Rhode Island Eggers

I wanted to share with you all what the “Rhode Island Eggers” in my flock look like.

Again, these pullets had Rhode Island Red mommas and an Easter Egger father.

This is Nutmeg. Her mother was an RiR hen. Her father was an EE rooster.
She has the look of an RiR, doesn’t she? Body-wise, I mean.
See? From the back, you could hardly distinguish her or her sister Cocoa from the older RiRs.
But those cheeks tell a different story!

And that’s Nutmeg. ūüėÄ

She and Cocoa are curious little birds with gentle personalities. A little skittish of humans sometimes but not in the freak-out way my full EE hen Padme is. They approach me for treats held in my hand and listen when I talk to them, but dislike being held.

Broody Hens & Baby Chicks

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So this is my little Pavlovskya-mix hen, Pavelle. You’ll all seen pictures of her before, because she is a very unique little bird.

Back in March, Pavelle went broody, but I refused to let her have eggs then because it was still too cold and snowy for little wee things.  She went broody again last month, and after a few days of watching her, we decided to let her have a couple of eggs.

Which hatched into the cutest little babies…

This one was the first one to hatch, a brown and yellowish chick that came from one of our olive egg layers.

The olive egg layers are all the children of last year’s Easter Eggers, Padme (the hen) and Luke (the ill-fated rooster.¬† Yes, he did father three little hens and one rooster before we sent him to freezer camp).¬† Best guess as to which hen supplied the egg?¬† The size of the egg suggested Iggy (the EE cross Pavelle raised last year) or Cocoa and Nutmeg.¬† Cocoa and Nutmeg I call my “Rhode Island Eggers” because they are the color of my RiRs¬†and have EE cheeks.¬† I suspect their bio-moms were RiR with Luke as the father.

It will be interesting to see how this little one feathers out, won’t it?

And this little precious came from a small brown eggs.¬† I have a lot of smaller brown eggs right now, because all of the chicks from Little Dude’s Hatching Egg project are laying now.¬† ¬†This one, as you can see, is all-black and tiny.

I have only one all-black hen, little Bella, the ‘Mad Scientist’ chick that My Pet Chicken slipped into our order.

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Bella, the Mad Scientist. Which is just another word for some kind of cross. My Pet Chicken couldn’t even tell me what breeds went into making her.

Bella must be the bio/egg mom to the little wee black baby.

As to who sired them?¬† I have three roosters, and haven’t been around much to see who has been hanging out with whom.¬† I know what Philip (my little Leapy Boy) and Sylvester both have small followings and they are mostly the younger girls.¬† But it’s hard to tell right now.¬† Neither of them have feathered legs, which is possible with both of those two roosters.

And lastly… I will leave you with this…

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The Australorp in this video is Briar Rose. She seems to think she is going broody right now.

I guess it really is spring here on the farm… finally!

One of These Eggs…

One of these eggs is not like the others

One of these eggs just doesn’t belong.

Can you tell us which egg is not like the others

By the time we finish this song?

So… thanks to Luke and Padme, I had four Easter Egger cross chicks hatched this past spring/summer. I was told they would told olive colored eggs and have been waiting to see it happen.

Looks like I got one!!!

The Autumn Chicken Report

Or is it the Late Autumn Chicken Report?  Because winter is almost here people.   As reported in my last post, the chickens are in various stages of molt.  They look pathetic, although some of the earlier molters are almost feathered back.

Hopefully, the others will hurry up and NOT still be half naked by the time the snow starts sticking.

October (or rather the end of October) meant the return of Halloween, jack o’lanterns and pumpkin seeds.¬† I’ve always been jealous of pictures and videos of peoples’chickens pecking holes in pumpkins left out for them.¬† Mine do not do that. They ignore whole pumpkins like the plague and even broken up ones, they would just eat the seeds and not the pulp.

This year, however, they were more than interested in our post-Halloween offerings and devoured not only the pumpkin seeds and guts shown above, but six medium sized jack o’lanterns over the course of the first week of November.

I am glad they enjoyed it,¬† because in the next couple of weeks, I was tasked with the painful process of deciding which of them Summer Boys stayed and which ones were sent off to Freezer Camp.¬† If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I have a general weakness for roosters.¬† ¬†Between their beautiful plumage and strong, unique personalities, how could I not fall in love with the little buggers?¬† But every year, we hatch an average of 5-8 roosters and I’m only allowed to keep a minimum of three, depending on the size of my hen-to-rooster ratio.

This year, including Dots and Luke (saved from last year), we had a grand total of eights roosters.¬† DH said I could keep three this year, if one of them was Phillip, the smaller rooster hatched out of one of Pavelle’s little white eggs.¬† ¬†He is about half of Dot’s size and not likely to get much bigger.

