First flock

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by NewfieBantam, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. NewfieBantam

    NewfieBantam New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Newfoundland, Canada
    I've always loved birds so I decided that I had the space and time for some chickens. The climate in Newfoundland is pretty..unpredictable. Northern Avalon peninsula in the winter is pretty brisk, so I built a plywood coop. 4x8, 6' tall in the front, 4' in the back.

    A friend of the family raises a variety of birds, and I've always loved bantams. I went for a visit and came home with a pair of them. My rooster cockerel looked like he was Old English Game. Predominately black with a beautiful sheen, with rust and gold, but I haven't been able to figure out her roots.

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    Petite, with close feathers, perky tail feathers, and the same colour and pattern as a bald eagle.

    She's brooding her 3 eggs in the box I made for her inside the house, near the woodstove.


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    Sadly, my rooster never saw a year. I'm sure he died protecting her, and I'm grateful she lived. I let them free range around our round stacklog house, and they always went back to the coop in the evening, but when I went for my evening visit, only she was there, and she was calling for Tookie. I got my flashlight and went looking for him in the dark, and when he never came when I called him, I knew something was up. I found him with his right side gone, and his bones were showing. His feathers were everywhere :(( I cried for him and then cremated him. :( It could have been any number of predators too. We have a huge range of wildlife here, and we live in a heavily wooded area. Lesson learned, I just bought a roll of 2" chicken wire 6'tallx50'long, 2" 4'tallx50'long. and 50' of 2'x1/2" mesh.

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    Got a replacement rooster from the same friend, and I have no idea what he is either. Best guess is 25%bantam, and something else. Bigger than Tookie by half again. Named him Big Bird. He has a white tail, with tiny black speckles, deep blood coloured saddle, white breast, and a gold head. I was initially worried that he would be too big for her, and I watched for a while and saw that he didnt dance for her like tookie did, and she resisted more. I also got a Barred Rock hen, named her Nan, and her temperament leaves something to be desired, but it's ok, because I've got 2 of her fertilized eggs, and 1 of Penny's eggs underneath Penny as we speak. I think if I hatch a male Barred Rock, I'll raise him, and get rid of Big Bird, and eventually Nan too. I don't like how aggressive they both are, especially towards Penny. I'll raise the other 3 (if they all hatch etc) and they'll be friendly - I'm a good trainer. I've been out of town and I'm so anxious to get back down to the house for when and if they pip. I guess I won't get to see much of the hatching when they're under her anyway, but I'm so excited nonetheless. I love some of the names people have come up with for their poultry, and I would love to see some suggestions! When I get home I'll take some pictures, and post them here. Hopefully I'll have babies on Tuesday and it's what I've always wanted to do - get a chick to imprint, and raise him or her to be a smart little critter. Anyway, I'm rambling now, so -
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    She could be an Old English Game Bantam hen - just a different coloring. I'm not good at naming all the colors they come in, maybe some one else will know.

    That is sad about your rooster Tookie. I hope your growing flock does well.
     
  3. NewfieBantam

    NewfieBantam New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Thank you very much, I was sort of leaning in that direction. I wish I could find my pictures of Tookie - he definately had the right coloring, and I think they were from the same line. They have the biggest personalities! Kind of interested in the fancier birds, like pheasants, but they're crazy lol. My guy is very much into fly tying, and he's at me to find genetic hackle chickens. They're so beautiful, but I doubt the stock is readily available. I suppose my biggest challenge now is to figure out which way to divide up the main coop so I can integrate chicks and keep them safe from the mean old Nan. I'm so happy I can finally enclose a nice big safe area for my flock outside. We've got really rich peaty soil full of tasty bugs and they're hilarious to watch rolling over onto their backs and working up a nice spot for a nap. I'm wondering if giving them quick oats is okay for them. They love it so much, but I wonder if it's making glue-grade porridge in their sac thingie. I've got them trained to jump up a short log onto a tall log to get treats, and they do it now without hesitating. Good times!
     
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Yours is a story of courage. Keep up the good work. I'm lucky in that the weather where I live is relatively mild, but we do have predators-mostly feral dogs.
     
  5. NewfieBantam

    NewfieBantam New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Update: 2 of 3 eggs hatched under Henny Penny. The bantam egg first, then 4 days later the Rock.

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    Unfortunately Henny rejected the black chick. I don't know if it was the different size and colour, or the fact that the chick was visibly slow and weak. I decided to take him and keep him warm, and fluff him up and try and motivate him to use his feet and get strong enough to lift his head up. Is it crazy to say I sort of did physio with him by holding his body in one hand, and moving my finger up and down under his feet forcing him to move his legs and get stronger. Poor baby chip! I was so sad, I thought for sure he wasnt going to make it, but i put him on my chest under my shirt, and he turned out just fine in the end :D

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    Poppy warming me up in front of the woodstove.

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    I's too weak to sit up, but I kinda like it. Warm hands are the best.

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    I was so amazed by how fast their feathers grow! Its mind boggling lol.

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    They follow the sun as it travels across the skylights, and man to they love to plop over on their sides and stretch out their legs. Hilarious antics from these two on a daily basis. I was giving them little bits off a macaroni noodle, turkey grabbed a whole noodle from me, and the chase was on. Same game every time, ooOOooh! Treat! Mine! Ohnoohnoohno stay away this is MY snack! *runs in tight circles, alternating left and right* Chip gets the noodle, runs off, turkey catches up, grabs the noodle back, and scarfs it down whole. I can see the perfect outline of the curved macaroni noodle in his crop. That kind of cemented his name as "turkey" for me.. Silly little raptor-beast.



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    I has puppy dog eyes power too. Cuddle me now.

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    I'm gonna get that round thing off your ipod.. someday

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    Sooky birds, love being close to me and each other.

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    We're lookin pretty raggety right about now, but hey - we can kinda FLY now.

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    Mom decided she was tired of chasing us around the house cleaning up our poops. I'm sporting the pink sock pamper look. In stores - never lol

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    From left: Chips mom, Nan. Big Bird, Daddy-o. Turkeys mom, Penny

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    Nan

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    Big Bird, and his attitude

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    We love it outside.
    My hackle is just like Dads!
     

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