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Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by chickenman98, Jun 6, 2010.
My roo doesn't fly at all lol he doestnt even roost he lays on the floor all night long
I'll agree that my red sex links are on top of the pecking order and make everyone submit. and I will also agree that my EE's are on the bottom of the pecking order and have to wear aprons bc the red sex links pull their back feathers out my red sex links also 'mate' with the others. But, they're good layers. And they're super nice to us and let us pick them up more than any of the other chickens.
Spike and Vanessa.
Thought I'd post some photos since I don't think I have yet They were hatched the last week of March
Unfortunately all the heavy breeds are not economical on the feed bill. I understand an even bigger appetite are the huge Bielefelders - but to their credit they may eat a lot but give very big eggs from what I read. People breeding them have a lot of good things to say about them on the Bielefelder thread. Huge birds. They say even the Bielefelder chicks are ravenous because they are so large.
I like the foursome we have now - 2 Silkies, 1 Buff Leghorn, 1 Blue Wheaten Ameraucana. One cup of fermented feed mix a day works out about 1/4 cup each. They prefer foraging for the rest of their greens, wild birdseed mix, and bugs. They love when I garden and follow me around the fence because they know if I'm digging I'm tossing them bugs. Found a drowned softened June Bug and my Silkie matriarch swallowed it in one gulp. My younger Silkie will do a Dervish in circles trying to catch the flying ones - I thought she lost her mind til I saw her catch one.
A youtube video showed a man's way of catching a tubful of June Bugs for his chickens. He set out a bucket or pan full of water and set it on the ground directly under a porch or patio light and left the light on all night. In the morning his container was full of drowned June Bugs and he fed them to his flock. Instant protein! Good way to get rid of the pests. I had a potted plant under my patio light and that's where I found a drowned June Bug in the container plate of drained water. My chickens prefer soaked bugs rather than the dead dried out ones I find for them in the garden bed. Picky aren't they?
It's strange but many years ago Polish and Houdan were kept as commercial egg-layers. Once the Asiatic breeds and designer craze took over the Polish and Houdans were bred for show and the egg-laying reputation diminished as hybrid and sexlink production took over the commercial business. Once in a while someone gets a good egg-laying Polish or Houdan. Our Silkies lay between 5-6 eggs per week. Now that our Silkie matriarch is 3 years old she lays between 4-5 eggs and one week she layed 7 in a row! Our Silkie eggs weigh-in consistently at 1.25 oz. Good size for a bantam. If our Silkies go broody we let them brood the 3 weeks and then lock them out of the nestbox to join the flock - it can take 3 to 6 months sometimes before they begin laying again. My friend's Buff Orp goes broody a couple times a year and that dents into the egg output. Ameraucanas and EEs don't normally brood so they have terrific output which doesn't diminish in their 2nd years like most breeds. Leghorns don't go broody but we got a Buff Leg who went broody for several weeks and finally snapped out of it - waiting for her to start laying again. Thank goodness we had the Ameraucana as she was the only one that didn't go broody and consistently layed eggs for us since she started last winter - otherwise we would've been without eggs when the other 3 went broody.
When we suddenly get a glut of eggs in the fridge, I boil some up in our Egg Genie and keep them in the fridge for snacks for us or even snacks for the chickens. We make Quiche using the pre-rolled Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, we have Mushroom, Spanish or Denver Omelets for breakfast, and Huevos Ranchera or Mexicana for dinner, we gift a 1/2 dozen if we visit rather than bring a bottle of wine (we don't drink), we make Muffins in the morning, Deviled Egg Platter for lunch, Lemon Meringue Pie on occasion, Angel Food Cake or Zucchini Chocolate Cake (my DH's birthday cake request), kids love baked Chocolate Chip Cookies, we like Egg Salad Sandwiches, or circles of boiled eggs atop a Dinner Salad. Eggs aren't just for breakfast anymore!
If you get to move to a ranch property you'll probably want to try ducks too - there are some beautiful breeds and they are not bad egg layers either. Mom used to bake gorgeous Breads using Pekin duck eggs. I saw someone's Swedish Blue ducks on the BYC house chicken thread - gorgeous birds. Of course Muscovy are almost voiceless if you want quiet ducks. Ducks are such a hoot to watch. I don't have enough room for them to have a pond in my tiny backyard otherwise I'd have a couple just to watch Duck TV!!! They're good to have around to forage the algae from pond bottoms. A gaggle of Geese make good property watch dogs and mean as guard dogs too!!
