Greetings from New England

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chicnfarmer, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. chicnfarmer

    chicnfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2010
    Hello,
    My name is Randall. I grew up in southern VT and my father kept chickens when I was growing up, so I knew a little about them and how good fresh eggs taste. I had to wait a long time before I had my own place where I could have chickens, and finally pulled the trigger last year.

    I've copied the following from "my page", but am having trouble inserting images (maybe because I'm using Google Chrome?). I'll figure it out, but wanted to introduce myself because I couldn't help myself and already started posting replies to other threads. I already figured out how to post photos here.

    MY FLOCK

    Gen 1

    I ordered 25 day-old chicks from one of the major hatcheries and they came in the mail in late spring of 2009. My order was for:
    14 Blue Andalusian hens and 1 Blue Andalusian rooster,
    4 straight-run Blue laced Wyandottes and
    4 Mille-fleur bantams
    (my father ordered 2 game bantams for his flock in VT too).
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    The shipment arrived with one Mille-fleur fatality, but the hatchery had included 2 extra (Andalusians ?) anyway. They all grew pretty quickly, but it seemed like forever before they started laying. Some of the Andalusians finally started laying sporadically in the fall, but then winter came and they stopped laying completely. I could use more windows in my coop. Oh, lets talk about roosters; so I understand "straight-run" is a roll of the dice, but I ended up with

    2 Wyandotte roosters (and 2 hens),
    1 Mille-fleur rooster (and 2 hens) and
    4 (!!!) Andalusian roosters - one white, one black and two blue! (and 12 hens).
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    I lost both Wyandotte roosters and 6 Andalusian hens in the fall (unsure what got them) and found the black Andalusian rooster dead in the coop during the winter.

    Gen 2.1

    In the spring of 2010 the hens started laying again and I penned up the white Andalusian rooster with my one black Andalusian hen in an effort to maximize blue offspring. None of my hens were setting on eggs, so wanting more birds I bought an incubator and egg turner. I collected the eggs from all the hens; including those from the Wyandotte and Mille-fleur hens. My first batch hatched on April 17, 2010 and of the 40 eggs, 27 hatched. I ended up with 5 Mille-fleur bantam chicks and 22 Andalusian and Andalusian-Wyandotte hybrids. I was so excited I neglected to keep track of how many white Andalusian eggs and brown Wyandotte eggs hatched. Of the 5 bantams, three died within 48 hours of hatching. Now that they are feathered out and growing, it is easier to identify which are the hybrids - they have stouter bodies and some have brown splashes in their feathers. One all blue bird even has the Wyandotte rose-comb.
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    Gen 2.2 and 2.3

    I wanted more Mille-fleur bantams, so I started collecting eggs and started them in the incubator. Days after I started them, one of my Wyandotte hens decided she was going to set on a clutch of eggs. We had massive wind storms that knocked out power twice for more than 8 hours, so I had very low expectations that any of the eggs in the incubator would hatch but left it plugged in anyway. I kind of forgot about it and then one day sat down to calculate when they should hatch. It was the next day. I was mad at myself for forgetting about it and figured that it was another nail in the coffin for these poor eggs. I figured I'd remove the egg turner anyway and let them go a few more days. When I approached the incubator, I was surprised to hear peeping from one of the eggs which also had a pip in the shell! The miracle Mille-fleur was the only one to hatch from that batch, and I think he/she is an Andalusian-Mille-fleur hybrid as it is currently all blue. If it ends up with the black and white speckles, it will be one beautiful bird. 5 of the 17 eggs under the Wyandotte hen hatched and are Andalusian and Andalusian-Wyandotte hybrids.
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    Gen 2.4

    I currently have 15 Mille-fleur eggs and a Wyandotte and an Andalusian egg in the incubator. Candling has revealed only 4 of the Mille-fleur eggs are fertile. Hatch date calculated to be June 10, 2010.

    The last straw

    Because of fighting, I gave away the white and one of the blue Andalusian roosters. The remaining blue Andalusian rooster made it until the second time he attacked my 2 year old son and then he had to go. I had a hard time killing this magnificent bird; dove grey with darker slate-blue hackles, cape and sickels. The carcass was pitifully small once I finished plucking (dressed weight: 4.8 lbs.), and curious to see if he tasted as good as he (once) looked, I cleaned him and cooked him up in the oven.
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    The meat was incredibly chewy and there wasn't much of it. I was very disappointed. So, until I find out how many roosters are in the second-generation, the Mille-fleur rooster is ruling the coop. He is aggressive and attacks anyone who gets near him, but my boy is learning to stay away from him. At least he won't sprint across the entire yard every time he sees my son like the Andalusian did. He gets a reprieve...for now...
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  2. Finn's Mom

    Finn's Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome from Virginia! I am still on my first batch of very plain chickens so I found your photos and story really interesting!
     
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. So glad you joined. Nice pics. [​IMG]
     
  4. chicnfarmer

    chicnfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2010
    As I was adding the photos I realized that I hadn't taken any photos of my first generation birds since last fall - they have all matured and look different. I'm disappointed that I never got any photos of the mature Andalusian roosters.
    Blue Laced Wyandotte hen
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    Blue Andalusian hen
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    Mille fleur rooster
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  5. Yessur Ebob

    Yessur Ebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    Pennsylvania
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  6. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    [​IMG] from ct.!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Ewe Mama2

    Ewe Mama2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Northeastern Ohio
    [​IMG] from northeast Ohio! Your birds are beautiful!
     
  8. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Hi Randall! [​IMG] from S. Florida! Its great to have you here with us! Beautiful birds. [​IMG] That pic of your son and the birds is so sweet! Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. RAWR

    RAWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    who wants to know?
    [​IMG] from SW Indiana :3 [​IMG]
     

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