Archive | March, 2013

Easter Chicks!!

31 Mar

Happy Easter Everyone!

Maundy Thursday saw the hatching of my 3 little chicks. Lemony Splicket and Zippy are the proud parents of 2 beautiful pekin chicks who are today 3 days old. The 3rd chick is a very sweet Favorelles who had a fight to break out the shell. She is still a little weak but this tiny one is a true fighter. We have named her Cheeks as she has cute little fluffy pom poms either side of her cute face!

All 3 chicks are doing well. They love to play but then they get so tired they have to have a good long snooze!

 Now all I need to do is find names for the 2 pekins!! It is hard to tell them apart as they both look so similar!!

More clips to follow on the progress of these sweet little chicks!

 

 

 

Day 21 – Hatching Day!!

28 Mar

CHICKS ARE HERE!!!!!!

CHICKS ARE HERE!!!!!!

Congratulations to the proud parents! Lemony Splicket and Zippy have had their first 2 little chicks!

Today they hatched at approximately 9.30am, being day 21. They are sweet and mischievous, typical pekins!!

The favorelles egg hatched too at about 8.30pm this evening. She went through quite a long ordeal trying to break her shell.

Exhausted and tired from a long hard day and night, I’m off to bed now!!!

Tomorrow the chicks will be fluffed and ready to go in their brooder!

  Some pics to keep you going…..

Pipping Eggs – Day 21!

27 Mar

Although the day started in a very sad and upsetting way, my spirits were soon lifted…

Today, at approximately 6.30pm sees the start of Day 21! All has been pretty much quiet and I must say, I had started to get quite anxious that nothing seemed to be happening.

At roughly 3.30pm this afternoon, 2 of my pekin eggs began to pip! Then later, 1 of the favorelle eggs did the same!

It is about 10.00pm now on day 21 and 3 chicks are definitely starting their difficult mission of breaking out their tough little shells. I am still waiting on the 4th egg.

I am wondering if I will wake in the morning to see chicks running about in the incubator!

 

Watch this space and check tomorrow to see if the chicks hatch!!

 

Phineas – RIP

27 Mar

My dearest Phineas passed away today. She had been poorly for a few weeks and although we tried antibiotics, it became clear nothing was going to work.

I just want to dedicate

this post to my adorable girl who was with us since July 2011. She was such a friendly hen and loved her cuddles. She will be missed very much.

The pain of loosing your pet, no matter what it is, is truly heartbreaking.

Rest In Peace Phineas

“Lets catch some rays!”

 

Look how I have changed!

 

 

Day 14 – Our First Incubation

21 Mar

Well, we are on the last week of incubation. Today is day 14 and I decided to get out my excellent Titan Egg Candler to check for growing chicks.

This is what I have found…

I would highly recommend using a good candler so you can clearly see an egg which is not fertile compared to one which has a little chick growing inside.

Out of the 14 eggs we had this is what we have left in our incubator…

2 Pekins, parents being Zippy and the delightful Lemony Splicket

2 Faverolles, eggs purchased from a local farm

Unfortunately, the Silkie eggs and Silver Laced Wyandotte eggs were all non fertile so we have removed them from the incubator.

Now, all we can do is wait and hope. After all, incubating can bring much excitement and also deep disappointment.

Monday is day 18 and I shall stop automatic turning and increase  humidity to 65%

 

Meanwhile, Mr Lemony Splicket is feeling very proud of himself!

Amazing Egg!

12 Mar

Well, what a shocker I had today!!

Despite being such a cold, wintry day, I managed to collect 4 bantam eggs out of 5 girls!

Then…I was totally shocked. Checked Phineas and Ferb’s next box and did I get a surprise…

This is what I found,

 

Left is the ex bat surprise egg!

 

Maybe they are just thanking us for the new roof we have had put on their run!!

Hmm,if I remember rightly, this is where I lay my eggs!

 

Meanwhile, back in the Incubation Room, we are counting down the days. Today is day 5. Eggs are turning every hour and we are maintaining temperature in the outhouse despite it being bitter cold outside!

More to follow on this…

Incubation…Countdown has begun!

9 Mar

After much hard work and planning, our old, dark and rather spooky coal shed has gone through a tremendous transformation into an Incubation Room. Once this was the home to a growing family of furry little mice. Sadly, they moved on to pastures new and the new coal shed feels much brighter and certainly less scary.

