Nankin Bantams

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cobra3073, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. MROO

    MROO Free Ranging

    Four works. That's four more than the world had before!

    I'm sorry about your lost peeps. Pasty butt is a nasty bigger. You really have to keep after it. It is, both literally and figuratively, a royal pain in the ... ummmm ... well, you get the picture. When Herman, our Silkie, had it as a poorly shipped baby, we were cleaning him up a couple of times a day. Vaseline helped, just as if he was human baby. It was, shall we say, a bit strange?

    I feel awful about Piggy's clutch. I took a chance and let her keep them, this time. She lasted a bit longer, but not long enough. Out of the seven eggs, three were early quitters. That was probably due to inattentive turning, since the yolks were stuck to the side of the shell. The other four were heartbreakers - nearly fully formed chicks dead in the shell. We very nearly had Piggy stew that night, but I have to blame myself, at least partly. I knew her reputation, but let her continue.

    I won't make that mistake again. If she ever goes broody again, I'll take them after the first week, no matter what. That seems to work best for her. I'm actually considering passing Miss Piggy along to another breeder, as a pair with one of my extra roos. As long as her eggs are removed early and incubated, she's actually a very nice hen.

    On a more positive note, one of my new babies had a nasty case of spraddle (splay?) leg. I tried the band-aid method - cutting it in half lengthwise and wrapping it around the legs like a hobble. It's working like a charm. At the moment, the little one is getting around just fine. So far, so good. The bandage comes off tomorrow, so we'll reevaluate then to see if s/he needs a new one.

    Evie's baby, Ava(tar) is doing well, and at just a few weeks old, is looking decidedly "pullet-ish." I know it's early, but s/he is developing differently than Pippin did. At nine weeks, he's trying very hard to crow, now. The five little ones are quickly approaching the "I need a name" stage. We're toying with Star Wars names. We'd already been laying with those a bit, since Piggy started her ill-destined brood on May the fourth - Star Wars Day. I think we're going to try one more batch before we pack away the 'bator for a bit. I sure do love having the babies around, and we've got good homes lined up for whatever I can bear to part with ...
     
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  2. cobra3073

    cobra3073 Chirping

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    Jan 3, 2017
    The pasty butt chick is still with us, albeit about half the size of its peers. I had to do another “procedure” this morning. At a week old, the other four are trying to fly out of the brooder. I have to keep it covered when I am not present.

    I picked up another dog kennel from Walmart on yesterday and will assemble it today. I plan on using netting around the bottom half of the kennel until the chicks are too large to escape from the relatively holes in the kennel. I’ve also decided to place these “cages” in the additional run area of my coop. Since this area has a “doggy” door, I will be able to separate the two mother hens and (hopefully) their chicks from the general population. Since this “run” has bare earth which works GREAT for the flick’s dust baths, I plan on locking down the hens with chicks every other day or so to allow the general population access to that run. The other run is covered with a layer of wire, gravel, and about 4 inches of Pine chips. Both runs are predator proof (unless it is a bear or some other large beast trying to gain access). In that case, there should be enough noise or evidence to give me time to remedy the situation. LOL

    The two setting hens should both be completing their hatching mission over the next 24 - 72 hours. I have not disturbed or otherwise checked their combined eleven eggs, so I don’t know about the viability of the eggs...hoping for a good hatch.

    Dawn: How is your “straddle” leg chick coming along? What surface did you use in the brooder during lockdown?

    I was concerned about that potential issue and made some copies of the “paper” hatching mat provided with the Brimsea Mini I Advance incubator out of kitchen shelving covering. It seemed to have worked great as the chicks were able to get “their” footing very easily. I have also been using the same material in the brooder.

    Anyway, I got a FULL day today as the First Lady has hinted that I need to replace the pine chips in the Coop and clean the roosting areas. The walls and floor are all covered with linoleum so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Will be adding the old shavings (along with anything else collected) to our compost bin. Also have to assemble and modify the second dog kennel, so I am OFF!

    ~BT
     
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  3. MROO

    MROO Free Ranging

    Our little band-aid baby is doing fine. I left the hobble on for two days, but by the last, the little tyke was getting around like a pro. When I took off the band-aid, s/he took a while getting back it's land-legs, but within the hour, we couldn't tell which one was the "invalid" simply by watching their movements. That's good news, right?

