Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cough, cough, Dusty!

Does this blog still work? Hello, hello?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just an update!

I'm still out on the farm as my Mom can not be left alone and I still do not have access to the net way way way out there. I'm using a friend's computer. In the chicken news the birds from the auction were better left there. I will never buy from an auction again. Most turned out to be roosters and they also carried some sort of disease with them.

On the good side I bought Gracie a husband, a purebred Cochin rooster. I bought some other breeds as well. The most surprising news is that as of now, Tina, Edna and Gracie are all mothers. Even in our cold Canadian winter, they all hatched chicks. Tina and Edna will not be a year old until end of May. Edna had her chicks on Boxing day. Like their mother Gracie, they make good mommies!

Take care chicken people.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Robin

Meet Robin, of all the new chickens I bought, Robin and her mate Rusty are my favourites. They are Wheaten Old English bantams. Both will let me pick them up no problem and Robin will get into my hands for warmth when she feels cold. Sorry the lighting in the barn is not that good.




Robin making her first camera appearance!

The little house I made for Robin and Rusty so that they can eat and perch in peace. Being the smallest and youngest, they get picked on a lot.

I realized my mistake in not having one of the other chickens walk in just to show you their small size, Robin is actually the size of an American robin at the moment and she will not get much bigger.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Buyer beware!

Just a quick post about the "buyer beware" part of an auction. I remember the woman who sold me Lucy and Melda, saying bird auctions were a lot of fun but there was a lot "buyer beware" on the buyers part. Some people are honest and there are good deals but I also found that it seemed to be a dumping ground for unwanted roosters. It was not so bad when people labeled their boxes as roosters, the thing that bothered me is the tricks some crafty chicken people try to play on buyers. Example, a box labeled breeding pair of chickens. It may have been a rare breed that people are looking for with a beautiful rooster and hen or pullet. However what the box really contained was an older rooster with a young rooster, making the young one look like a hen. I was stung twice, one box was labeled three pullets but when I took them out of the box, there was only actually one hen, in my excitement of buying I did not check closely. The roosters it turns out, have a slight colour pattern that the hens do not, so this was no accident. Also in my box of one rooster with two hens, turned out to be one hen, one rooster and one young rooster of mixed breeding, giving at first glance the look of a hen. I could tell in a few minutes of letting him out of the box that he was a rooster. Again I feel that this was done on purpose. I know some boxes of pullets went sky high in price, so I can't help wondering (and feeling bad) for those buyers when they open their boxes and realize that there rare pullets, are actually roosters made to look like pullets.

There was also a trick of putting an old hen in with young pullets, still I would not be as upset with buying an older hen than being stuck with an extra rooster or three. If you get the chance to go to an auction, then remember this warning.

This was the only thing that slightly ruined my first experience of an auction. I already had three roosters, I certainly did not want more. The 3 brothers have become aggressive with all the hens and that leaves me with no choice, especially they harass Gracie their own mother non stop and in doing so they have sealed their fate.


Another vid about my new chickens.

They are starting to be named. I will put of pictures with their names later. In the next vid you will see that Gracie and her family are not happy at all with the new comers, they do not mix in together at all, even after a week and you can hear their complaints to me about the "others".

Un-happy campers.

I'm in the process of buying more if I can get a good deal! ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Bird Auction!

I was able to go, yaaaaaay! At first I was a little too shy to start buying anything but I did bid on a few chickens. It was a lot of fun as it was my very first bird auction. They did not have any cochins so I was not able to buy Gracie a husband. They had White Wyandotte hens (pullets) and Columbian Wyandotte roosters. I was shocked at how big they actually were, I guess I am so used to little Gracie. Even Lucy and Melda are a lot smaller and they are my big girls. I did not get them however, I kept bidding on them but they were going too high, $50 for a pair of hens, I thought that was too high for me, plus the people would have just bid me higher. The roosters went for $15. I also kept trying to get a pair of snow call ducks as they are so cute and pretty to look at, however all call duck pairs went for $50 and over. If anyone does not know about call ducks, they are mini ducks that are kept as pets, this way you can make a small pond and have duck in it. I think they are cute. There were no runner ducks either and only wild turkeys, but a person needs a permit for those.
A car load of chickens!

