The chicken clothes are a stitch!!
Flygap, I like your incubator. I went for one that holds about 35 eggs, and I have an egg-turner, too. Our experience is that, if you are using eggs fertilized in the back yard, about 1/2-3/4 will hatch. Don't help them hatch. The weaker ones will just linger, then die--I give them to my dog, Rose, to dispense with. Also, after 24 days, NO healthy chicks will hatch. Be sure to keep some humidity in the incubator during the last week, or some chicks will have trouble with the shell sticking to them. One of my hens, in an enclosure with 1 rooster + 2 hens, went broody, and hatched out 2 chicks about 6 weeks ago. We've decided that they can avoid "freezer camp" and live out the winter in the formerly turkey house enclosure. It's fascinating--neither hen has layed any eggs since they hatched. The adult birds nurture and protect the chicks, like when one my 6 month old kittens decide to follow me in when I'm feeding. They chase them out.
I'll have to get some more pictures to post. I decided to outcross my RIR's last year. THIS year's layers are RIR/Welsummer crosses, one rooster is, I think, a rosecomb RIR, and the other is an EE cross, so my pullets (hens) are only 1/4 RIR, as far as I can tell. I might get fewer eggs than the prolific RIR's lay, but I'm sick of how mean RIR's are. This rooster, in particular, has attacked me. I've had to beat him with my horse whip, about 5 times, but now he gets out of my way. WHO SAYS chickens are stupid?!?!?
I have about 6 young hens with reddish mix feathers and green eggs, a sign of EE. I'm actually about to put up young hens, just about to lay, on sale bc I have over 40 of them!!
I can't believe I hadn't noticed this thread before! The chicken in the corner is pretty hilarious. I haven't had time to read through everything here yet but I never pass up an oportunity to share pictures of my chooks sooo... prepare to be bombarded!
I only have four Silkie chickens and some ducks right now. Nobody does anything useful! There are two roosters, both very sweet, and one outside hen who doesn't lay. The other hen (also doesn't lay) is a house chicken and she lives with me in my room.
Here's Cumulonimbus; blue Silkie (perhaps with a little cochin in there) and the head rooster. He's the sweetest ru I've ever known. My brother cuddles with him all the time and he thrives with human attention. It's rather hilarious.
Then there's Spike, sole remaining offspring of Cyumie and his hen Popcorn. Spike is also a good rooster, but only with people. He fights with his dad over the right to the only hen (his mother!) so he lives in his own enclosure now. :P
I went out and took some snap shots for ya. This is Cyumie and his blue hen Popcorn, the apple of his eye. Popcorn is beautiful but she is such an airhead!
Their Grand Aviary. An odd amalgimation of PVC pipe and chicken wire that my Dad and I put together. It looks scary but it's actually pretty sturdy and predator proof.
I'll post some pictures of my indoor hen Inky and the duck in a little while. Casper drake, the back yard 'mascot' and extremely friendly duck, is always keeping us entertained. Both of them have gone on multiple cross country road trips with the family. It's only out of necessity, I assure you ;). I've got to go meet the hoof trimmer at the barn.
Alright, here's Inky the house chicken. She's very tiny, as you can see in the picture of her next to my old Ipod Nano. My family jokingly calls her 'the miracle chicken' because she just doesn't seem to be able to die. When she was a few days old she got hair wrapped around two of her toes and they fell off. Fortunately they were the two extra toes that she doesn't actually use. Only a few days later, a heavy object must have fallen onto her and broken her pelvis, because now, as an adult chicken, Inky's pelvis is really, really messed up. The vet said that it is folded in half on her right side and that there is no pelvis at all on the left side, but I disagree. She only walks with a slight limp so I'd be surprised if there was nothing there. I think she has some kind of huge, bony growth on the right side of her pelvis that formed when a fracture was healing. Either way, it is truly bizarre and she can't remove dust very well from her one of her air sacs because of her deformity. This makes her very prone to pneumonia so she was eventually brought inside to live in my room. Over the years she has had pneumonia several times and countless cases of egg binding. Today at seven years old she no longer lays eggs and, probably because of that, she is now the picture of health. The eggs were really straining her. All she needs is an air purifier and careful restriction of outside time when the neighbors are burning their garbage. Now you wouldn't even recognize that something is wrong if you met her, but helping her through her illness brought us very close.