    My NurtureRight 360 has a screened bottom - good for grip, so I don't think the problem was 'bator flooring, per se. The issue seems more because the little buggers hatched out a day and a half early. I came down Saturday morning, expecting to take out the turner DD forgot to remove. I really figured that the most I'd find would be some rocking eggs and maybe some internal pips.

    Instead, we had four fully hatched chicks! Three were too wet to open the top, so they all stayed another hour, by which time we had another wet baby. So ... the four early hatchers were straddling the turner bars, which is what I believe messed up the one little peep's legs ... too spread out!

    All is well, now, despite the little peeper's diving out of my hand while fastening the hobble. That's a loooooong drop for a two-inch baby! Not a mistake I'll make again, for sure!

    And as long as you keep up with the pasty butt baby - and make sure it's getting food and electrolytes, it's got a good chance. We had to "do" Herman several times a day for a week. Silkie fluff, especially on a baby, sure can hold a lot of ... ahem ... stuff. Some days, I felt awful trying to work it off. His poor little bottom was so sore!

    Hmmm. Maybe THAT's why Herman seems to take a shine to everyone but me. He adores pretty much anyone and anything in his path ... except me. Once I've caught him, he tolerates my attention, but he'l do his dangdest to stay away from me ... and given the chance, will draw First Blood. I should have named him Rambo!
     
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  4. cobra3073

    cobra3073 Chirping

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    OUTSTANDING summations of your journeys with the “Invalid” and “Henry”, so far. Yes, you apparently did REALLY good on correcting the “Invalid’s” issue!!

    I feel terrible for the “pasty” as s/he is obviously trying to hold on to life. I am also concerned s/he might be permanently stunted. I am going to continue to try and help it. I will try to be EXTRA gentle in doing the “procedure” to hopefully nip in the bud ANY animosity s/he might develop toward me.

    I spent most of the day trying to modify this second kennel using the garden sheeting. After my spending about 5 hours trying to work around the two doors, the First Lady (the resident engineer) came out and gave it the old “thumbs down!”

    We tore ALL the sheeting off with me vehemently protesting the whole time. We (mainly her) then proceeded to use the hardware cloth, just as she did on the first kennel, all the while admonishing me about the cage having to “look good!” It took her 2 hours to do what I couldn’t do in 5 hours.

    Btw, one of my sitting hens has hatched at least one chick as we were able to see it as it peeped out from under Mom’s breast!

    We elected not to disturb her as she was growling fiercely. I think the second hen is a couple days behind her so I will be monitoring them both closely for the next day or so.

    Who said raising chickens don’t bring out the full range of emotions in us mere mortals?

    ~BT
     
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  5. MROO

    MROO Free Ranging

    Yup, yup, yup! A growling broody is NOTHING next to a brand-new protective mama! You're very wise to keep hands and noses clear for a bit. It's amazing what we crazy chicken people will go through ... or put up with ... for those "free eggs" everyone else is convinced we get, isn't it?
    Oh - and if the First Lady wants something "pretty" that keeps both tiny peeps and bedding in a kennel, she can try plastic needlepoint "canvas." They sell it at WalMart for under a dollar a sheet. Cut in half, lengthwise, four will go around the base of a small kennel ... and it comes in a rainbow of pretty colors! It also makes an inexpensive, bleach-cleanable base in an incubator. I knew I'd find a use for all those extra craft projects cluttering up my back room!
     
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  6. cobra3073

    cobra3073 Chirping

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    Jan 3, 2017
    INFANTICIDE!!

    My “greediness” has resulted in the loss of the three (3) chicks that had hatched from the six egg clutch that was being incubated by one of my hens!

    Since the hen was still setting on the 3 remaining eggs, I decided to not remove her or the 3 chicks that had already hatched. When we retired to bed last night everything was fine but I awaken this morning to find the hen off the nest and the three hatched chicks missing!!

    Since my runs have a very thick layer of Pine Chips that are the same color as the chicks, it took some time before I finally found the mangled body of one of the chicks. I assume the other two are somewhere in the litter...Lesson learned (Remove hen and chicks from the nest in a timely manner and check unlatched eggs for possible further incubation).

    I still have one hen setting on five eggs but have not candled those eggs. I believe they are “due” any day now...another lesson learned (make sure “start” date is recorded and candle eggs at appropriate times).