So while the chickens were blissfully enjoying the pumpkin treats, I was looking at my roosters, talking to them, interacting with them, and trying to decide who should stay and help Dots keep his flock safe.

This is NEVER an easy decision for me, and the last time I had to do it, a mistake was made.   

I will probably never forgive myself for allowing DH to take Pip that day instead of Luke.  I miss him.  Everyday, I miss that little guy.   He was our first chick ever and worked well his father and mother in taking care of the flock.

Phillip (or Leapy as I call him sometimes), is Pip’s son from Pavelle and reminds me a lot of him, personality wise.

So, before I go into who got tickets to Freezer Camp, let me introduce to the Summer Babies.

Of these, the roosters were Philip, Gus, Cutie, Sylvester, Apache and A.J.

I have also thought at times that Darcy could really be a Mr. Darcy, but that one is either a late bloomer or a big hen.¬† ¬†So we aired on the side of ‘big hen’ and kept Darcy, for now.¬† She will winter over that will us time to see if she is really a he.¬† Or not.

This year, I decided to rectify the mistake of keeping Luke,making him first on the list for Freezer Camp.

We would be keeping Dots (as usual because it’s dumb to get rid of a good rooster, and I learned that the hard way with Pip) and Philip… so I had a spot for one more keeper.

The candidates I was deciding from were Cutie ( a light barred rock from Little Dude’s incubator project) and Sylvester, the only hatched buff brahma.¬† Of the Summer Boys those two were my favorites.¬† ¬†Cutie because he was so incredibly beautiful and Sylvester because he was raised by my Tweety girl and has always been friendly.

Like last time, I simply couldn’t decide right up til the end.¬† What it came down to was which one could I pick up without too much hassle.¬† Cutie always fights me until I got him in my arms.¬† But then he would settle in.¬† ¬†But he would still fight me.¬† So on Freezer Camp day, I made the decision in favor of keeping Sylvaster and letting Cutie go.

I hope that it doesn’t turn out like the Luke vs Pip decision.¬† ¬†I really don’t.¬† ¬†I couldn’t take that again.

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Incidentally, it really wasn’t “freezer camp” this year.¬† We decided to can them instead and got 9 jars, 8 pints and 1 quart of meat out of them.¬† ¬†They will be used to make soups and stews and maybe to grind up for chicken salad.¬† ¬†

 

The last thing we needed to do was give little Not Cocoa a better name.¬† ¬†She is part Easter Egger (because Luke is her papa) and part Rhode Island Red.¬† ¬†We called her Not Cocoa because we named Cocoa first and she is… not Cocoa.

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How hard is it to come up with a good name for me?¬† I’m adorable!

 

So we’ve been debating it a while, and finally, on Thanksgiving, we came up with a suitable name… Nutmeg.

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Lastly, I’ll leave you all with a picture of Double Dots and his ladies enjoying their Thanksgiving morning breakfast of oatmeal mixed with scratch grain, BOSS, meal worms and cranberries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pavelle’s Littles on their Own

While I was away having my surgery and recuperating, Pavelle finally decided to go back to Hen Things and leave her little not-so-littles to their own devices.

I have not seen them much since my surgery because I was still really, really sore. ¬† But now that I’m able to look at them and take pictures of them. ¬† I have plenty, because I want to take a stab at Hen or Roo.

First, here are the group shots, because they hang around a LOT together.

Now here are the individual pics:

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Feather Butt, who still has tiny tufts of feathers on his/her legs. ¬†Also, LOOK! ¬† FF is growing CHEEKS! ¬†Like Pavelle’s fluffy cheeks!

A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking rooster for this little one, but after a week+ of growth and not seeing them… I’m seeing more of a little pullet in Feather Butt’s mannerisms now. Also, her comb is smaller than Mini-Pav’s (which you will see soon) and reminds me more of Pavelle as a young hen.

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Mini-Pav is looking a lot like a little roo.

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The comb is much, much more pronounced than his momma’s ever was at that age.
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And here he(she) is standing tall and at attention while the others scurry off because I scared them?  Also Рwattles!!!!!

Yeah, I am thinking Mini-Pav is a little roo. What do you all think?

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Eggy, the little part EE part Felix-spawn

The EE part of Eggy’s heritage is going to be hard to tell. Right now, Eggy has little-to-no comb. ¬†No wattles. ¬†No cheeks.

She reminds me a lot of Padme at that age, which is why I’m hoping she is a little girl. ¬†But then again, I thought LUKE was a little Leia for a while, too.