 We put in a window, added a mesh inner door and a new strong wooden outer door. After a good few coats of white paint, Andy, my very patient husband, provided the wiring for lights and electric. It was an incredibly hard task but well worth our efforts.

Thursday evening at 6.33pm to be precise, the last egg went into the incubator . It is set at 37.5 degrees C and reads a humidity level of 45%. Humidity will be increased to 65% on day 18 and the automatic turning every hour will be switched off. We have a oil filled radiator in there to stop sudden temperature fluctuations as this can also impact on hatching eggs. 

Fingers crossed for Easter chicks. If my calculations are correct, day 21 falls on Maundy Thursday.

What am I hoping for?

Well, in the incubator we have:

  • 3 Black Silkies
  • 2 White Silkies
  • 5 Silver Laced Wyandotte bantams
  • 2 Columbian Faverolles bantams
  • 1 Columbian Pekin
  • 2 Pekins (belonging to mother Zippy)
Hatch success rate can vary so much depending on many factors such as health of hen, incubation issues, fertility of cockerel and how long the eggs have been stored for and at what temperature. The eggs we purchased were fresh that morning. They were placed in a cupboard under my stairs at a temperature of about 20 degrees.

 

So, let the countdown begin. Now all we can do is wait. Patience is a virtue. The next 3 weeks are going to be such a drag. I have a feeling there will be a chair and hot flask of coffee beside me on Maundy Thursday. 

 

 

50 Shades of Lemon…

9 Mar

The days are slowly getting longer and the birds are  singing that Spring is just around the corner…

The 3 little pekins are 29 weeks old now. It has been a wonderful experience watching them grow from little chicks into beautiful young pullets.  Their journey  has been a series of amazing adventures from meeting their new mum, Zippy to learning all the tricks of being chicken!!

Now, Bungle is laying well. She is bright eyed and her comb a vibrant red. However, Lemony Splicket the lemon pekin cockerel is suddenly seeing life in a different light.  To him, Bungle and Zippy seem very desirable. Their beauty stirs such passion arousing his innermost desires. He stands proud and tall. His struts his stuff and watches over his wives with much attentiveness. He squawks  to alert his girls of danger and stamps his feet if something upsets him. His crow is much louder these days and it is fascinating to see how much effort he gives into making such a sound! At first, poor Lemony Splicket couldn’t quite master ‘Getting his leg over’ but with much practice, he has now perfected the art.  Bungle and Zippy have had many experiences of this!

A couple of days old

As you can see from above, Lemony Splicket was such a tiny sweet innocent little chick…He was shy and kept close to his adopted mother, Zippy. It became clear at about 9 weeks old that this little one was no hen. Today, he is a proud handsome fellow. Eager to show his strength and attract the likes of Bungle and Zippy, he leads the way out the coop first thing morning and calls out to the new day, ‘Watch Out, Beware, I am a the Lemony Splicket’ .

‘How you doin?’

As for  sweet little Bluey. She is a somewhat behind and has still not laid an egg. Her comb has yet to brighten and grow but she is still as feisty as ever. I am certain, once the weather warms up a little more, Bluey will follow Bungle and lay her first egg. To this, I am sure, Lemony Splicket will indeed be a very happy young cockerel.

I wish Lemony Splicket would notice me!

50 Shades of Lemon…the Sequel

9 Mar

Bluey, the pretty splash pekin has been feeling rather left out just lately. Despite, hours pruning her silvery blue feathers to try and capture the eye of the handsome Lemony Splicket, she has sadly decided that she is just not his kind of chick.

One day my Prince will come!

 

If only little Bluey was able to take a look in the mirror, she would have seen her pale comb change over the days that followed. It wasn’t long before her cheeks flushed and her delicate little comb and wattles reddened. A sign she was getting ready to lay her first egg.

On Saturday 9th March, Bluey seemed much more vocal than of late. Also, she began to notice that the most incredibly handsome Lemony Splicket was paying her much more attention than usual. He seemed to be following her around and standing over her proud and strong.

Later on that day, Bluey made her way into the coop and layed her first egg, much to Lemony Splickets delight. She is now as popular as Bungle and Zippy and Lemony Splicket is very enthusiastic over his new female admirer.

Such a handsome fellow!