I love the little thing to death. She's like a lap cat, only more snuggle-y, and she is always talking about one thing or another. She has quite a complex personality for a chicken. She's no bird-brain!
Casper is my favorite duck. He's quite a character. He's no chicken, but I thought you guys would like to see this picture of him wearing duck shoes! Whenever someone see's him wearing them it makes their day. I have to put these on him when I take him on walks at rest areas during the road trips. He hates them with a passion, but that's beside the point ;)
Inky has been on tuns of genuine, whole family member, month-long, country-wide road trips with me. My dad insists that we go and Inky is too high maintenance to leave behind with neighbors so she has to come along. She's a pro now; we call her the road chicken. She sits in a large cat carrier (she's so tiny that it's pretty spacious for her) while we go from one side of the country to the other. She has been to lots of national parks and has stood on the shore of the pacific ocean, which is a pretty cool feat for a chicken hatched in the Midwest.
Casper has had to come along on several relocation trips in the past. I call them road trips rather than just transportation because once you get into driving for three days one-way calling it 'transportation' would be a bit misleading. It's very hard to take him along because every few hours he gets hyper and starts to pinch the back of my head. Then I have to take him out at a rest area with his harness on and walk him around, but we draw such a crowd that I can't get a single thing done. He does spread child-like joy to the people who meet him wherever we go! I just always make sure to tell them, don't get a road duck for yourself. Speeking from lots of experience I can say with confidence that you don't want to do that! Haha!
Yeah me neither! LOL! We keep the chickies in the mud room till they are old enough for the barn, then to the coop with you! It's all I can do not to have tens of chicks running around the house, or smothered with doll clothes.
So not showing E the hat MHF.
Yesterday I cleaned out the coop! 6 wheel barrows full of rocks, straw and poop!
Not going to make that mistake again, I wanted to cry throwing all that good compost over the hill. No more rocks in the flooring, just packed dirt. That was so stupid, DH wanted to murder me because I insisted on having a gravel floor, made him go scoop buckets from the road LOL!! It was piled up and causing drainage problems... Now the birds are all cuddled up in 6 inches of straw, since I put the new stuff in they haven't left it. Gives me warm fuzzes, and an aching back, sore neck, I passed out last night!
WP your birds are adorable! Wish I could have cool ones. I have to have mean strong birds, yours would last for all of two seconds out here!!
Thanks for the tips Celeste! I've got my fingers crossed!
Wish it was larger but if it were then I'd have too many, like hundreds!! My grandpa is coming down to hunt on the 1st, he's going to help me process a few... Not sure how I feel about it. Going to see how many girls I get, probably all rosters. :S
Spray your bad roosters with a hose!!! I did it a few times recently and they are now terrified of me! Satan is now a complete angel, not that I trust him, I keep looking over my shoulder when I walk away. That was his favorite time to attack. He's on the process list for sure!
Im so angry.. I had 30 chickens. Then they started to dissappear.. so I put them up.. wouldnt let them our up the pen I has set up for them.. then My dad shot a coyote.. and I started to let them out again. I have 18 chickens then.. I have 10 of them to my brother because my dad said that I had to many...
So I then had 8 chickens..let them out yesterday morning.. put them up having 5.. 3 more chickens gone.. >:(
I love Silkies, and Ducks and Geese...I had 2 ducks and a pair of African grey geese for a little while. I raised them from day olds and taught them to swim in the bath tub. They LOVED their nightly swimming lessons. Big mistake I made though, was to use warm water because it was winter. When spring/summer came they wanted NO part of the cold water in the pond, stock tanks, whatever it just was not what they wanted. Then along about July my husband decided enough was enough and took them swimming with him in the pond, gave them outdoor swimming lessons. LOL! After that, everyday at 4 pm they went for their 'daily constitutional' swim.
The geese annoyed everyone but me, I LOVED those goofy birds. So, when they disappeared I was firmly told NO MORE GEESE. I miss 'em, they made me ROFL every day.
I have a big barn kitty who probably weighs 30 lbs. Gander came up one day when he was sitting in my lap and told the cat to get lost. Cat said no. Gander beat him up good, cat then would see Gander coming and would hop down and saunter off, "I was done anyway", and Gander would come up in my lap for a cuddle. That cat can be a MEAN SOB, I couldn't believe that Gander schooled the cat!