Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Chicken Update!

Progress is slowly being made in our chicken breeding programme.  We now have a total of 21, as hens, young roosters, a pullet and a number of chicks.

My mum had two young Orpington roosters that needed a new home - they're just over three months old but they're huge!
Our Orpington hen is in the middle
I have to concentrate when telling the difference between the black one and our black Orpington hen.  Next spring we're hoping that we can breed our own black Orpingtons and not have to traipse quite so far to get fertile eggs.  The beauty of Orpingtons is that they are friendly and even the roosters are unlikely to peek bottoms of little girls (or dads) like a previous leghorn rooster tried many times to!

I think these are New Hampshire Red chicks
Last Friday our Langshan brought out 5 chicks.  She had started with 15 eggs, but was not the most diligent mother so we are pleased to have these.  Two are Barred Plymouth Rock (mostly black with white spots, one being on the top of their head), two are golden (so probably Red Hampshire) and one is various shade of yellow (presuming white/buff Plymouth Rock).
A Barred Rock (bottom) and a Hampshire Red - excuse the thistle!  You can see the spot on the Barred Rock very clearly here.
The Buff/White Rock chick is to the extreme right - but can you see the Barred Rock chick hiding to the left?
There it is!
Two weeks before that our Buff Cochin had hatched one chick from her eggs - a Barred Plymouth Rock.  We are still scratching our heads as to why we only got one - but as we're still beginners there could be lots of reasons.

Our Buff Cochin got the new coop that my talented H had made in the last week of December.  It's got a lift up side so very easy to get into.

We'll have to sort something else out as our first Red Hampshire (to raise a chick) is ten days of sitting in to her next brood.  Fingers crossed that we get a better hatching rate out of these!  Her first chick - Little Blue the Blue Cochin is growing well, but misses her mum terribly.

Our little Orpington is just to the right of the hen.
Our second Red Hampshire is doing well with her seven chicks.  They are now over four weeks old. Of the three Partridge Plymouth Rock chicks two look like pullets, but I can't work it out for the bantam Partridge, the Barred Rock or the Orpingtons.  One of the Orpingtons is growing very slowly so we don't know what will become of it.

My garden has been somewhat neglected because of the fascination with poultry but I am having my best year ever growing onions!  I planted them as early as feasible and I've kept them well weeded.

And a cute picture to finish with one of our first sunflowers - taken just after K had finished eating dinner!

1 comment:

  1. I love your black Orpington chooks. Do you just keep them for eggs? My in -laws have chooks, they fascinate me, but I can't bring myself top pick them up - something to do with those claws.

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