I Built A Bridge!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Teila, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. ItalyChickie

    ItalyChickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ha, I really don't know how I keep track of them, but I do, somehow! I totally count the chickens in the evening before closing the coop, and that's getting harder and harder! As for broodies and nest boxes, I've basically been filling up some plastic boxes with bedding and using those as nest boxes - they are very portable, much quicker, and they seem to prefer them, so who am I to argue!

    Your Cielo, Anna, Elsa and the rest are absolutely gorgeous and all grown up! [​IMG]

    Frankie looks like a girl to me too. Let's hope we're right!

    Yay on integration finally beginning to work out, and gorgeous pictures of everyone - especially the ones with mom and baby on the big roost!
    (Some of my pics coming up below)

    Also, just wanted to say thanks for the advice to break my broody Bonnie a few weeks back. I was totally going to follow that if she actually did go full-on broody at that time, since I do know that she will go broody again, I just needed to hear it from someone else. [​IMG] But anyway, she outsmarted me and waited until the timing wasn't so bad, so now she is sitting on 6 homegrown eggs... [​IMG]



    First of all, congratulations on Jenny, Teila! That is one beautiful car!

    I giggled all throughout your Blondie the Broodzilla story! That pose looks exactly like Bonnie - I've seen it a billion times now and still think it's hilarious. [​IMG]
    I am guessing it's going to take a few days to break that one... good luck!


    I can so relate to that. I definitely went overboard with the hatches this year, but we are selling off quite a few... would like to get the number to under 20, at least - 6 is definitely going to be impossible!

    Ricotta gelato??? I live in Italy and I never had that! I'm going to start asking around now, have to try!

    Sorry to hear about Desi... I hope you do find that magical farm that wants them... if you do, can I have the address? Maybe they want all my extra roos as well! [​IMG]

    Congratulations!!!! Can't wait to see the rest of them! [​IMG]

    It sounds like we are in a very similar line of work! Except I'd have to say InDesign is my main tool, but Illustrator and Photoshop are close behind.

    Hmm, I am so used to Photoshop I get annoyed with anything else... there was a more basic version at some point, Photoshop Elements, not sure if that's still around. Then there's gimp, which is open source, people swear it can do all the same things. I have no idea as I never tried it, but since it's free, it might be a good starting point?

    Wait a minute, did someone figure out to tell whether an egg is a girl and forget to tell me???? [​IMG]
    Just kidding... Teila, it must be very close to the so-called lockdown now, right? (though we know hens never got that memo) Can't wait for the updates as well!

    They are GORGEOUS!!!! [​IMG]




    Okay, here's my quickie photo update.

    Remember those sweet little Cochins and Orps? They're all grown up now! (and a lot of them are boys, of course! though two boys and two girls went to a friend a few weeks ago.)

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    Here are those bantam brahma x silkie crosses. They seem to be sex linked - the darker feathered ones (black and reddish brown) seem to be boys, and the more camouflaged looking are girls, though I'm not 100% certain yet. Of course this info is completely useless as they looked the same as chicks, and the color differences are only now beginning to show, combs are more obvious than that by now... anyway, I think they're quite cute.

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    Millefleur bantams, who were recently abandoned by Pallina. They're about the same size as my new little family (Shakira and co), even though they're 5 weeks older and have more feathers - so I have been sticking them under Ombretta at night who does not seem to mind at all.

    Looove their coloring!

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    The boy is quite obvious here... the rest of them have pretty much no comb yet, there's only one other with a bit of pink, but nothing like this one on the left.

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    Mingling with the co-parents, Shakira and co.

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    A close up of Shakira.

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    And one with daddy. I think he can tell it's his daughter, although she is not entirely convinced. [​IMG]


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    Group shot of the co-parent family (from a few days ago, they're a bit bigger now).

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    The two in front here look like boys to me...

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    I'll try to check in sooner next time so I don't have to write a novel! Sorry for taking up the entire page.
     
