bigger gradually as they go and will give better size eggs after 2 season of laying..

But, as no one bare witness to that particular laying incident, I cannot be sure of the parentage of that egg…

The very next day, I found a 49g egg under where the girls sleep.. the color is very close to the first pink egg but I just can’t be sure it is from the same

These eggs have also become my new currency, no one will say no to freshly laid egg 🙂

I gave some eggs to my brother while visiting his place for the first time…

Gave 10 to my sister for babysitting my boys for the day…

Gave 6 to mum yesterday…

When I gave the eggs away, I always empty out what I got, but I know I will get topped up the next day..

Now, just let me introduce the layers..
Foghorn – Bond Brown.. her first egg, yesterday (23 weeks).. photo taken right after
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Cookie – Light Sussex … confirm laying this morning (27 weeks), but may have start last week.
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ClownFace – Bond Black… confirm laying 2 days ago (23 weeks)
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AllBlack – Bond Black… been laying whole week straight.. no break.. (22 weeks)
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The Silver Laced Wyandotte Bantam
Dottie, started to lay at 33 weeks, now 39 weeks
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Wonda, also laying at 33 weeks, not 37 weeks..
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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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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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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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