JGfolk- Jersey Giants experiences and happy times
(c) JerseyGiantfolk 2012
I've owned Giants for almost 5 years now, in fact my very first Jersey Black Giant hen; Twinkle, has a astonishing and tragic backround.
When I first joined 4H we decided to help out with this hatchery chick order, this was day, my sister and I picked out 7 chicks out of like a 50 batch, I wanted one more so I asked the man to pick up the little black one running around. That completed our order and we went home.
The next week "Dot" the Plymouth Rock died. Another one died. Soon we thought it was over a few months later, we let out the chicks with the older hens; "Ora" and "Welly" and one day we came back home and there was one panting, of course we didn't know why because we were newbies. That young one died. Soon there were 4 left, sadly, we had to give a mean one away. Twinkle, Swirl, Umph, and Coco. Yet again one day we came home from a 4H meeting and Swirl died. I thought that was it. Yep, the rest are going to die. Sure enough, the day I came home from school, Umph (a Leghorn cockerel) was dead. Crestfallen, we kept a close eye on Coco and Twinkle. For another year they lived. But the day came when Coco (a Hampshire Red) died. I wilted, my favorite, Twinkle, would soon be next.
I took her to her first fair that year, (a newbie still) and showed her as a Java. The judge was kind, and said she was not a Java, but a Jersey Giant!! I looked at my mom, that look where you go: "But the hatchery didn't sell Jersey Giants!". But when the awards came out, Twinkle got the blue ribbon, on my very first show. I'll never forget that moment when I went up to the Best of Show (but I didn't win) with the older teenagers.
After my pullets success, I finally decided we should go to a "real" poultry show, so at this "real" show, again my second show ever, Twinkle placed Reserve American. I doubt I knew how important that was to me back then, I still look at my wall where the faded rosette's are bringing the memories back. I loved Twinkle so much, forgetting she was a hatchery chick, but who cares, she meant everything to me. I decided a few years later after more of showing her and showmanship to get more Jersey Giants!
Well this was interesting, in 2009 we ordered from Sand Hill, this kind lady took care of the chicks for us for a while until we could come and get them. My mom said we ordered 6 (but I knew that some would die) we arrived at the care center and got the 6 chicks, we came home put the 6 chicks with the other 6 Dorking chicks we got there too and watched them sleep. The next day we noticed there were 13 chicks... what? I thought it would be 12, but not 13. We got another extra chick!!! Everything was slim and fine until a few months old, about 3. I went out to make a movie of the chicks and one was not walking. I jumped on inside and told my mom, she was now a poultry leader of the club and new lots and lots, I explained he wasn't walking, he was wobbling on his hocks.
Marek's had just hit my chicks.
I rushed outside again with a cage and scooped him up, I ran back inside and put him in my room. I went back outside yet again with my sister to check for anymore. Darn another one of mine was limping. We scooped her up and put her inside. We were done with that. We fed the youngsters Poly-vi-sol and their food for a couple weeks in my room... That's when we named them, Minnis (the cockerel) and Honk (the pullet who figured out to be a Australorp!) now I knew we shouldn't have named them considering knowing marek's is fatal, but it was hard not to.
Days passed and Honk was almost walking perfect again, she went back outside and thrived. The darkness struck and Pinkie (a JG with a pink spot on her beak) was limping terribly. I rushed her inside with Minnis. He seemed perked up when he saw her but she... well didn't care and would seizure all around my room. I held her steady between towels and containers. Minnis would sit next to her and watch, often times support her. 3 days of horrid seizures, I came into my room, and there she was dead, lying next to Minnis. He looked up at me with those chicken eyes. I ran into the kitchen and grabbed a bag. I ran back in and he was sitting on his hocks in front of her head. It broke my heart to see him do that, because he acted like he didn't know she was dead. I petted him quietly, then picked up Pinkie and put her in the bag. He wobbled toward me and the bag and talked some, then gave me chicken eyes. That's when I started to cry. My mom wasn't home to help me bag up my own chicken, and my little cockerel was giving me a hard time about her.
A few days passed and Minnis had his normal seizures, he'd drink and eat every now and then. But I couldn't sleep in my room anymore. He'd wake me up every 30seconds making seizures. It broke my heart for him. I loved him so much. That's when he started having serious bad seizures. He wouldn't eat or drink for 3 days. My mom considering putting him down. The next day we went to a 4H meeting and when we came home, well if it wasn't a miracle, what was it? Minnis, the same chicken who could not stand (I'll show a picture of him) was sitting on his hocks at my door, rocking back and forth. I was shocked, I ran over to my room and saw his food and water was empty... he ate and drank while I was gone! I was super shocked and he drank non stop for days as well as for food. I guess he was a miracle chicken!
A day came when Minnis (who was also known as Mini Mega) well, his brother came into my room. he wouldn't eat or drink, he'd have runny poops and sit all day. His day came when he died. We brainstormed what could have happened. And all arrows pointed to the 3 Silver Dorking roosters, also known as the "Gangsters" who would gang up and attack everybody. Then we remembered nights when they sat on Mega. Tummy swollen of grief I faced the worst, my 2 left outside, my last Jersey Giant hen (Maggie), and the last rooster who soon was a Minorca (named Token)!!!
My losses were terrible, but soon Minnis declared to go outside. He wobbled for a bit but then walked... which brought memories or the Christmas show with the "Put one foot in front of the other...." song. Minnis, Honk, Maggie and Token were my survivors. We got rid of the "Gangsters" and were in peace with my 4 and my sisters 3 Red Dorkings who never got Marek's.
Life was good until 2011's Valentines day. I came home and my sisters Ameracauna rooster broke into their pen and seemed to have started a racket, my sister rushed in, the blood stopping moment came when she said "Minnis isn't moving!!" that's when I think I could of had a stroke.... I couldn't bear to look. My mom rushed in to pick him up, and my sister said "Big Poot was sitting on Minnis." my brain was hurting literally, and my poor baby.. was turning blue on the face. He was dead. My beloved miracle rooster. Dead.
Maggie, the only surviving Jersey Giant hen who won blue ribbons at my county fair had some of his and her fertile eggs. We quickly 3 in a incubator, not knowing where we'd put the offspring.
Three days in, one of the eggs was cracked, so we had to take it out, sadly, we hoped both the remaining chicks would hatch so if it was just one it wouldn't be lonely.
After 21 days of suspense, I was concerned, no pipping. Day 24, still no pipping, Day 25 YES!!!! One finally pipped! So on day 26 the day before the gigantic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Mr. Fluffy Puffy hatched. All alone, it was hard for me not to take him out of the incubator because we wanted the other one to hatch. We waited until day 28 and took Fluffy Puffy out of the incubator and put him in the brooder. Every 5 minutes Fluffy Puffy would peep hysterically. Egg #3 was still in the incubator, we hoped and hoped it would hatch, but it would not pip either. So we slowly cracked it open, and I forgot if it was my mom or sister, they felt a chick in there. We opened it some more but, there was no pulse. The chick had suffocated because the air sack was too small, it was almost there, it was fully developed. So, with that bad luck we were forced to go to the feed store, and get some Orpington hatchery chicks....
To be continued once again!!!