Monday, May 21, 2012

Odd Ball Chickens

A couple days ago I was sitting around thinking about some of the oddities I have among my chickens.  Most folks that we do eat our birds.  Mainly roosters, but old laying hens are also processed.  I look at as their final contribution after they are finished as laying hens.  We didn't grow up with much and my parents grew up with less.  As a result we try not to waste anything.  I remember every bird I have ever had and keep their records, stories, and pictures safe in case I forget.  I am too soft hearted and feel I owe them that much.  Yes I have been almost in tears as I eat supper.

The exception to being eaten seems to be the 'oddities' that are around.  Those get to stay around for much longer for the pure entertainment.  There are pets that will never be eaten, but those are mostly bantams.  OK, there are ALOT of pets and bantams running around that will never see the freezer.

Anyways, here are a few of the oddities that I enjoy.

There is a old buff orp hen that honks like a goose.  She has done it since she was a pullet and is now 7 years old.  She has also been a mother a few times and has earned the right to stay as long as she is able.  This is 'Mama' in 2009 with a group of Ameraucanas.

Another buff Orp that lays flat eggs.  Her eggs look normal except they are FLAT on 2 sides.  Obviously we named her 'Flat Butt'.  Also 7 years old and the sister of the hen above.  I have never had to worry about her egg rolling off the counter.

Old red muffed game hen with spurs so long we had to trim them.  Little Red's spurs curl like Ram's horns.  At 4 inches they reached her leg and had to be cut.  She was NOT happy.  Also a 7 year old hen.  This is her last month with the cut spurs.

Mixed bantam Rooster that doesn't like his leg feathers, so he plucks them out.  No idea why.  His dad was the same way.  'Andy' only has some tuffs down the outside of the legs, but when the feathers grow back he will pluck his legs clean.  For a few days his legs will be red and iritated after the plucking.

Bantam Cochin hen that crows.  Not all the time, just when she is not laying.  When Favy(rooster) tries to dance for her she will crow in his face.  It seems to confuse the crap out of him.  He just cocks his head to the side looking at her and then just walks away.  'Lacy' is only 6 years old.  This was her last year doing what she does best.

Dutch Cock and Hen that sneeze.  'Screech' has sneezed since he was 4 months old.  He is 4 years old now and still does it.  There is no discharge or smell and never has been.  He is normal otherwise.  I have come to the conclusion that he has allergies.  The sneezing gets worse when the Giant Wysteria that fills the cherry tree above his house is in bloom in late winter.  I have never shown him because I didn't want someone freaking out when he sneezed at a show.  The hen, 'Mocha', is his 2 year old daughter and does it too.  Hereditary allergies?

Standard Buff Cochin hen that will not go to roost on her own.  She will stand there yelling her head off till someone(ME) gets to that house to set her up each night.  If I place her in the wrong spot she will start yelling again.  Also I have to set her back down in the morning.  She will sit there all day before getting off that 2.5 foot high roost.  Heaven forbid she step down the ladder.  "Sassy" is one lazy woman and I have been obeying her for 6 years.  This picture of her is from last year.

A 4 year old Black Giant hen that has lost her voice.  A year ago we were threatening to chop her head off and eat her because of how loud and annoying she was.  She was constantly following us around and squawking.  It drove us crazy.  Then she suddenly started getting quieter.  Now she has no voice.  You can here the air force out, but no sound.  We rescued 'Bessie' when a large group of young roosters came through here on the way to a customer of ours processes them for their large family.

A Rooster that vibrates.  'Spot' is a tiny Dutch rooster.  He looks smaller then a serama, but is tight feathered and a hefty 15 ounces.  When he poses, which is alot, he will start to vibrate.  It is like he is straining too much.  It looks so odd.  This picture is from when he was very young.  I couldn't find a new pic right now.  I know I have them.

I do have 108 chickens and there have been a few hundred more that have lived here over the years.  With that many there are a few more oddities around here and even more that are past, but that is enough for now.


