Friday, May 15, 2015

Chicks, chicks and more chicks!

This has been the year for new chicks! Remember the new chicks that we hatched out here? After moving them to the chicken tractor, another olive egg hatched. So my hen ended up with 4 olive eggers, and one Mottled Java cross.   It has been a month, and the babies are almost fully feathered now.

Mama is very protective, so they are so it's hard to get a picture of them. Of the three 4 olive eggers three appear to to be crossed with the BCM, but the 4th has the look of a Cream Legbar.  i'm a bit worried, all three of the BCM/OE cross have very pink combs and the beginnings of wattles. One is quite obviously a roo and the other 2 definitely have to look but i'm trying to remain optimistic. Of the remaining two chicks, the OE/CLB cross has a very small yellow comb, and the Java cross also has a tiny yellow comb.  The Java however, carries himself/herself like a roo. See the one standing up? Yep, that's the Java. So, yeah...if 4 out of 5 turn out to be roos i may just cry.  i currently have 4 BCM roos and i have to find homes for atleast 3 of them, which isn't very easy to do.  i know most folks would just cull the extra roos,but we are a vegetarian family and kill them is just not an option. 

This one of my game hens. Several weeks ago, she disappeared. She is pretty wild and doesn't always sleep in the coop,so i figured something may have snatched her in the night. i also knew there was a pretty good chance that she had a clutch of eggs hidden somewhere.  

Right before we left for our vacation she showed up in the yard. She was very obviously broody, and disappeared back into the woods. i was so worried that the chicks would hatch while we were gone. We had hired a pet sitter, but she wouldn't know how to catch the hen and chicks and get them into the coop. Thankfully, they didn't hatch until a few days after we returned and i was able to move them into the pen where they'll be more protected from predators.

i'm very curious to see their feathers come in. i believe the two black chicks were fathered by a BCM, but the rest of them i have no idea. Our main rooster Mr. Beardy is an EEi believe, and we also had the Cream Legbar at the time (he has since passed). So this is a mish mash barnyard mix of cuties. They are around 2 weeks old now and are just beginning to get some feathers.. 

This little mama was setting on eggs when we left as well, but hers were not due until May 1st.  The day came and went, but no little peeps.  i got a message from a local lady who had just hatched out silkie/sizzles and asked if i was interested. How could i say no? So i removed a few eggs from under mama, and shoved the day old chicks underneath her instead. Then i waited to see if she would accept them. Ideally, you would do this at night. So the hen would wake up with baby chicks under her...however i was terribly worried that she wouldn't accept them and they would die in the night. So i did it in the evening and then checked on her repeatedly to make sure all was well.  She took to the babies right away, and is a wonderful foster mama.

i really wasn't sure what to expect with Sizzles. Honestly, i thought sizzle was another name for a Frizzle and thought that silkie/sizzles would be a mix of silkies and frizzles (not necessarily crosses). i've been eagerly watching their feathers come in and was a little surprised that of the 4, it appears only one has frizzled feathers, one looks like it is going to have silkie feathers and the other two so far have regular smooth feathers.

After a bit of research i'm finding that a sizzle is a silkie/frizzle cross.  When these two are crossed only 50% of the chicks will get the frizzled gene (less in my case). The smooth feathered chicks will have silkie characteristic, but regular feathering...they may carry the frizzled gene even though they do not have frizzled feathers. You can not cross two frizzles or you get a bird with really messed up feathers.  So these are interesting. i'm watching the feathers come in and can't wait to see what i end up with. 

 My daughter named the frizzled chick 'curly fry'. :) 

Oh yeah, i still have one more broody hen. lol.My silkie, Stevie, was setting on a few eggs but kept rolling them out of the nest, so i gave her 3 more Olive eggs to set on. i'm so worried that all of my olive eggers are roos, i figured i'd try again. :)  With all these new chicks i currently have over 30 chickens...i'm starting to feel like a crazy chicken lady.  and husband is not very happy, but i keep reminding him that at least half of the new chicks will be Roos and i'll have to find them homes. Also the chance of all these chicks surviving to adulthood is pretty slim, we have way too many predators in the area. By the time fall comes around, i'll be lucky if i have 5 new layers.  If by chance i did end up with a bunch of girls, they would be easy enough to sell.  So even though i'm looking  like a crazy chicken lady at the moment, as long as i can find homes for all of these roos i'm not that worried...even if my husband is. :) 


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