  2. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thats ok ItalyChickie for taking up the entire page.[​IMG]

    It was so good to hear from you. Your pictures are so cute.I also love the colors on the Millefleur chicks you have. And daddy roo is quite handsome. Lots of babies growing up. I find it quite heartwarming to see the co-parenting going on. Over here it is always stay away from my family or I will kill you![​IMG] Those broodies, I tell you, never a dull moment.
    Glad things are going well and you have another hatch to look forward too.

    Happy Days..
    Marie
     
  3. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good evening everyone, sorry but took a couple more pix of part of the gang free ranging this evening. it cooled off here today and the weather is back to gorgeous!
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  4. lizgarf

    lizgarf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone,
    Wow, too many posts to quote! I'll do summaries!
    Love the bearded and mohawked mille fleur 16P!! Such great characters!
    Love your millefluer also, IC! I'm getting jealous of all the colors and patterns.
    I want better pictures, TG! ;)

    Since everyone except TG (who breeds them special), seems to be wondering about sex (that sounds funny!), I thought I'd share an interesting article I found. The guy admits he's not an expert, but his research and pics of mutts seems helpful
    http://www.homegrowngourmet.org/how...crow-gender-identification-in-young-chickens/

    I'm hoping he's right about early pink pea combs not always being a cockerel trait. At this point, it's looking feasible that I have one of each in my brahma/BCM crosses, with one's comb extra pink and being ever-so-slightly bigger than the other. But, I really can't claim to know. It's pretty hard to distinguish them otherwise, but pinker-comb seems slightly more roosterish in behavior. I have made an optimistic early guess of 6 girls and 3 boys and have named everyone, at least temporarily (alla Daisy/Desi), but it could very easily go 5/4 or even 3/6. Though I still have Frankie in the girl count, I'm a littler nervous by her suddenly noticeable and slightly pink comb. It's still a lot smaller than the marans' combs, but it has gotten my attention, and Lucy has the biggest comb of the hens, so her chicks don't provide a good comparison point.

    For the ricotta-gelato curious, here's the recipe link, but I made so many changes, it's not very accurate. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2014/08/ricotta-ice-cream-gelato-recipe/. I cut the sugar in half, used 3 yolks instead of 5, only used 1 cup of ricotta and upped the cream/milk accordingly, and subbed a little lemon zest for candied lemon, and skipped the ice bath part. My main advice would be to only use high-quality ricotta, or better yet, make your own! :) I have a local producer I like to use - it's almost as good as I can get in Italy, IC!

    Other than pink combs, the biggest development around here is that yesterday all of the broodies decided it was time to take the babies to the backyard during free-range time. It's a little nerve-wracking having them all out there, running around, but they're having so much fun!! And, it seems to be helping them get along.
    What's not developing are eggs. Lucy seems to have managed to pull the earliest first molt I've heard of, as I see black feathers everywhere, and Marsha is either joining her or else just doesn't want to get past the broodzillas to the nests. One egg from Bettina yesterday, none today. Let's hope the molt ends early or Grace and Rousseau break sooner than later. (I have no hopes of Frida breaking before the last of her chicks starts laying.) At least Rousseau is finally growing back her feathers!!

    Picture time!
    Decided maybe I should get pictures of Desi and Lucy for possible future rehoming (of him or his chicks):
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    (I need a good picture of Lucy in the sun before her molt really gets going. Her blue/green/purple-tinged feathers are quite stunning in the sun.)

    Auntie Bettina helping Rousseau show the bubbies the best dust-bathing spot, under the lemon tree (note Frankie's little pink comb, next to the marans. Mama Frida has a rose comb. It's looking like Lu (middle) could be pullet, compared to Cy's bigger/pinker comb, but still too soon to tell):
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    Grace teaching Brian(?) the Brahma to dig - I love the size comparison here, between broody mom and her 26-day-old chick!
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    And, of course, the chicks are in the Lemon tree! (note, these lemons are very small, meyer lemons):
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    From left to right, Cindy, Alice, Madeline, and Diego. I'm feeling pretty sure about Cindy and Madeline and no reason to doubt Alice so far. Virtual ricotta gelato for whomever guesses which Madeline I named her after! The rest should be relatively obvious.
     
