Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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Catalonia, Spain
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Hi, peeps. Just checking in. Roxy and Lucky seem mostly good. Millie’s crop is huge, doughy and slow. Rats are brutal.
So I could not resist and brought the babies back inside tonight. With no mama to guide them, they are a bit stressed and scared outside at night (so I’ve convinced myself). I really didn’t want to raise chicks this year. It’s a butt ton of work. But I have to admit... I’ve grown so attached and LOVE these girls! And they LOVE to snuggle. Did I tell you about Sunny this morning? She was SO happy to see me, she burrowed herself into my neck and hair and tried to go to sleep right there. All three are wonderfully docile and affectionate.
View attachment 2344736
If I'm not very much mistaken you have chickens in the house. I hope you've got a good carpet cleaner.:D
 

micstrachan

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
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If I'm not very much mistaken you have chickens in the house. I hope you've got a good carpet cleaner.:D
Well... they are back out tonight. They peeped loudly for a bit and I talked to them until they settled down. They still don’t have a clue where or when to go to bed since I’ve been letting them run around the house for a bit at night. I think I already posted this, but I plan to cuddle them over coffee in the morning before the big girls get up.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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and I am angry about chicken breeding!
I've ranted on about breeders and hatcheries since I joined BYC. Most don't care. They just want this breed, or that breed and refuse to look at the reality their demands mean to the chicken.
There are thread and threads here about having "fun" with hatchalongs and breeding projects.
If having fun is helping to wipe four fifths of a creatures life span away then I want no part in it.
Sure, It's difficult for the USA and Australia to get a variety of chicken breeds, but that isn't just because chickens are not indigenous creatures, it's partly because of the great expense in importing any livestock due to the various health regulations etc. So, the chickens you do get in the USA and Australia are very likely to come from a very small genetic pool. I don't mean a few; I mean hundreds, maybe thousands of chicks from one genetic line.
Things are much easier in Europe and other parts of the world because one is allowed to import. There are limits. In the UK it was five birds.
Here some people I know have traveled across continents to get a particular breed.
There are as mentioned above, reputable breed association breeders but you have to search for them and then vet them. Most people don't want to do that. They want to go down to their local farm store and pick chicks out of a bucket.:(:mad::mad::mad:
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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I agree with that for sure - but it is so hard to know where to draw the line. By protecting our chickens we are messing with the natural order. It is so hard!
Next time I get chickens I will need you all to explain to me which breeds are not 'production' ones so I can get chickens that actually live a full life.
I am still completely outraged that there is this whole marketing around 'pet' chickens and they are really breeding and selling 'throwaways' which is just awful and really no better than intensive farming except we give our chickens a good time for their short lives.
I have been so enjoying the Princesses I am reluctant to give up keeping chickens but right now it feels like I am being manipulated by some big industry to care for something that will die on me. Two years? Most of my houseplants are twice that age!
Mind you, I have never actually bought a chicken from a hatchery - the young ladies came from a farm near me and I adopted the Princesses from a school project - but I am guessing they were hatchery eggs originally.
Sorry, I am ranting. Still worked up as you can tell!
Rant away. It's heartbreaking.:hugs
However, now you know and with that knowledge you'll be better equipped to search for chickens that haven't fallen foul of the money making business.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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I share your outrage. I looked round for an ethical breeder when I got chickens this time. Most of mine are heritage breeds or mutts & most are doing well. I have lost birds. It is one of the things about keeping chickens. These things happen. I just try to minimise the damage. Know that your birds are heaps better off with you than they could be anywhere else. They are sooo lucky!
It doesn't work like that unfortunately.
Many of these breeds only exist in certain areas due to demand. They are not egg and meat production birds so those industries can't be blamed. It's the backyard chicken keeping industry that is largely responsible for this misery.
 

Ribh

Enabler
Dec 18, 2018
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Island, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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It doesn't work like that unfortunately.
Many of these breeds only exist in certain areas due to demand. They are not egg and meat production birds so those industries can't be blamed. It's the backyard chicken keeping industry that is largely responsible for this misery.
I'm sure that's true for the popular dual purpose breeds. I had to search for my Campines though you are quite right about few breeders & small gene pool ! but then they are not a popular breed either. Unfortunately it's the ISA Browns that are popular backyard chickens here & we know how sad that is.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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Smuggling one of @Shadrach's chickens back home with me is beyond tempting!
But practically it is very confusing. Maggie is a Rhode Island Red which is described as a 'Heritage Breed' (unlike ISAs), but then the vet says RIRs have been bred to 'production standards' (shudder). So I think you need 'heritage breeds' that are also not bred for production. Or, barnyard mutts which is more where I lean. I am wondering if next time I have room for new chicks I see if I can persuade @CrazyChookChookLady to part with a Ned or Lucky offspring! :love :love :love

Or maybe the farm guy near me where I got the Young Ladies is actually breeding real chickens not production chickens in which case that will be easy.
Thank you all for hearing me out. Still fuming :mad::mad:
As you have discovered, heritage breeds are just as likely to suffer from the same genetic problems.
The popularity of the breed for example in Australia which has very tight livestock import controls is likely to mean that a very small breeding stock is trying to supply a large demand.
Next there is the high production breeds. Leghorns for example in Italy were bred to be a high production breed. But, there is still a pool of genes from the original leghorns and for the serious breeders, that's what they look for when trying to introduce new blood.
In general you can breed seven generations down before the likelihood of genetic 'defects' becomes a problem.
Here, something I've gone on about a bit, I try to let the senior hens sit and hatch and discourage father to daughter, brother to sister and the less senior in general. It seems form my observations that this is how the chickens tend to work 'naturally'. The senior hens do attempt to prevent their rooster from breeding with the juniors. Add to this that in general the juniors will tend to make nests away from the coops which decreases their chicks survival chances and of course are inexperienced mothers and their chick survival rate is much lower than the senior hens.
Unfortunately, with a contained flock the natural selection safeguards don't really work and the skills needed for free range style living are not learnt.
I'm afraid the unpopular truth is no creature is suited to being kept in confinement, not even humans.;)
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
15,249
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Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
I don't think anyone ever stops hurting from grief, but you can adjust to living with it. So it becomes part of you, but not the main you, ideally. Here's my flock of 4 Buckeyes, they are coming up on 12 weeks old.

I'm wondering about putting a colored band on their legs to tell them apart; as they've molted they have really changed! I know Butters and Hazel(nut) by sight. And they are the boldest, especially Hazel who is like a sewing machine eating out of your hand ("Mealworms? Make way, pardon me, coming through!"). Butters leads in exploring out and about, but Hazel rules the food area. But I can only tell Popcorn and Peanut apart by Popcorn's voice. She is a little raspy, it happened one evening when they were young, during their bedtime yelling routine. And Peanut is the shyest of them and doesn't cram in for food, she hangs back. She must be lowest in the pecking order. I often use two hands with treats, and stretch one hand out to her in the back, so she gets some. At least until the others discover that second pile....

I am having trouble loading a picture. I will see about it - is 5 megs too big? It keeps stopping and then is crossed out...OK got it! View attachment 2347590
Somewhere in your operating system there is an application for resizing pictures. I try to use such an application for general forum posts. It helps a lot with page loading and site storage.
If you are submitting pictures for competitions like pic of the week then high resolution images and large file sizes are better.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
15,249
109,890
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Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
Oh yes, it is very clear that I have no choice and I need to get more blueberries because we have moved subtly from me sharing my blueberries with her, to her sharing her blueberries with me!
I have a similar problem with walnuts. Pretty soon I'll be restricted to eating foods chickens won't. I think that means starvation for me.:D
 

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