The Kinder Major rides again

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by A.T. Hagan, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    My oldest daughter, the Kinder Major, is in 4-H and wanted to show poultry as part of her project so last fall we began hunting up birds for her. By winter last year she had the start of a nice little flock of Silkies from Sunshine Silkies, Three Cedar Silkies, and Bobbi Porto. She bought chicks or young birds and patiently waited on them to grow while learning what she needed to know and training her birds. They all came along well so we decided she was ready to play and were waiting for the next local show.

    Then a coon figured out how to penetrate the tractor they were in and killed all of them in one night. Our first ever losses in one of our tractors in the four years we'd been using that design. She was devastated. We got the coon and made the necessary changes but the birds were gone and with family obligations over the summer there wasn't much we could do about replacing them.

    Until about a month ago when Judy at Three Cedars Silkies kindly agreed to sell her some eggs from her birds. She bought a dozen and a half and we fired up the incubator.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Yes, there's an egg missing from the carton. One broke in the wash so we actually only set seventeen. She was very diligent about recording the humidity and temperature on the chart we kept on the refrigerator. (Sure wish she would be so attentive to her homework! [​IMG] ) She candled at seven days (she loves candling) and took two out that showed clear. Last Sunday night she candled again before moving them into the hatching trays and removed one that we were uncertain about earlier. Fourteen went into the hatcher.

    [​IMG]

    Last night she took out ten healthy looking chicks. We have one more that we're still debating whether to cull or not for leg problems. The remaining three looked good when she candled but never pipped. We've incubated a lot of large fowl and turkeys, but these are out first try at bantams so we're not unhappy with the total. Into the bowl they went for their trip to the workshop and their new home in the brooder box.

    [​IMG]

    She puts all of our chicks in the brooder now and won't let me do it at all anymore. [​IMG] She'll have to learn to share though when the Kinder Minor finally grows tall enough to reach over the top of the box. Our S.O.P. is to dip each one's beak into the water then set them down on top of the feed. They figure it all out pretty fast from there.

    [​IMG]

    An overhead view through the wire top. For the first couple of days I like to use the bottom of an egg carton so they can get into the feed, but can't easily scratch it out. After that I put a regular reel-top feeder in.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I was a little concerned about the temperature last night as it's going into the forties in the early morning hours now and the brooder is in an open bay of the workshop, but with an ordinary 100wt bulb on one end and a 125w brooder bulb on the other they passed the night just fine. This morning they were running around like little speed demons.

    So we lost a year of showing but she's back in business now. We're hoping to pick up another dozen eggs this weekend to add to the flock. Along about next summer she'll pick her best birds to keep and take her place at the shows. The wiser for our experiences.

    Wish her luck?
     
  2. love_a_duck

    love_a_duck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, Kinder Major,
    I will wish you luck, but it doesnt look like you need luck.
    It appears to me that you are serious about your birds,
    and you will take very good care of them.
    great hatch and beautiful birdies!

    Beth

    thank you so much for the story and the pictures.
    i enjoy it immensely.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Well that's about as cute a post as a post can get.
    Glad everything worked out for her after the big disappointment of losing her others. Wishing lots and lots of luck for coming shows. "Alls well that ends well."
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Oooh, that's a rough start. But it sounds like Kinder Major is back on track, big time! Best of luck and good fortune!
     
  5. silkiechick236

    silkiechick236 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    What a great little chicken mama!!! [​IMG]
     
  6. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    That's a GREAT hatch for silkies!! I find them typically a bit more difficult to hatch (possibly due to vaulted skulls) and I set my humidity a bit higher. Looks like I need to get her to hatch for me!!

    Tell her congratulations for me Al! What a great chicken mama!! [​IMG]
     
  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    North/Central Florida
    Don't go by the reading on the gauge in the photo. We'd only just put the eggs in so it was still rising. For days one through eighteen we keep it as near 52% as we can then nineteen through twenty one bump it up to 65%. It's been so dry this fall but with fog in the morning that keeping the humidity where we wanted it has taken some careful watching.

    Thanks for the kind words. We really weren't sure if we'd gotten a good hatch or not.

    She's determined to get her poultry pin again this year so she's really gotten into this.
     
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    A little trauma last night when the time came to euthanize the chick with the bad legs. She hates culling, but we had a good discussion about the responsibilities we assume when we choose to hatch eggs so she did OK with it. The overnight low went to 40 early this morning but the chicks passed the night without any problems. Now we have to clean the incubator to get it ready for the new eggs she hopes to receive this weekend.
     
  9. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a wonderful project, congratulations to your daughter!

    I'm sorry about having to cull, that's never an easy decision! BUT you are raising your daughter to be a kind, thoughtful, responsible steward of animals, such a huge and incredible lesson to learn at that age.

    Way to go!!! Looking forward to keeping up with her progress!!
     
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Silkies it seems are like potato chips. You just can't be satisfied with ten.

    A couple of weeks ago at Cmom's Hilltop Farm swap we bought five chicks from Vickie of Sunshine Silkies to go along with the ten that we'd just hatched out from the eggs we bought from Three Cedars Silkies. I'd promised Vickie that we'd get a photo of the K.M. and her chicks but hadn't gotten around to it until today. So here it is.

    Bowl o' Silkies anyone?

    [​IMG]

    They are excellent chicks but are too young for her to use them to finish out the last two chapters of her 4-H project book before she has to turn it in next year so today at the Pampered Pullet Farm swap down to Ocala we bought an older bird from Vickie so she can more quickly get back into the game.

    [​IMG]

    She promptly named him "Sparkler" for reasons known only to young girls.

    She's now up to sixteen Silkies and they are absolutely the last I am going to get her until the chicks are old enough to decide which to keep and which to sell. You hear me? The last! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011

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