  5. ItalyChickie

    ItalyChickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! It's good to be back. [​IMG]

    I am actually finding that the co-parenting (aside from Cenere and Ombretta who were a team from the start) and mingling and just co-existing goes much better if I just let them all mix after the first few days. And it's usually the broodies (ok, broodzillas, so some of them) that create issues... In other words, while Pallina was still with her chicks, they were getting beat up because SHE was aggressive. But now that she is back to egg laying and boy charming, the chicks are accepted by pretty much everyone in the flock.

    I also find that this latest hatch, for which I left them in the coop and just let them roam free from day 1, has been absolutely hassle-free. Could also be due to the fact that Cenere and Ombretta are quite high in the pecking order, and they make such a great team (one covers the chicks, the other growls/jumps at everyone who looks at them the wrong way)


    Ha, yes, always "wondering about sex" over here as well! Thanks for the link - that article has great pics. I also guess based on a combination of behavior, overall shape and comb... with some of them, it's obvious pretty much at hatch; others keep you guessing for months.

    I have no doubts on Shakira, since it's also supposed to be a sex link (silkie roo will pass on the black legs/shanks/skin to girls only when crossed with white or yellow legged hen, and she is quite obviously black-skinned), plus the shape and behavior scream girl. (In my experience - which seems to be a bit different from what I hear re girls staying more with the mom - my girls actually tend to go off on their own more than boys do... i.e. if there are treats, the boys will be the first to arrive, because they stick closer by. Girls stay in visible range, but are more often scratching in a corner somewhere rather than right next to mom.)

    The brahma-silkie mixes are the ones I have doubts on, though they are 2.5 months old already... that might be throwing me off though, since now those combs are pink on everyone, including my pullet suspects.

    I have dabbled in cheese making a bit, though the ricotta I buy here is just as good, if not better, since it generally turns out better with bigger quantities, and they do still use the old methods to make it here. (Homemade mozzarella is totally amazing though!)

    I'm a bit reluctant to try making my own ice cream because I'm afraid it will pale by comparison to the amazing gelato here, even though it would be a different flavor... still, will give it a go. Thanks for the link!

    And yeah, free ranging and lots of space generally helps a lot with integration. (In my case, me not freaking out too much over minor squabbles and just letting them work it out as long as nobody is getting hurt also seems to help.)

    LOVE the chicks in the lemon tree pic! [​IMG]
     
  6. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very cute place you have there! I bet the girls love that shrubbery filled hillside!

    @lizgarf thanks for the link...I also wonder about sex lol. Currently I am thinking that my Magnus...who is enormous but is virtually combless and wattleless might be a Maggie. His legs are thick his feet are huge but so is the rest of him. There is no breed standard to compare him to. It would be a delight for me if he were a she as then I would have a Konza pair. I just don't know so I will be checking out your link. Thanks!

    My Birchen Marans girls are so pretty in the sun...like you describe Lucy. I really like black chickens but Australorps are so hard to find unless you go through a hatchery that I don't know that I will replace the two I have. I might do a Sand Hill Order but that would mean 25 chicks and I would keep like 6. Pretty sure Tom and the kids would have me committed if I did that. Now if I could get someone to go in on an order with me...But that is pretty far down the road.

    @Teila wondering how your Tina is doing and what is going on with Blondie.

    @ItalyChickie Like everyone else I enjoyed your pics very much. Nice to know I am not the only sucker who lets everyone be a mama and then wonders where all these chickens came from while simultaneously not wanting to have fewer.