So, what do we think readers?  Wanna play a nail-biting game of Hen or Roo with the babies?  They are 7 1/2 weeks now.

 

 

Eggy

Eggy, or the Egger Baby, is the last of Pavelle’s chicks.

He/she is the egg-child of Padme the Easter Egger and … well, I thought Pip, but now I’m not too sure about that.


So… what is it about Eggy that makes me suspect Pip might not be the father?

In short… color and personality.

Eggy here is a bright buff yellow, with only small EE cheeks.

 

So… mostly yellow chick with a yellow and black/brown momma. ¬†Two potential fathers.

One rooster had an all yellow momma and a white papa?

The other rooster had a red momma and a white papa?

Going off looks alone, I’d have to guess Felix is Eggy’s baby daddy.

And then, there is personality.  Eggy is high strung, flighty, hard to catch, does not really relax in my hands like the other two do.

This describes Padme, yes, and could be an Easter Egger trait.  But it always describes Felix.  A lot.

Pip, not so much. ¬†He didn’t like me pick up but when I did, he settled in because he trusted me.

Feather Butt trusts me.  Mini-Pav mostly trusts me.   Eggy is a frantic spaz.

So, based off personality, is this Pip’s chick? I don’t think so, but anything is possible.


Here is a recent shot of Momma and babies (and a fake egg that was in the nest with them).  They are 5 weeks old now and practically as big as she is!

They are also almost fully feathered out.


I believe that Pavelle will be pulling away from them soon.  Going back to doing Hen Things and not Momma things.  Today she seemed to be giving them space.  Still hanging with them Рor allowing them to hang with her Рbut not really showing them things like she has in the past.  Letting them do their own thing.

Pavelle’s wee babies are growing up now.

Rainy Tuesday Update

So, it’s raining today, with little patches of sunshine here and there. ¬†The weekend was pretty much the same, but the week was pretty exciting around the barnyard and pasture.

First off… we’ve had visitors of the nasty variety. ¬† Two fat brown woodchucks who think they own the place. ¬† Dad shot one sneaking around the garden and caught the other in a trap he placed by their hole.

A couple of days later, we caught this opossum in the same trap.  Which means they are sharing the holes under the barn.

Dad wasn’t targeting the possum, because he read somewhere that they eat ticks. I don’t know if that’s true, but the DO eat eggs and young chicks, and can also kill adult chickens. I’m glad we are one possum less this week.

The neighbor’s white turkeys also paid a visit (which I didn’t get a picture of), but the chickens are getting used to them being around.

Ashley decided to go broody, and spent most of the weekend in Broody Jail.

Now, I know I have said in the past that I wasn’t going to use the Broody Breaker method anymore and just give my hens eggs. ¬†But this hen is a special case. ¬†This is Ashley – she who lost her babies 2 times in the fist week of their lives, kept leaving nest and getting too confused to go back to it, and then raised them to be neurotic weird freaks. ¬†(example, Felix… and Perdie who STILL doesn’t trust me.) ¬† So… no eggs for Ashley.

Besides which, Pavelle’s babies are two weeks old today and Rapunzel’s hatch/incubator babies are due to be hatching today. ¬†Remember? ¬†The 4-H project? ¬† So yeah… I don’t need more babies just yet. ¬†Especially not from a hen I don’t trust.

And while Ashley cooled out in Broody Jail, DH and Little Dude made another attempt to dry out the swampy areas in the middle of the chicken pasture. ¬†Last year, DH made a pond. ¬†This year, he’s spent days (and days and days) digging trenches trying to find where the underground springs run.

The chickens LOVE it because trenches mean mud, dirt, worms, bugs… stuff for them to do and see and EAT. ¬†So they really love helping DH with his trench project.

And lastly what post would be complete without something about Pavelle and her babies?

This past week, Pavelle decided that she didn’t like the cat carrier as a nest, so she moved her babies out of it and up into one of the laying boxes. ¬†They only sleep there at night, because the other thing they REALLY discovered this week was the great outdoors. ¬†She takes them into the tunnels, the run and even into the barnyard. ¬†They have not yet ventured into the greater chicken pasture, but still, the spend a good portion of the day outside, getting whatever yummies nature has to offer. ¬† Whatever it is, they always have full crops when I see them, so it must be good. ¬†ūüôā

This is Feather Butt, aka The One With The Feathered Feet. If you look closely…
… I *think* Feather Butt might also have a mini-crest. It’s not as pronounced as Pavelle’s was, but it sure looks like one to me, there on the top of his/her head.

 

Happy 2nd Week-aVersary, little Pavelle-Babies!