Side Note:  When I first wrote this I had 'Spot' described as a Cock, which he is, but went back and changed it to Rooster considering the way he is described.  If you go back and replace rooster with cock in the description of him you will see why I changed it. ;)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Long time - LONG post

I have not been on here in awhile.   In fact this is only my second post for the year.   That is awful.   What a waste of the perfectly good blog.  I have read alot of other blogs and kept up on most.   I just don't post very often.   I seem to spend more time on facebook and

A little catching up about me.   I got sick again with the same respiratory crap.   Got better, then almost got sick again when I went to a poultry show the beginning of March.   I spent too much time in the show hall around all that dust/dander set my lungs on FIRE.   As soon as I got home I took a hot shower.   That made the coughing more intense, but I think that is what finally got it out.   I took another hot shower that evening and streamed out the lungs again.   I was coughing up some nasty stuff, but within a week the cough was gone and I have been fine since.   I normally get sick once every 2-3 years with the flu, but this past winter about killed me.   Started with food poisoning or the stomach flu the beginning of September, a head cold/sinus infection the beginning of november, that almost cleared up then migrated to my lungs.   That kept me coughing and in a cycle of sickness in one way or another until mid MARCH.   Winter SUCKED.

On to the birds.   Lost some gals to old age, my Standard Cochin rooster had a heartache, lost a couple to parasites,  and 3 to a neighbor's dog.   I had to deal with the dog when the neighbor wouldn't.   I hate to hurt any animal, but will if I have too.  The parasites are bad this year.   With the lack of a real winter, the ground didn't get "cleaned" out like it should have.   That means worms and cocci are still in abundance.   There is also some sort of mite that keeps getting on the birds too.   It is easily killed, but then comes right back.   This coming weekend I am spraying the houses down completely with permethrin II.   I am tired of this crap and I know the birds that get infested are tired of them too.

I bought some day old chicks from ShookPoultry 3 weeks ago.   I had planned to give them to 'Mama Daisy' to raise, but she broke from her broodiness 2 days before.   Luckily 'Rescue' was broody too.  The problem is that 'Rescue' had only been here a few months, was only 8 months old, and had never been a mother.   I had no idea if she would adopt chicks she did not hatch.   Some hens will, some won't.   I know Daisy would have if she were still broody.   Either 'Rescue' was going to adopt them or I was going to have to raised the new chicks.   When I got home with my new chicks, I decided to give her a try.   Mom could reach her better, so she put 2 chicks under 'Rescue' and we waited.   A broody grawls, but a broody switching to mother mode clucks.   After a few seconds we heard a very soft cluck.   A few more seconds and another cluck.   That is a good sign.   Added 2 more chicks and waited.   This time she was definately clucking.   A chick popped out from under her and was a couple inches in front of 'Rescue'.   Truth time.   'Rescue' raised her self up off the nest slowly, stared, and then started clucking for the chick to get back in.   The chick ran towards her and dissappeared into feathers.   YYEEESSSSS!!!  'Rescue' lowered herself back down, gently shuffled a little, and settled into a gentle rythmic cluck.   I started handing Mom chicks and she gave all 9 to 'Rescue'. This was 5 days after.
She has been a great mother and very protective of her family.   We gave her 6 Gold Comets and 3 Easter Eggers.   All are sexed girls.   The problem is that 2 weeks old there were suddenly 10 babies!?!?!   I am very OCD about numbers and know for a fact that we gave her 9 chicks, not 10.   I counted 3 times when I first got the chicks out for her.   There were 9, exactly what I ordered.   I have a theory.   Somehow one of the Red Comets ate too much and split in two.   They have been little pigs and this makes complete sense.   SHUT_UP!!!   THIS MAKES COMPLETE SENSE!!!   LOL

I guess that is enough for now.   I will try to post regularly.   I will shoot for weekly.