Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eggs, boys, and whatever

Some of the hens have FINALLY started laying again. This is a Black Australorp in the Layers' House.Milk crates are handy. For several weeks we were getting 2-6 eggs per day. Now we are up to 12-14. The numbers are still LOW, but better then nothing. Found mites on some birds, mostly fluffy Cochins, so had to dust and treat everyone. The re-dust will take place tomorrow to get any eggs that hatch. Takes a while and about 7 pounds of 7-dust to dust 115 birds. Not everyone has mites, but if you miss one the critters will migrate.

My Welsummer Cockerels have grown up to be perfect gentlemen. The oldest 2 are 5.5 months old. This one is Tonk. He will most likely be my breeder this Summer.I am also keeping his brother, 'Honk', for a backup. 'Honk' will get to live with the laying flock of 30 or so hens. They are great young men that will follow you around like puppies. I wanted to take a picture of 'Summer', their sister, but my camera died right when I got her to hold still.

This is the group of younger ones. They are 3 months old. This male will be sold. I may sell a couple of the girls that have bad feathering as layers with him.
Andy has fell right into Dot's former flock. Andy is my Dot's son. I lost Dot last year and just a few weeks later I was able to get Andy back from the very generous friend I gave him to a year before. I don't know if it because he looked so much like his Dad or that he had the same calm attitude, but the ladies accepted him immediately. Here they are Monday when they got out for their freerange time. They were headed to the dry area beside the building for a bath.The Tricolored hen directly in front of him is his Aunt(Nougat). The TriColored in the bottom left is his Grandmother(Caramel). The other Tricolored next to the building in his Mother(Peanut). The 2 B&W mottleds are his Great Aunt(Lil Oreo) and her daughter(Baby Oreo). The black between the Oreos is 'Midnight'. The Black with Gold wings and flex is 'Flexxie'. The Black just behind her is a Cochin/Dutch Mix(Dutchin). The White butt belongs to Puff a Columbian Wynadotte/Cochin mix. The red game/EE mix(Little Red) moved in with the bantam flock 4 years ago and never left. All the ladies except 'Lil Red', 'Dutchin', and 'Puff' are all Dot's daughters. He almost always produced girls with his hens.

As always the yard protector is hard at work.I love taking her picture. She was very proud of herself that day, since she had ate a bird that morning. She doesn't mess with chickens no matter how small they are, but will take out a sparrow in a second. She had her yearly vet visit about a month ago for her vaccinations. She weighed in at 10 lbs.

~~Matt~~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

beyond BORED ... RaMbLiNg

Ok, I have a list a mile long of things that need to be done. The problem? Every job is an outside job. I need space to build chicken houses. I need to be a little a warm to run a skill saw and keep focused on what I am doing. 45-50 is warm enough for me. These days of highs in the mid 30s just don't work. Not to mention we got 5 inches of snow Monday and it won't melt. I need some dry ground to get started on.

I am going to start with the 8x8 floor of the split house. Then I am going to use that floor as my work space to build a 3x4 house for Mom's bantam cochins and a set of vertical nest boxes for the freerange bantams. Their nest boxes will be 2 nests wide and 3 tall. Need to be wide enough for bantam cochins and favorelle. I left a space in the middle of the house on the front to build the nests outside of the house. Dumpling's face, a mottled d'Uccle, is so red it looks like it could start to bleed. She should be really close to laying again and is going to need a nest soon.

There is no space in the buildings to work. Having 2 pack rats as parents leaves ZERO space for work space.

I need to get out of this house and get busy. I guess this is my version of cabin fever. Some of the chickens got tired of being in the houses and made their way out into the snow. I think Dad is bored too, since he went out with the snow shovel and made trails for them. He removed all the snow in the trails so they would be able to walk on the ground.

I am ready for winter to end, but if I complain too much I know we will go straight from Winter weather Summer HEAT.

I have got to get out of here tomorrow. I know how to drive in the snow/ice. When I lived in Boone I drove in it every winter with no problems. Even with my 2 wheel drive truck I could still go. I knew my limits and never once got stuck. I did a 180 spinout on 105 once, but luckily didn't hit anyone. I came to stop in a lane going the opposite direction, so I just went that way since some cars were coming up behind me.

Ok, I guess I will this sleep thing again. Had no luck the past few nights. Maybe tonight.

~~Matt~~

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New project and a pair of silkies

I went today and cashed in the Christmas present my brother gave. A $50 Lowes gift card was perfect. With prices of everything on the rise I figured I better get what I needed now. $50 doesn't go far, but it was only $5 short for 8 pieces of OSB. This is what I make all my chicken houses out of. I also had some $10 cards I got from mypoints.com. I do surveys and click on their email adds to gets points. I have been on there for several years and have receive over $300 in gift cards. Mom is on there too and gets walmart cards for her points. If you want an invite to join send me your email address and I send out an email invite. Yes, I get points for everyone that joins that I invite.

Anyways back to the new project. Andy's and Chitter's flocks need new houses. This there setup. Andy and his ladies sleep in the camper house and Chitter's is the one on the right. The lot is divided behind Chitter's house.As you can see these houses are about as REDNECK as it gets. Both are made of scrap and whatever else I could find.

Here is their new house. It will be a single 8x8 house split down the middle giving each bantam flock a 4x8 house. I am also adding on a large lean-to shelter on the back. I will take pics as I go.The 2x4s and 4x4s I got at a warehouse sale for less then 1/4 the price of new. Most are almost new except a few tacks. You can't really tell in the picture, but it is a fairly large pile. I keep it all in the woodshed so that it stays dry. Just have to leave a path in the middle wide enough for the wheel barrow.

I am finally ready to find a home for my pair of Silkies. Mopsy(female) and Topsy(male) are 6 month old Splash Silkies. Mopsy is taking her afternoon nap.Both have very nice toe seperation. Though Mopsy has a broke toe. Her fifth toe on her Left leg points straight down. At 3 weeks old her toes were perfect. I didn't mess with her till later and at 12 weeks old the toe was fussed in the new position. It I had paid better attention I may have been able to splint it. This does not affect her breeding capabities, but if shown it would be a few points off on the Judge's card. I got their eggs from a breeder in Florida(NOT Porto). I would like $30 for the pair, but will settle for $25 to the right home. I don't want them spending their lives in cages up off the ground. Mopsy loves a good dust bath and pecking at the grass. She is not yet laying. Some silkies don't start laying till 7-12 months old.

~~Matt~~