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My Flock (Wyandottes)

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by aquila, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. aquila

    aquila Chirping

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    I figured it would be a good idea to make a thread for general pictures and stories about our birds and our experiences in keeping them.

    A little over a year ago my partner and I moved to my grandma's old farmhouse in Western Oregon. I knew I wanted chickens (among other things :D) and so the spring of 2017 after quite a bit of research on my part, we picked up 6 chicks from the farm store!

    These are our 5 1 year old Wyandottes now - from left to right, Cheeky (silver laced), Stripe (silver laced), Goldie (gold laced, and the lightest on lacing of the bunch. Also our current Boss Hen.), Pebble (gold laced), and Dot (silver laced). They spend their days free ranging on several acres of pasture, brush, garden and forested areas, and their little flock is soon to grow!

    2017 flock 1 yrb.jpg

    This march (2018) we ordered a total of 9 more Wyandotte chicks through the farm store - we had ordered 1 silver laced wyandotte cockerel, 1 gold laced cockerel, 3 silver laced pullets and 4 gold laced pullets. Either the hatchery or the farm store employees accidentally gave us another silver laced pullet rather than the cockerel - unless of course I'm the one who's mistaken ;) we'll see for sure in a little more time!

    Here they are when we brought them home, ~3-10 days in age with the golds being a week older than the silvers, except the little gold cockerel who was hatched sometime in between.

    2018 chicks 1wk.jpg

    2018 chicks 1wkb.jpg

    And here they are enjoying a taste of the great outdoors today, now 3-4 weeks old! The little gold cockerel (Arthur) is front right of the core group here, trying to keep them all together and get the stray silver back into the fold.

    2018 chicks 3-4 wks first time outsidec.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  2. aquila

    aquila Chirping

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    Western Oregon
    Time for some individual pictures of the year old hens - I love these girls!

    Goldie, currently the queen of the flock, has the lightest lacing of any of our current hens. She doesn't tolerate any nonsense from the other ladies, and I'm hoping she'll help raise Arthur with good manners as well!

    goldie 1 yr.jpg

    Pebble, the other golden laced hen is usually the bottom of the pecking order...except when she is feeling broody. When she's poofed up like that, even Goldie stays out of her way. At a year old now she's already tried to go broody twice! Goldie had one spell of broodiness herself, none of the silvers have tried to... yet. We hope some of these ladies will raise some of Arthur's chicks one day, if all goes well!

    pebble 1 yr poofy2.jpg

    Our silver laced ladies Cheeky (right, front) and Stripe (right, in back) used to look almost like twins, and they still act like it, but as they've aged, Cheeky has put on more size and kept a distinct lemony tinge of brassiness to her hackles whereas stripe is a more pure silver all over. Dot (left) has always been smaller than all the others, though her personality is definitely not. She's our only single combed hen in the 2017 batch and is the odd one out in almost every way... but she still gets along fine and we love her all the same. In fact she may be the most consistent at laying :rolleyes: :D

    2017 silvers 1 yr.jpg

    Some solo shots of the silvers ~
    Our Cheeky girl:

    cheeky 1yr.jpg

    The lovely Stripe:

    stripe 1 yr.jpg

    And last but never least, Dot:

    dot 1yrb.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  3. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN" Premium Member

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    So pretty :love
     
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  4. aquila

    aquila Chirping

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    Thank you, shaw! I try to keep them happy and healthy, and I think they're beautiful as a result! Although the wyandotte looks were a factor in choosing them :love

    I would not be opposed at all to mixing in some other breeds in the future but I think I'll always try to keep/breed a few of the pure glw/slw. They're just so striking. And my partner is pretty enamored with the wyandottes too, enough to talk me out of mixing it up too much this year ~

    I also love the rose comb, round body type, personality... they are just really great chickens in my humble opinion! And a good fit for free ranging on our farm. I hope they'll be good broodies/mothers, but that remains to be seen. I like to think their feather patterns as chicks and adults help them stay a bit more camouflaged than some other colors and breeds.

    camoladiesb.jpg

    That said, free ranging all day every day on a large farm is quite the life for them. It has not been without loss but they seem to be really happy and in their element, so I'll do what I can to protect them while continuing to give them freedom.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  5. aquila

    aquila Chirping

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    One last post for now - a little more about my opinions on free ranging and the costs and benefits thereof.

    I'm not an expert. :jumpy I was the main caretaker for my family's chickens growing up and we have kept our flock for one year now on this farm. In that time I've lost three chickens to predators, two growing up and one this year.

    There are some things you can do to help the odds be in your favor, but you can never get to 100%, not even if you keep them cooped up. Cali was our friendliest chick and a beautiful pullet - we named her for the calico-like patterns on her head as a chick and she grew up to have the boldest lacing of any of that batch of pullets. She loved perching on your hand, knee or shoulder more than any of the others and was very curious and fearless in search of treats.

    cali girl.jpg

    She was taken one day last summer, in the afternoon by either a bobcat or an ambitious feral/domestic cat, a couple of weeks after this picture was taken. She was ~ 7 months old at the time.

    IMG_20170603_193555305-01.jpeg

    We had been expanding the fence around their run and it seemed as if she had tried to make an escape and up against that fence we had put up the day before, trying to get out of the run through what used to be an unfinished section. I could wonder what could have gone differently but outside of this tough loss... these hens seem to know their territory very well and are good at using cover and staying pretty safe as they range. I hope to minimize future losses in a number of ways, including introducing at least one rooster to the flock, but I'll keep free ranging them unless something drastic happens. All the same... I still miss Cali, and I'm currently immortalizing her as my avatar bird here at BYC.
     
  6. 4 ever Orpington

    4 ever Orpington Mr.& Mrs Orpington Premium Member

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    :thumbsup
    Lovely flock you have. :thumbsup
     
  7. aquila

    aquila Chirping

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    IMG_20180416_091250340.jpg

    It has rained really steadily for the last week, I'm hoping it will clear up this week so I can get the chicks some more time outdoors and finish up their "isolation/introduction chamber" in the adults' coop. The chicks are starting to get crowded in the brooder and although they haven't been bullying each other (yet), I will feel a lot better when they have more room and can start being integrated. Hopefully the ladies don't make the transition too hard on them!

    Pebble is still determined to be broody despite being sent out to free range everyday. She has been dubbed the Angry Basketball. I'm hoping she will be back to normal (and laying) again soon.

    IMG_20180410_084323683_HDR.jpg
     
  8. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN" Premium Member

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    I saw a golden laced Wyandotte at our small towns September days celebration just about 5 or 6 years ago. Prior to that I never knew so many different colors and breeds even existed! I was totally in shock and awe by that beautiful laced bird. I never thought chickens to be pretty before that day :gigwow was I silly!
    I would totally have a flock of Wyandottes. . if I didn't have so many ducks. :)
     
    drumstick diva and aquila like this.
  9. aquila

    aquila Chirping

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    I would totally have a couple of flocks of Wyandottes... and ducks... and more, if I had the setup. Maybe in time. There are so many beautiful and interesting types of birds out there!
     
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 8 Years

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    What beautiful birds you have aquila. Do you think some electrified fencing surrounding coop and run would help?
     

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