    So Liz because here are my better pics. It looks like all 3 mamas will be sharing the care of the 4 chicks who play musical nest box. Everyone is getting along so far and I hope it continues. I have them all together in one coop which is really nice. I gave up on the EE eggs they appeared to be further along than The others yet still have no signs of hatching so I gave them the toss this morning. 4 chicks is a good number. Here they are...
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    The Taylor Sisters with Petunia's progeny ...it is just hours old and still sleepy but it's that shavings colored baby centered between them. No Idea what it will look like. Mama is Dorking over Polish Daddy is New Hampshire

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    The mamas

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    Two shots of both the RSL boy and the BSL girl. I have to get a better pic of her she is super cute!
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    The other BSL Boy

    And speaking of not cutting the apron strings here is Norma with her boys at 10 weeks!!!. I took the girl and put her with my other July hatched pullets so she could form friendships and also I was afraid something would happen to her. Norma had 6 and was down to 5 so I wasn't taking chances with Topaz
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  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Goood morning Bridge Club .. I’m baaaaack! [​IMG]

    I am typing replies to posts in Word as I catch up; please forgive me if I zig zag around a bit [​IMG]

    MM I hope your sick little boys are feeling much better now.

    Liz I gave the eggs to Tina at 4pm on the 1st of September so depending on if you count the 1st, today is Day 19 or 20.

    When I gave everyone breakfast this morning Tina took a break and I got a quick look at the eggs; from what I could see all are still intact. Tina, however, seems very ‘toey’ as if she knows something is going on. Fingers crossed that this is a good sign. Tee hee 16 paws, yep, they all look like girls [​IMG]

    Liz It is with sadness I read your Desi dilemma and I totally support you on any decision you make [​IMG]

    Love the pictures!

    TG sorry to hear about your unsuccessful hatches but congratulations on the bubbies … so cute!

    16 paws I could be wrong, but I believe your Elvis story may have made it as far as Aus! I do remember seeing a similar story on the news but it may not have been yours.

    How wonderful to see little Antie Emm! That mohawk is adorable!

    I love your place; it looks so nice!

    IC good to hear that things may be settling down and we get to enjoy your wonderful company once again.

    Beautiful pictures!!

    So, I came home to a full on broody Blondie! Joel did a wonderful job of looking after the girls and booted Blondie out of the nest a couple of times but she just went straight back!

    I am going to try and break her this weekend but she seems very determined so I have a plan….

    With only a couple of days to go before we know whether Tina’s hatch is successful or not I am going to wait and see what happens there before making a definite decision on Blondie. If Tina’s hatch does not go well, I will switch her out with Blondie and give Blondie some eggs in the chateau. If Tina has bubbies and I am not able to convince Blondie that she does not need to be a mumma right now, I am going to bite the bullet and buy her a little broody pen of her own. This little pen will be only a broody pen and will not be integrated into the main coops and run which will be handy to have.

    Anyways, there are a lot of what-if’s and no decisions need to be made just yet. I am having enough trouble trying to stop myself getting excited about Tina’s hatch; we all know the eggs did not get a good start in that there are not many ticks in the 'how to have a successful hatch' boxes.

    The retreat was OK, typical work thing and after 3 days of talking about nothing but work, I am not going to think or talk about it for at least 2 days!! I will share some pictures of the beautiful views from the resort though ……

    These first 6 were taken from the balcony attached to my room:

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    These were taken early morning from the restaurant where we had breakfast:

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    It is so good to be home!! I missed my family so much, feathered, finned and furry included!


