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speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
17 Years
Feb 3, 2007
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Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
I thought this group needed their own thread outside my Evolution of Atlas thread that has been running for over 7 years now. After many years of having breeding groups and fine stock from very conscientious and reputable breeders, we decided due to personal circumstances to go back to the beginning. We decided for several reasons, one being less physical work and stress of keeping roosters separated and trying to maintain a standard for our Barred Plymouth Rocks and our Partridge/Blue Partridge Brahmas. Our choice was to go back to a fun mixed flock of just whatever we wanted, even if it meant buying hatchery stock again with the issues that can bring. We mitigated the risk by choosing birds that have not been overbred (hopefully) and not the usual production layer types that most hatcheries sell in the spring that always ended in reproductive malfunctions and heartache. Our chosen birds to begin this mixed flock were Easter Egger pullets and bantam Cochins, the latter because I missed by little Munchkin Dictator, Xander, a black bantam Cochin who only had large fowl hens in his less than 5 years of life, and our lavender bantam Cochin hen, Shadow, who came years before Xander. And my true Ameraucanas are mostly gone now except for my 13 year old splash Snow. I also have a 13 year old Easter Egger, June, so no colored eggs here for quite some time now.
So, the second week of April, we went to the feed store anticipating a certain shipment, the only local one that does not have their chicks vaxxed for Marek's (and is owned by a veterinarian) and bought our new flock. Apparently, the Cochins had come in early so there were only seven left. I took them all, straight run, of course. And I picked out six Easter Egger sexed pullets from the brooder, one black for my Ameraucana, Gypsy, who died in this past year at 11 1/2, and a brown one and some light colored ones.
The bantam Cochins turned out to be three Buffs, two cockerels and one pullet. One cockerel and one pullet later on were found to have some sort of leg/hip deformity that makes their right legs turn out a bit at the hip *not splay leg*. It only became obvious at just over two weeks old when they waddled more than the others. When the cockerel runs, he veers to the left like a car with tires out of alignment. If he pours on the speed, he turns in a circle. He reminds me of young Forrest Gump running down the road with his leg braces on so his name is Forrest, LOL. The other four were two splash cockerels and two splash pullets. All six Easter Eggers appear to be properly sexed as girls. Two of the light colored ones mostly look just like splash Ameraucanas, though all those except one have yellow skin. One, Scarlett, has white skin like an Ameraucana, but a reddish area on the side of her neck. Two have much more ruddy color on them as you'll see in the pictures.

Now the Dirty Dozen Plus One are almost 8 weeks old. If anyone has any experience with buff bantam Cochins from Cackle with this leg issue, let me know. The splashes seem to be fine. So, the EEs are Ripley, Rayna, Scarlett, Layla, Juliette and Shelby. The Buff Cochins are Magnus, Forrest & Cricket. The splashes are Gunnar, Bodi, Luna and Bee (for bumblebee, she was so tiny).
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Three of the four are crowing... a lot, LOL. Magnus is a Little Tyrant in training. He and Hector must have had a talk. He's full of himself, saddle feathers already showing at 9 weeks old, dancing around my hand when I reach down for him. He is such a goofball! Forrest runs sideways and has to concentrate to stay on a straight path, but he manages. Gunnar is the alarm and lookout. He has quite the scream when he sees something concerning. He and Bodi are keeping the EE girls from fighting too much. The Easter Egger girls are still somewhat skittish, mostly Shelby. The others are calming down a bit. Cricket is the most precious thing. I love this group. These pics were taken a couple of days ago.
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This black girl, Layla, looks so much like my late Gypsy. Not sure if her skin is white or yellow, even by looking at the bottom of her feet. Legs are def slate colored like an Ameraucana. Scarlett has white skin.
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I am in love with these little roosters, Cheryl. And Cricket and Bee, the smallest splash pullet, are so super adorable and sweet. The friendliest EE girls are Scarlett and Rayna, the brown-and-blue one, but Layla, the black Gypsy lookalike, is calming down now. I made a good decision to just have fun with these, I think.
My oldest ones are still hanging on, but I think I will lose June, my 13 yr old EE, before next winter. She's really slowing down. And Dru, the last Stukel Rock hen, hardly can walk and she looks so down in the mouth, can't roost very well, even with the widened roost we made in the back pen we moved Atlas, her and Gloria Jean into recently. When the oldsters are gone, there will just be Bash's few and Hector's four hens and even two of those are older than Hector and Jill. So, I'll be left with a fun mixed flock.
Bonnie is still sitting on her eggs on Day 12 tomorrow. Six bouncing Brahma babies will most likely be sold when she's over her broody mood. I won't let anyone else have eggs this year in those two flocks.
 
Sorry I didn't answer sooner. Things here are somewhat hectic, and I've had a LOT on my plate recently.
No apologies necessary! We all have a lot going on and are concerned about a lot more that may happen as well. Hope you're feeling well, Cheryl.
As far as the new flock, I think Tom enjoys them as well. He was on the hammock with one or the other of the little Cochins on his chest. He'll have the EE girls following him around like puppies before long, too, I bet.
 
Seems Magnus has been getting advice from Hector. He was after Ripley today with a vengeance, dancing, grabbing her head feathers, etc. They're only 10 weeks old today. Ripley is the EE with the most wheaten color on her, almost matches Magnus's buff plumage. He's definitely a Little Tyrant in Training, so full of himself, LOL. And he likes the big girls best. Gunnar tried to rescue Ripley. So far, they are doing what I planned, being fun and entertaining.
 

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