Monday, April 29, 2013

Chick update

 Spring is here and I've got lots of chicks hatching out and my other baby poultry growing very quickly so I thought I would update on them to, above are my Bronze turkey poults who are already as big as my bantams and are now outside in their own kennel.
 Here is Colonel Blue one of my Porcelain cockerels who is learning to crow but right now sounds like a  toy.
 Here is Glacier my other Porcelain cockerel who hatched out in January.
 Above are my two Mille Fleur's that hatched out last week and are being raised in a brooder on top of my incubator.
 And here are my new D'uccle chicks who are all pure breds.
Here's another photo of them in their nest with there mom Silver mist , most of them were hatched on the 28th of April the others were hatched out today on the 29th, theirs 4 Mille Fleur's and 1 Porcelain.

Mr. Fancy Pants

 This is Mr. Fancy Pants. He is a Sizzle. That means one of his parents was a Silkie chicken, and the other a Bantam Frizzled White Cochin. He is a sight to behold! As I said in an earlier post, he might be frilly, but he is all rooster.
 This is one of his gals and he watches over her protectively as she scratches and pecks for bugs and worms. He gets very excited if another rooster approaches her.
 Isn't she pretty? I often think these chickens are the poodles of the chicken world.
 Mr. Fancy Pants also has some Silkie girlfriends.
 Here he is with 2 of them.
 The chickens are clucking busybodies too. They love to line up near the sheep water trough to see what's goin' on over ( or under) the fence. The sheep like to gawk at the chickens too.

Boy, when you're feeling down, or need some entertainment, nothing beats watching the antics of a happy flock of chickens, or sheep. Mr. Fancy Pants and his gals make watching my chickens even more fun !

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's That Broody Time Of The Year ~Spring !

 It's that broody time of the year again, Spring! All my poultry, including the ducks have laid many eggs and now are determined to sit on their eggs until they hatch. The Midget White turkey Tom tries to protect his setting hens from me as I enter their pen for feeding & watering. I have to keep a big bucket between us so I don't get hurt. Tom turkeys can be pretty dangerous when they feel they need to protect their hens.
 Here are the 5 Midget White hens. 2 of them are setting now...
 ...and here are the eggs. Well, some of them.
 This White Orpington hen went broody on me and was trying to hatch out wooden eggs because I kept gathering all the freshly laid eggs she settled on. Since she seemed determined to hatch out eggs I put turkey eggs under her. Turkey eggs take 28 days to hatch versus the 21 days for chicken eggs.  She finally did hatch a turkey egg, I'll show you her babies in another post.
 This is Mr. Fancy Pants. He is a Bantam White Cochin and Silkie cross. He is one frilly rooster, but don't let the frills fool you, he is ALL rooster and he too takes his job of protecting the broody hens very seriously.
 This Silkie hen, her sister, and another bantam hen are softly clucking, snuggling, warming, and dreaming over 3 large clutches of bantam eggs. I can't wait to see what they bring out of the chicken shed in a few days.
 My white ring-necked doves are all in a dither when I enter their pen. They too have babies and eggs they want to protect, but being doves, they just go all a-flutter.
 Here are 2 baby doves just beginning to fly around. They still need their parents to feed them. Did you know baby doves are fed "milk" by both their mothers & fathers?
 Another wee little dove peeking through the straw at me, hoping I don't see him.
 But I do see him. Really, I cannot tell for sure what sex the doves are until I observe their behavior. Neither can the experts. Fortunately the doves can tell the girls and boys apart!
 This baby dove is getting his tail feathers.
This is such a wondrous time of the year. Not only do I have poultry hatching out and new lambs to watch, but the wild birds have nests all around our property and in some of our bird-houses. There are big gloppy plops of frog eggs stuck on branches in our pond, the honey bees are very busy in all the flowers , the hummingbirds are buzzing like kamikaze pilots around the sugar water feeders. Spring, don't you just love this time of year ?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Shed

I thought I would do a post on what I've been doing this week and what's been happening. Above is the shed I finished  to store my supplies and feed.
Above is a photo of the turkeys I just moved outside. They are now fully feathered .
Here are the Porcelain roosters that hatched in January and are already the same size as their mom.
Above are my porcelain hens that hatched in January. Their names are China ,Mist Flower and their mom is Silver Bell.
I've also got a few hens that are incubating eggs Silver Mist's eggs are due the 28th of April and the black hen's eggs are due to hatch any time now.
Below are the two Mille Fleur's my other hen hatched out.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How to hatch more hens part two

 More females per hatch by Dr. NW.Walker Phoenix Arizona,experiments with sorghum point to slightly more females per hatch,  last time I wrote about using younger roosters to get about a 50 50 chance of getting roosters and hens rather then ending up with to many roosters this time I'm going to wright about how to get more females per hatch from an article from the book sexing all fowl,some years ago ,while doing research on some accountable hidden secret in the seed of sorghum,Dr Walker discovered a genetic female hormone to be quite prevalent.  For research purposes he was using zebra Finch's because of their regularity in the prolific hatching of 4 eggs each month .  This saved much time in determining the results of his guessing that perhaps this hormone in Sorghum influence the sex in birds to be hatched .  Up to the time of these experiments , the hatching's yielded about 50-50 of males and females. He had been getting as many males as he had been getting females, but he wanted more females. a dish full of sorghum was placed on the floor of his aviary 24 hours a day.  At first the birds did not come to this dish enthusiastically, but  he noticed in the coarse of 3 -4 weeks that they ate the sorghum seeds before going to their regular feed troughs, morning and evening.  To his surprise , the percentage of females hatched began to increase in 2 or 3 months , gradually rising eventually to 75% females , and by the end of the year the hatching's were yielding 80% females. Other and for the moment more important matters - took precedence over his sexing experiments , so that he did not have the opportunity to test this discovery on larger birds.  He is presently interested in using coturnix quail , because  he found that these quail are the most prolific larger birds that he has come across lately .  Their eggs hatch in 16 days and the chicks start laying eggs in 5-6 weeks after being hatched . a similar experiment is about to start with Exchequer Leghorns, these beautiful rugged birds developed in Scotland three quarters of a century ago .  These are virtually immune to the ailments and sicknesses of the poultry . Their eggs are very large , white, and with an exceptional degree of hatch ability. information is from the book Sexing all fowl.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Turkey Poults

 These are some of are new Bronze turkey poults that we got on Thursday,
 Above are all three of them.
This is their brooder which is an extra reptile tank I had it holds heat good you can see through it and it's heavy enough that it doesn't get tipped over easy.