Getting the flock out of here - a diary of a crazy chicken man

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ozexpat, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    Mrs Oz is tied up in a conference in Manila so I sent a txt to Bernie and Analou asking how the chicks are:

    "Good Morning Mr Oz! No sipon and all chicks alive and kicking!"

  2. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop
    [​IMG]I love Bernie!

    Oz when you get I HEART BERNIE T's I WANT ONE TOO PLEASE!!
  3. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm


    Bernie is going to be surprised with how famous he is becoming.

    Mrs Oz was smart to employ this young couple
    1 person likes this.
  4. Bulldogma

    Bulldogma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    SW Virginia
    My Coop
    So glad your chick is better and none of the others became symptomatic. Just like people, chickens can have allergies to things - like dust or certain plants. If it happens to the same chick again, that is what it could be.

    Let me know if you ever want Swedish Flower Hen eggs - one of the rarest breeds in the world. Also some of the most colorful chickens and they make lovely eye candy in the yard. To my knowledge, Swedish Flower Hens are only in Sweden and the US at this time. How funny would it be to add your island to the list?
    1 person likes this.
  5. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2012
    Southwest Desert
    "My wife's parents are locals. Mrs OZ was born here and did most of her education in the Philippines with just a nursing degree and masters in los angeles. Hr really is awesome but says I painted her in too positive a light here so I will add that she has a real mean streak if she is crossed."

    I have started reading this thread and can not stop. I am only on page 13 and will continue but just had to let you know how much I appreciate this thread. My mother in law was from the Phillipines and she passed away 2 1/2 years ago. I miss her terribly. Your description of your wife made me laugh out loud as that would apply to my mother in law as well. Tiny little quiet loving woman who would become a dinosaur if anyone messed with her family or didn't do right by them! My husband who is over 200 lbs was more afraid of his 4 ft 11in mother than anyone else on the planet. Thanks for bringing her and our relatives closer in my imagination. We embrace the culture and hope to visit one day before we get too old. Wonderful people! OK now I have tears in my eyes with a big smile on my face.

    Best of luck with the completion of the adoption process and turning the page on that chapter in your life.
    1 person likes this.
  6. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    i would love to add them in the future!! I have just been rambling about breed selection in an essay I am just about to post - but I had to comment here first. I will definitely contact you!
  7. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    It’s just (or still – depending on perspective) 33 days 4 hrs and 17 mins till I board the plane for the easter egg run in my getting-the-flock-out-of-here adventure and 34 days and 5 hrs till I can embrace my wife.

    I have been driving Mrs Oz crazy trying to discuss breeds and options on Skype.

    I have a spreadsheet that I am continually adjusting based on what breeds I would like versus what’s available. I learn something new and the priority changes. I find that I cannot get the breed locally then I mull over the need versus the risk with shipped eggs. I do my chicken math to try and decide the minimum number of each breed I am willing to take and I factor in whether the eggs are shipped.

    For local eggs I will try for 18 but will take 12. For shipped eggs 24. Basically I feel its going to be hard to propagate a breed with less than 4 hens. At a 60% hatch rate on locals and 30% on shipped, I can meet this number. Obviously I would be happy with higher hatch rates but I have to be realistic – and its not like I can just say bad luck and go grab a few more eggs if my numbers are lower.

    I have the capacity to hatch 160 eggs at once. Once we have adult birds and have developed a market for our eggs and birds, that should be enough incubation capacity for a while. The next couple of trips to the Philippines will be very short – less than 72 hrs at home. On me next long trip, I will work on a larger scale egg turner from ideas I have garnered from this site.

    Until I can show a return on this, 4-6 hens and 2 roos will be all I hang onto as breeders.

    The following is a rational for the breeds I am taking. I have gone over some of this before, so excuse my ramblings.

    I would like classic breeds as my utility flock. I love the visual of a mixed flock of white, red, barred, buff and black birds and I like them big. My whites are Jerseys, reds are New Hampshires, Barred Rocks, Buff Orps and Black Australorps. To add to that with “colored” birds are Dorkings (rapidly becoming my favorite bird), Light Sussex, and Wyandottes – RLBW, GLW. Black Copper Marans are in the mix for the egg color and Crème Legbars for both egg color and my genetic interests and a modern twist. Finally I am rounding it out with some Silkies and Polish for the cute factor.

    Like many a BYCer, I would prefer heritage quality stock – once you acquire the egg, it costs the same to hatch and raise a nice full shaped quality bird as a “puppy mill” variety. All of the aforementioned breeds look different to each other and even a non-trained eye could separate a mixed flock for breeding coops.

    Later on I may try Brahmas and Cochins – after I see how the Silkies feathers handle the climate. Campines, Delawares, Aracaunas, Seabrights and a host of spectacular European breeds could also be down the road. With these breeds I will take smaller numbers and just have fun with them. Hopefully we will also have incubation in 80% humidity and how to deal with eggs travelling 7500 miles sorted out and have stellar hatch rates too.

    If you have an opinion on my breed selection or otherwise, feel free to comment.

    I also have to establish, an incubation and brooder area for quarantine, should the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry’s designated vet want to come and inspect the eggs and chicks while they are being quarantined.

    Even using chicken math, I cannot carry all of the above in one trip so even though I am into instant gratification, this is a multi-year project.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  8. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    Originally Posted by KacklinKelly

    Thank you

    The Philippines is truly a wonderful place. Unfortunately it has bad press in America and many people are scared to go there though they happily go to Thailand with many of the same issues. For the most part, it is safe and an amazing place to visit. I encourage you to go.
  9. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2011
    Sussex County, NJ
    Phew.... it took me several hours, but I finally read the whole thing! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. Congratulations on your successes! I travel from NJ to LA for work on a regular basis, if our trips ever collide I will bring you some dark brahmas.
    1 person likes this.
  10. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    The support this thread and my adventure have on this site continues to amaze me. I will gladly take some of your wonderful dark Brahmas once I get the current lot over there. I initially wanted brahmas as part of my big birds this trip but cannot find a local supplier. Most of my trips are based around long weekends. Labor day, July 4, memorial day. I leave on the Wed or Thurs night before the holiday.

    I will even pick you up and take you for a great "locals only"hole-in-the-wall-restaurant meal!

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