Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Momma Hen Postcard

Last month I got a Postcrossing postcard from the Netherlands of a Momma hen and her chicks. Adorable!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chicks Update

8 chicks, and I am only fairly certain that 3 of them are girls. The rest are just way too friendly and bold to not be roos. Two have telltale combs. I love them all and each different personality. I am sad that we can only keep one rooster. The chosen one would be our first rooster at the new house.  I don't know who I'd keep at this point. I've held each one of them every day since arrival, and while there are some that still don't like to be picked up an held, they are all pretty tame and not afraid of hands in the brooder. They will be 6 weeks old on Monday 4/29/13.

I think this larger of the two Sultans is a roo. Its pinkish comb is slightly bigger than the other's, and it will bump chests with the other suspected roos when challenged. Very friendly. Loves to eat out of my hand.

Maxi has no apparent comb, and it doesn't look like one is hidden, either. Kind of a loner, likes to roost while the others sit or eat together. Doesn't really like to be held. I wish I had more Polish.

I really like this one. It's the brooder greeter and has never flapped its wings in an attempt to escape my hand. Still runs around in circles as it did when it was days old. I really hope its hen appearance holds true.

Golden Neck Ponyboy is the sweetest definite cockeral. I would love to keep this one for its awesome personality and the chick colors it can produce.

I just love d'Uccles! I no longer think it's a buff columbian....more like a poorly spangled millefleur. Sweet pullet.

This slow feathering, most-likely-to-be-a-cockeral chick just doesn't like to be held. It struggles the most to escape my hand. The few feathers it does have on its back and head are looking very roo. Still, a good little boy that I'd rather keep than give away.

Molly is a sweet chick, most likely a pullet. A little skittish, but doesn't mind being held. I love the partridge feathering.

Some days, this sultan's comb looks pink, sometimes it's just pale. So I'm not sure what it is. This smaller sultan is the most laid back out of all the chicks, hanging back to roost or eat later.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Golden Neck d'Uccle Chickens

Golden Neck d'Uccle 'Ponyboy' - 6 weeks on 4/30/2013
Golden Neck d'Uccle

So I've been researching about the Golden Neck d'Uccle. Ideal Poultry where I got mine from indicates it is a rare variety. I found out how the color is bred from an article on the Belgian Bantam Club of Australia's website. Apparently, the golden neck color is the white offspring of two blue millefleur - all the base black of the normal millefleur is replaced with white, a homozygous blue millefleur. They say "Golden Neck" is an American name. The Dutch Chicken Color Calculator calls it "Splash Patterned Yellow/Golden Millefleur", or just Splash Millefleur -- I love this online color calculator. The genetics of chicken color combinations is so fascinating to me!

The girls had named it Goldie - I'm calling it Ponyboy -- Stay Gold!!
Shady Oak Bantams has some beautiful golden necks. This rooster they have is gorgeous.

This is our other d'Uccle -- a pullet, I think, which I thought at first was buff columbian, but right now just looks like a poorly spangled millefleur. I don't remember how long it took my previous d'Uccles to develop their spangles, and the millefleur ones were a richer gold/red. Maybe her color will improve as she gets older.
I can kinda see it -- in the splash millefleur (Golden Neck), the black is replaced with white

Friday, April 26, 2013

Guinea Flashback

Reminiscing back to when we had guineas at the old house. We had 7 keets in different colors and they grew up to be very pretty and very LOUD!

8-7-2008 5-01-48 PM

I think we had them for about a year until one day they all decided to dance atop our neighbor's metal roof at daybreak...they were pissed and soon after we had to give them back to the Quincy farm where we got most of them.

 8-7-2008 5-02-00 PM

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Childhood Chicken Memories

f 3-2-2008 5-12-06 PMAs I said in my profile, my husband wanted our girls to have childhood chicken memories like he did. I'm glad he convinced me (mainly because he said he would do most of the work!).

My younger daughter's 7th birthday is this week. I asked her recently if she remembers our first chickens, and she doesn't for the most part, until I show her the photos from our original 2008 flock.

5-2-2008 4-11-31 PM
Feeding the chickens
5-12-2008 4-15-58 PM 5-12-2008 4-17-59 PM
Loving our first hatched chicks
3-28-2009 9-17-07 AM 3-28-2009 9-17-42 AM
These were baby d'Uccle x Sultans
3-28-2009 9-17-50 AM d'Uccle x Sultan chicks

Our daughters love the new little chicks we have today. I love my chicken memories of their childhood.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chick Progression - The Sultans

(Clicking on any of the photos should enlarge it within a slideshow)
3/22/13 Just Arrived







They were the largest chicks upon arrival, and now tower over the others. Very quick to feather, but the crests still developing. While they are both laid back, I suspect they are both roos from their size and big feet. I hope not, because I really like them. I like all my suspected roos!
I just read a forum post on BYC that Ideal's bantam sultans are larger than normal bantam and smaller than the standard size...must be why they look so big!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Frizzly, or Slow to Feather?

Penguin @ 5 Weeks
Little Penguin is not feathering like the others. It has a few wayward wing feathers that curl out, and it's tail feathers are growing in oddly, but the other feathers look kind of normal. The secondary feathers on the wing are taking a very long time...looks pathetic compared to the others. No bald spots, though. Frizzle? Double Frizzle? I don't know. His feathers are not soft like the other cochins. Emerging comb and wattles are looking pinky-roo. Head feathers look pointed and blackish-white. Wing feathers are black with brownish tips. Maybe a birchen? Photos below @ 4 weeks.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pullets or Cockerels?

So after spending time with the chickies everyday, I think I can now make an educated gender guess from their looks and behavior. They will be 5 weeks old on Tuesday, 4/23/13.
Listed from most likely male to most likely female: (my little girls named them!)
L-R around the hand: Penguin, Molly, EE, PB, Squirrel
  1. Gold-necked d'Uccle "Goldie" - has a noticeably larger comb than Peanut Butter,  very friendly, and lately quite bossy. The comb is just now turning pink. I remember when we got our first d'Uccles Moneypenny and Smurfette at about the same age, the guy had a whole flock and you could easily tell the cockerels from the pullets by the size of the comb.
  2. Black Cochin "Penguin" - pink wattles starting to show. Comb is bigger than Squirrel's and Chocolate. Very slow to feather. not very friendly. But if it's frizzle as I suspect, he'll be a keeper. It may just a few wayward wing feathers, though.
  3. Silver-penciled Cochin "Squirrel" - always at the door when I arrive and wants to know what's going on. Friendliest of them all. But while she acts very roo, she looks more hen.
  4. Sultan "Easter Egg" I'm just not sure about these sultans. They are either both boys or both girls. Both are the largest out of the flock and were quick to feather, but their crests are still coming in. This bigger one only comes to me if I have feed in my hand.
  5. Sultan "Cheez" - The slightly smaller of the two sultans...the one with the silver gene. Now looks just as white as the other. Very laid back. Would rather wait than join the crowd around my hand to feed.
  6. White-crested black Polish "Maxi" - looks and acts like all the skittish Polish hens I've had before.
  7. Partridge Cochin "Chocolate" - quick to feather; feet feathers also have the barring. The girls have recently renamed her Molly. So soft!
  8. Squirrel
  9. Buff Columbian Millefleur d'uccle "Peanut Butter" - laid back and aloof like my previous d'Uccle hens. Small comb compared to Goldie's.

Peanut Butter