    Of the 5 surviving incubator hatched chicks, the one still has the “pasty butt” issue. The other four are thriving. I plan on putting them in an outdoor converted dog kennel later this week as the brooder will not be able to contain them much longer. I will continue to use the Heat Plate for a couple more weeks.

    I have also put 12 more eggs into the Incubator. Yes, I know I said I wouldn’t be hatching anymore eggs this season but the “fever” has hit me!

    Dawn: I passed the information relative to the plastic needlepoint canvas to the First Lady and she indicated she liked that idea...THANKS!

    ~BT
     
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  7. MROO

    MROO Free Ranging

    That is SO SAD! Was she in with the other hens or isolated? I had the same thing happen my first year when I left my broody in with the flock. One of the other hens attacked the little ones. Luckily, DD was right there when it happened so she saved them from the nasty hen, but it was touch-and-go for a couple of the babies. One of my hens has a nasty scar on her neck and head from that episode. Guess the culprit ... but if you don't say "Miss Piggy," you'll be wrong!
    I'm glad the First Lady likes the plastic canvas idea - but remind her not to do her needlepoint on it, first ... it makes it really hard to clean :D
     
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  8. MROO

    MROO Free Ranging

    Oh - and PS ... I didn't think you'd be able to resist. Once the fever hits, it's hard to turn away. My 'bator is cleaned for storage ... but somehow, I just can't bring myself to actually put it away ... so who knows?

    Ava/Avatar is now in with the five brooder chicks. Evie started laying again, so it was time. We're playing with names for the youngsters, now, leaning towards Chinese chicken names. No, not Li Ming or Cho or pretty ones like that, more like "Orange" and "Sesame" and "General Tso." And the two nearly identical chicks will likely be "Sweet" and "Sour!"

    And keep your fingers crossed. We're about to send two out for an experience in "Higher Learning." We have a beautiful breeding pair of show-quality Porcelain D'Uccles. DD starts her avian unit in Zoology, this week, and has permission to bring them to school for the week. One of her teachers is interested in them, so - hopefully - they'll go home with her on Friday, instead of back to my house. That frees up my porch coop so Evie, Beauty and Sammy can have a rendezvous. They're the start of our serious breeding program ...
     
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  9. MROO

    MROO Free Ranging

    PSS - It's warm enough that the last eggs may be okay if Mama as only off them since last night. If they candle "alive," put 'em under a heat source and hope for the best!
     
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  10. cobra3073

    cobra3073 Chirping

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    Jan 3, 2017
    Updates:

    None of the five eggs “Gemma” was setting on were good. On day 24, I removed them while she was off the nest having one of her frequent “breaks.” In fact, I believe those breaks were the reason for the eggs not being viable. Upon breaking them, they were all “Yolkers” with no evidence of any chicks having started development.

    I think I finally “cured” the pasty butt chick. The last couple of times I gave it a REALLY good cleaning and applied a liberal amount of Vaseline to the affected area. Poor thing, it is the only one that scampers under the Primiere Heat Plate when I am anywhere’s near the brooder.

    Speaking of those five surviving chicks, they graduated to “kindergarten” today. I used one of my large modified dog kennels as their new “quarters” and placed it inside my primary run. I adjusted the heat plate nearly to the top height, primarily to provide the chicks a sense of well-being more so than a heat source. This will be the chicks first night outside but I have attempted to acclimatize them by having the home AC at 70 degrees at night and gradually darkening the den (where I had the brooder), as darkness approached, so I am thinking they will be fine.

    I started off with 12 eggs in the Brimsea Mini II Advance incubator for my second incubation effort. I did my 7th day candling last night and all but one (a 10 day egg) were showing great development. The eggs I am incubating were laid between 1 and 10 days before I placed them in the incubator. The eggs are date marked so I will be checking as the eggs hatch or “fall by the wayside” to see if “date laid” has any probable effect on viability.

    ...and Yes, “Helen” and her chucks were in with the rest of the flock when the apparent fratricide occurred.

    Today, Upon placing the five chicks in the run (within the modified kennel), I observed one of my hens trying to actively “get at” the chicks. I think I might have identified the murderess of “Helen’s” chicks. Actually, one of the nearly three-week old chicks seems to be trying to get at her through the hardware cloth! LOL

    ~BT
     
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