Posts tagged Wattle and Comb compare

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:

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..


Until next time.. happy booding..


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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 😦

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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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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Boy or Girl???

I am trying to determine the sex of my chickens… any help out there from the people “in the know” will be very much appreciated..

Group photo at 10 weeks

The one closest to the screen is Jou Dan, with my limited knowledge in keeping chicken I am guessing Jou Dan is a SHE..

Pullet meant to be smaller in body size compare to cockerel, but all my little one are about the same size.. The only different (size wise) I can spot is, Jou Dan have more slender toes compare to other 3..

The main characteristic I use to determine Jou Dan’s sex is the color and size of the Comb and Wattle.

According to research, pullet’s comb and wattle will remain smaller and lighter in color (yellowish) compare to cockerel.

招蛋 Jou Dan's comb and wattle are pink and yellowish compare to the rest of the chickens

Have a look at  Jou Dan’s comb and Wattle at the close up.. it is more pink with slight yellowish edging.

The differences with the comb and wattle can actually be quiet obvious in the group photo on the top.. notice how Milk tea’s (right of Jou Dan) comb and wattle are larger in size compare to Jou Dan.

For the purpose of comparing, check out Milk Tea’s comb and wattle, not to mention his earlobe, it is darker in color and larger in size (can’t really tell the size in this comparison, due to the angle of the camera).

Now.. I am just waiting for some expert to tell me that I am wrong and all my babies are pullets and there is no cockerels in this lot..

Compare the the Comb and Wattle with the "Boy" it is larger and a deeper red.

I am still allow to dream and wish until I hear the 1st “crow”… 🙂

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