Friday, March 30, 2012

Martha Stewart & Jan Brett Keep Chickens

Martha Stewart and Jan Brett ( children's book author & illustrator) keep and show chickens. They also show a cute Easter craft and of course, there is egg cookery! Keeping chickens offers all the best things ~ pretty and entertaining birds, plenty of eggs for cooking & baking, and just plain fun.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chicks come home

Three weeks ago I brought my Belgian d'uccle chicks home from my grandma's house and so far they are all doing fine . This is Oreo my Black Mottled d'uccle cockerel.

This is my group of d'uccles in their pen.

This is Magnum my Golden Neck d'uccle and Sea Mist my sister's Self Blue d'uccle.

This is my group of chicks sitting under the heat light.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chehalis Agricultural Market ~ Chicken Auction

A few weeks ago my oldest grandson and I took a few chickens and ourselves to the poultry auction in Chehalis, Washington. It is a good 45 minute drive if the driving conditions are good. I poured myself a large travel mug of strong hot coffee and was out the door before 7:30 a.m. You have no idea how hard it is for me to be ready to travel at that hour of the morning. I picked up grandson Bugs at his home where he and his little brother greeted me in the front yard. They were ready to help load up a cage of chickens to be sold at the auction. (The white frizzled birds in the cages shown above are the ones I brought to sell)
The car had a fairly fowl odor, the chickens had gotten a bit of rain on them as they were loaded...even the strong hot coffee could not mask that smell, WHEW, stinky! (that is Bugs with the hoody on, checking tags)
The weather was miserable as we drove, but since there weren't many people on the road (they must have been sensibly tucked into bed or drinking coffee and reading the paper in front of the fireplace) the driving was fine.The auction was just beginning to gear up around 8:30, we were the first to arrive with our chickens.The chickens we had to sell were quickly caged and then we browsed. There were plenty of eggs for sale, many of them sold as fertile eggs for hatching, and the breed of chickens was marked so you knew just what kinds of chickens you'd find peeping in the incubator should you decide to buy them. There were also large greenish / black emu eggs.
These cages contain the white call ducks I coveted. They were very nice looking and I want a flock of white calls. Bugs & I left before I could be tempted to bid on these beauties. Our duck pen here at home is in a shambles since the ice storm squashed it and we don't need any more quackers until things are repaired. But I was so tempted !

The auction will sell any birds, eggs, agricultural equipment, farm produce, etc. and they take a small fee for this service, then send you a check for the remainder of the money earned by selling your birds, etc, there.Bugs and I both made some money, but Bugs made the most and he is pretty happy about that. He is saving up to buy cows.Chickens for cows, Bugs is moving up in the agricultural world, but he will keep his chickens I know, because Bugs is just crazy about chickens and I am glad to have a partner in poultry around here. Thanks Bugs, this is fun!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mille Fleurs

BREED PROFILE: Belgian d'uccle. VARIETY: Mille Fleur. The Belgian d'uccle is a true bantam meaning there is no standard-sized form. They are good foragers. Cockerels are less aggressive then other bantams. Went into the APA standard of perfection in 1914. The Mille Fleur was first bred by Michel Van Gelder in the town of Uccle near Brussels Belgium sometime between 1890 and 1900 and was created using the Belgian d'Anver and the Dutch booted bantam, this is why the U.S. club is named Belgian d'uccle and booted bantam club.

This was my pair of Mille Fleur d'uccle bantams who were the parents of the chick below, notice the dogs in the background who broke in the pen much longer after I got them.

This was Sun Glow my 4 month old Mille Fleur d'uccle chick.

This is Cookie dough my 4 month old Mille Fleur d'uccle.

This is Sun Beam my 4 month old Mille Fleur cockerel, notice the color difference between Sun Glow and Sun Beam at 4 months old and that Sun Beam has more speckles and Sun Glow has more color. The Mille Fleur is my overall favorite bantam and I hope to have a lot of fun breeding them and taking them to the fair this year.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BREED PROFILE: Welsummer. VARIETY:Brown/red. Welsummer chickens were created in the little dutch village of Welsum, This is how they came to be named Welsummer, only changing to Welsummer when they came to the United states. They were developed there from breeds such as Partridge Wyandotte, Partridge Cochin, Partridge Leghorn, Barnenvelder and RIR. They are highly sought after as a production bird, Laying a good amount of dark red/brown eggs. The eggs are also sometimes speckled in a dark over coloring. BROWN/RED is the standard color of the Welsummer , but it also occurs in silver duck wing gold duck wing in both large fowl and bantam forms. Welsummer cocks have a fair maternal nature and are willing to accept young birds in their flock.

This is my brown/red Welsummer cock named Volcano, below are some photos of his chicks.

This was Penguin my Welsummer Black Australorp cock.

This is Penguins sister Bamboo, Bamboo is the mom of Black Volcano and is a great dark egg layer, Bamboo got her name when my brother went out to the pen with me to get the eggs and started calling her Bamboo.

This is Black Volcano, Bamboo's son and Penguins brother. Black Volcano is now getting a very pretty pattern. The pattern is black feathers with bright red speckles.

Martha Stewart's New Chicks,Chicken Houses

Ducks Lay Their First Egg !

My ducks laid their first egg of the year yesterday, spring is on the way in spite of the snow, hail, icy, slushy weather we have been experiencing. When the ducks & turkeys begin laying, spring is just around the corner....sunshine, well, that is another thing entirely.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Faverolle bantams

BREED PROFILE:Faverolle VARIETY:salmon. Faverolles are packed with personality,beautiful to look at and wonderful layers in all seasons. The roosters are consistently gentle and well mannered not only to the hen but to people as well, the hens are laid back as well and accept newcomers with ease. If one is looking for showy gentle chickens this is the breed to have. They are excellent layers in cold weather and will go broody occasionally  although they are not obsessive about it like the silke or Cochin breeds. The Faverolles are a french breed, and considered in the Continental classification. The breed was first developed in the 1850's of composite blood from the Houdon Brahma Crevecour and dorking which were common fowl of the area. The Faverolles were used as utility fowl known for there excelent tabel qualitys and superior egg laying during winter months. Today they are reguarded as show fowl and are rare in the United states with a estamated 500 bantam salmon faverolles and 50 white faverolles in the U.S. Some of the variety's are Salmon, White ,Buff , Black and Blue salmon.

This is Smore my salmon Faverolle rooster that I got at the state fair last year and as the breed information describes they where some of the most friendly bantams Ive had and thats espesialy true with the faverolle roosters,  sadly Smore was killed by a dog on December 24 2011 and the hen a month before.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Auction vist

Last week I went to the auction, This is Penguin my welsummer australorp cross.

This is Penguin and my australorp hens. I made $13 off Penguin $13 off my black Langshan and $10 each on my 3 black australorp hens.

These are two Guinea fowl that were there.

This is a cross bred rooster that was there.