I kept watching two boxes with three buff brahmas in it. Also boxes with old english bantams, they are so small, I really wanted some.
I got one of the boxes with the three buff brahmas, a box with two black old english bantam hens and a pair of wheaten coloured old english bantams (rooster and pullet). I also saw a young barred rock pullet in a box so I bought her. At the end of the sale they were selling rooster/hen trios mixed breed bantams. Some went as low as $5 for the three of them. I bought the last box, they look like Japanese crossed bantams. Well any way I ended up with eleven new bodies but most are so small it takes about four of them to make one Lucy or Melda.

Here is a clip of the new chickens after I took them out of their boxes. I let them have full run of the barn because this way there was very little fighting. The clip is just after bringing them home but now a week later they have formed a new flock together. Gracie and her brood do not mix, they stay off by themselves. I am happy to say that little Gracie is the alpha hen of the whole group, even against the big barred rock hen she held on to her crown. I am also happy that Gracie is no longer alone in the chicken world, when she feels the need to do battle, her daughters Tina and Edna are right by her side to back her up.

There was also a Black Jersey Giant Pullet, she was huuuuuuuuge! She was actually very ugly as her comb had not formed yet, making her look like some type of bird that a person might see eating dead animals on the side of the road.

It was a lot of fun and I would go again in a second but I learned about "buyer beware" and I will blog about that later.

Monday, October 12, 2009

In the chicken news.

Steven's Chicken news.
Head line!

Dog attack!
Chico and the girls received a bad scare this week as their pen came under attack by two large hounds that escaped from their kennel. Lucky enough the pen is made of heavy corn crib wire and the hounds could not tear through. Dan arrived home from work to find two hounds running around and around the coop barking and trying to get in at the girls. There were another pack of dumb dogs still back at the kennel barking encouragement to the trespassers. Dan was enraged when he saw what was going on and the dogs ran for home when they saw him. He felt really bad for the girls because he figures the dogs were after them all day as a path was worn around coop, plus any flowers or shrubs near by were trampled. He said everyone was outside standing tight up against the wall as far away from the fence as they could get, he figured since the door is near the fence, the hens would not go in. Also I'm so glad Dan put large flat stones around the bottom of the pen, the wire goes into the ground but if the dogs worked at it all day, they probably would have gotten in.

Bird Auction.
This Saturday coming is the bird auction, I have it in my little mind to buy something! I love a good auction but have never been to a bird auction. I believe this will be the last one in this area for the year so I really want to go. Boy oh boy I hope nothing comes up to prevent me from going!

To hatch or not to hatch?
A man not far from my parents farm is selling an incubator, it has only been used twice and I wonder if I should try to buy it or just let Gracie do the work next spring. I found a place that would sell me eggs from rare breed chickens, I think I will wait to see what happens at the sale first.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Time to leave the nest, no really!

Before:

Remember this picture?

After:

My only white chick turned out to be Rico. A bit bigger than mom at only four months.

Sorry the picture is not better but it was hard to get them to stop moving, plus it was raining out and they are in the barn. Rico is off one of the red-sex links (Marlene) and Chico.

I think this is Edna(or maybe Tina Turner), she is Gracie and Chico's daughter. Edna and her sister Tina love me, they come up to me all the time and pick at what ever I am holding, or my boots, or my coat or my buttons. They more closely look like Silkie hens than they do Cochin hens. An odd thing but a good thing about all four of Gracie's chicks off of Chico, is that they are all good at flying. Even though Chico being a Silkie can't fly and Gracie being a Cochin is not that great at flying, their four kids being hybrids have no problems going over four foot gates like nothing was even there. I think this gives them a better chance against something like a fox if it got into the barn, if something bad like that happened, my poor Gracie would be the first to get eaten.

In the next clip you will see Gracie with all her chicks. She still calls them to food sometimes but lately I notice she attacks the roosters to drive them off, especially Rico. You will see Rico Rooster, Silver (silver necked rooster), Fern (all black rooster), Edna Chicken and Tina Turner the little hens, good luck telling them apart. Here I am letting them run around the barn, (sigh, I miss the cows).

All the boys have started crowing now. Fern showed signs of being a rooster since he was about three weeks old and yet he is the bottom of the rooster pack, he only started crowing a few days ago. Rico started crowing first but now does not crow that much. Silver crows a lot during the day like his Daddy Chico.

In this clip, Fern shows off his new pipes, Tina Turner makes her guess spot at the end of the clip.



Sorry this last clip comes out so dark when I post it.