I think the Polish are adorable but want to try something without a crest or muffs for a change. Ordinances limit our numbers for hens and no roos.
Some chick breeds are timid, some are quiet, some are hellraisers, and some are outgoing and curious. Dominique chicks bond very instantly to their humans. If you leave the chicks behind you have to make sure the cover is secure because they will jump and try to fly after you. And they constantly vocalize with each other and with their humans. Most chicks will come running to see what treats you have and then get bored and run off - but Dom chicks will stay to check out your finges, your hair, your glasses, your computer keyboard, and then settle to sleep on your arm or shoulder. Darnedest most curious outgoing breed I've ever encountered from chicks. Dominique breeders I've spoken with say that trait continues into their adulthood. Calm natured but very busy foragers making other breeds look lazy. I don't know why Doms are classified as a dual-purpose breed when the hens only get to 5 or 5.5 lbs - maybe the cockerels dress out bigger. If for some unforeseen reason we are unable to get Breda pullets in 2015 then Doms will be our choice for egg layers. Something like a BO or Lorp or RIR or Java or Sussex are too heavy for my under 5-lb flock of gentle breeds.
Maybe a ramp to the roosting perch will help? With all that wild crest Polish roos have obstructing vision maybe he doesn't want to try and miss the perch? That's so sweetly sad that one roo is all by himself on the floor. It will be too cold for him to do that in the winter.
The non-combative submissive nature of Ameraucanas and EEs is exactly why I wouldn't put them into a Heavier LF mixed flock. People say their EEs are good in a mixed flock - that's because EEs and Ameraucanas would rather run or submit than take on a challenger unless in absolute self-defense and sometimes not even then. They are just too gentle natured to be in a LF flock with heavier bodies and/or aggressive behaviors. Even gentle LF will take advantage of EEs and Ameraucanas to bully them simply because they can. I have a Silkie that bullies our Ameraucana but a 2.5-lb Silkie can't do damage to a 5-lb Ameraucana who can just jump over the Silkie or run away faster. You've probably seen my other posts where I noted that OurFlyBabies.com keeps Blue Wheaten Ameraucanas because they accept orphaned chicks or injured birds into their flock willingly where other breeds are not so friendly to do so. That testimonial convinced us to get a Blue Wheaten Ameraucana and she is beyond our expectations. Genlte, non-combative, allows petting and holding, talkative with humans, prolific layer, avoids conflict, does not injure flockmates or humans, willingly allowed a chick to climb on her back, sit on her back, and pick at her muff cheeks. Even our gentle Silkies would not tolerate the chick's antics the way the Ameraucana did.
Very interesting. I have only had 1 broody since I got chickens a little over a year ago. I'm suspecting this is the age when if they're going to start they probably will soon. My EE went broody last week. She was in the broody breaker for 5 days. I told my bf 3 days but he felt bad for her and begged me to let her out but I was right and she had to go back in for 3 more days. Took her about 3 days more to lay again. All of my girls are bred for production and breeds that are usually known for not being so broody.
I have an egg steamer thing that makes hard boiled eggs so easy so I make them a lot. I love deviled eggs with horseradish. I too feed them to our chickens about once a week either boiled or scrambled. We're not quiche fans unfortunately but I do use the veggies from my garden to make lots of scramblers. I also hand eggs off to my neighbors and when our collection basket is full I will send it to work my my bf and it gets cleared out in just a few minutes.
I doubt we'd have ducks if we got a ranch. Not sure I'd want to build the whole duck pond thing. We love the Scottsdale area so we'll probably be around here forever. Don't see a whole lot of ponds around here. I'm sure just like a pool it can be done but not sure it's something I'd want to attempt.
Speaking of duck ponds... I got 2 ducks this year, and I got an old jacuzzi tub and put it up high on some pallets, and put some fittings on it so I can drain the water out to my garden! It is the perfect set up for us, I love it and the ducks love it too!