    Watch this space folks … you will know something as soon as I do! Please, please, please let Tina get at least one bubby for all her effort! [​IMG]
     
  8. lizgarf

    lizgarf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love this picture! Coincidentally, I named my most-hopeful-female Brahma Norma, after my old AP History teacher/Model UN chaperone and the Opera, from which I just started working on the Casta Diva aria. Starting with Bettina, I've been naming Brahmas after significant teachers in my life. I'm currently calling the slightly-more boyish Brahma Brian, after my middle-school choir teacher and the Life of Brian. (But, I also keep thinking of him as Roderick, because of the Life of Brian.) And, he may be a girl! After looking at a bunch of different brahma-sexing threads, I'm completely confused. I can't base it on color, because of Desi. Brian's comb is slightly bigger and pinker and he is slightly bigger and more-boyish than Norma, but in terms of feathering, they're pretty indistinguishable. That seems to be my story with chicks. No one ever looks like those short-bodied, long-legged, unfeathered boy chicks I see on BYC threads. Maybe it's the feed or the climate, but all of my chicks have plenty of feathers and tails, even Diego, who hasn't been in doubt for over a week.

    Welcome back, Teila! Glad you got to go somewhere pretty. Looking forward to news!

    Thanks for the rooster advice, 16P. I love your story about Elvis. I've spent a good deal of time on the two main collar threads - even posted pictures of my collars early on. My impression is that every rooster is just different with it. Desi is a big crower, and the collar helps, but won't eliminate the crowing, and it needs to be as tight as feasible for it to make a difference. As far as neighbors go, no one has complained. I put a flier in the mailboxes of the houses which would likely hear it and asked them to tell me if they were bothered, and no one said they were. But, I still worry about it. He is really, really, loud, (I don't like him at full volume, myself) and the city policy is very clear that he's not allowed, and roosters really are too loud for a big city like Oakland. Since my coop is not to code (too close to my house), I don't want them coming out and giving me a hard time. So, it's a dilemma, but I haven't resolved it one way or the other and probably won't until I figure out what I'm doing with whatever young boys I have coming along.

    IC, yes, I'm jealous of your easy access to amazing ricotta and gelato! There is a lot I miss about Italy, but those two are close to the top! We actually have really good ice cream here in Oakland/Berkeley - lots of gelato and artisinal ice cream shops. But, I still like to make my own. It's inexpensive and I can have it whenever I want it. (always in moderation, of course!)
     
  9. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wanted to thank you for the gimp link and I also wanted to give a shout out to those mixes and their coloring! Super pretty babies and teens. I am partial to silky crosses myself. Last night I totaled up everyone and counting adolescents and chicks we have 47 birds....[​IMG] I guess it is good that I only ended up with 4 little one this time. If thing had worked out differently I would have given each broody about 6-8 eggs. fortunately providence stepped in.

    Thanks so much Marie...I am quite happy with the way things turned out Hoping my Petunia chick is a pullet...that would be the icing on the cake.

    Speaking of Petunia I loved your story of Elvis! What ever happened to him? I think it is great that you advocated for yourself and go satisfaction!

    I like your breeds Marie. I want a couple of Brabanters some day but right now uhmm yeah I clearly don't need to add breeds lol.
     
  10. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks..I thought they looked all cute sitting together and the orange tree made a nice backdrop.

    Speaking of names I don't know what to call my marans or my red star. I was calling the rs Aster but it sound to much like a body part and a bodily function. So I started looking at the actual names of stars and found Capella which is pretty but I keep forgetting it. Cassiopeia also came to mind then I could just call her Cass but I don't feel satisfied with that either. Maybe Galileo or Copernicus I did a search for female astronomers and came up with several. Hypatia is one but that sounds like a skin condition. A woman named Henrietta Swan Leavitt also came up but everyone has a hen named Henrietta. Nothing is popping out so if you all have any good star names, please share. The marans are wide open too. Something French that doesn't sound pompous coming out of a country girls mouth would be nice :) Cosette? Fantine? Eponine?

    How nice that you name your girls after former teachers. Do they know? I would bet they would be thrilled. I have wanted to ask you about Rousseau. How did you come up with that for a hen. It seems to fit and you should know that while teaching the Enlightenment, I thought about her frequently.[​IMG]

    Do you sing opera too? You are quite an accomplished woman!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

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