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Happy Birthday Bungle, Bluey and Lemony Splicket!

2 Aug

Happy Birthday today to my pretty Pekins, Bungle, Bluey and handsome Pekin, Lemony Splicket!

A year ago I searched all over to find some day old chicks for my broody hen Zippy who had been desperate to hatch her own eggs which sadly failed. She was delighted when the 3 little chicks arrived and were placed under her, raising them like her own.

Now, a year old today, Bungle has her own little chicks to care for, Bluey had a short spell of broodiness but now laying well again and Lemony Splicket is charming all the ladies as well as being in fine voice…and producing 6 chicks of his own!

Lemony Splicket strutting his stuff!

Lemony Splicket strutting his stuff!

 

Bungle looking well, now with chicks of her own!

Bungle looking well, now with chicks of her own!

 

A small pekin but with a very loud call when she sees me or wants something!

A small pekin but with a very loud call when she sees me or wants something!

They certainly have changed since being little chicks. Bungle, who we thought was a cockerel, turned out to be a hen and Lemony Splicket turned out to be the cockerel! Bluey still was the smallest but has always been the loudest (even louder than Lemony Splicket)

Bungle hatches her first Chicks!

6 Jul

Congratulations to Bungle, the millefleur pekin who

successfully hatched 4 pekin chicks on 4th July!

Bungle began showing signs of broodiness on 17th May and it was clear those powerful hormones had taken over and this little lady was not going to give in until she had some fertile eggs placed under her!

A broody hen is a very determined hen. Her behavior can sometimes dramatically change from a sweet little angel to a squawking  and shrieking little terror, raising her tail and fluffling out her feathers should you attempt to go anywhere near her. She also spends hours in the nest box, making sure no other hen can enter to try and lay an egg. She lies flat like a pancake, her eyes focused as though in a trance. And worst of all, a broody hen will  most likely stop laying any tasty eggs for you! I have had 2 different experiences with 2 different  kinds of broodies.  Zippy was a very placid and gentle broody whereas Bungle was the terror broody!

"How much longer do I have to wait?"

Zippy, ‘The Determined but Placid  Broody Hen’

 

After many desperate attempts to try and break Bungle’s broodiness,  I finally realized that the hens have beaten me again…

I made up a soft straw nest in our rabbit hutch, perfect for a broody to sit on eggs in peace. Bungle was placed in the hutch for a couple of days with some pot eggs to see if she would settle which she did without a doubt.  Around tea-time on 13th June, I carefully put 4 eggs under Bungle.  These had been laid previously by Kojak, the buff pekin, the father being the one and only Lemony Splicket of course!

 

 

Chicks – 5 Weeks Old!!

2 May

Time is flying by so fast!! Days are hopefully getting warmer and the birds are singing the Summer chorus.

Meanwhile, in the chick brooder, the 2 pekins and 1 faverolles chick are growing well and full of mischief. The 2 pekins jump around each other whilst the faverolles chick, better known as Cheeks,  makes sure they all realize that there is only 1 top bird!

Thankfully, the days do seem much warmer now, so I am able to reduce the temperature in the brooder quite nicely and with the help from a thermostat, this makes acclimatizing the little ones a gradual and easier process. I am hoping that in 3 weeks time or so, the little chicks will not need any heat source at all, unless temperatures severely drop at night.

May has also seen me busy refreshing my 3 metre square run. It was a very hard job but I am pleased that it is now clear. I can start to see the little green shoots of hopefully to be a lush and tasty treat of herbs, grasses and clovers which the hens will adore. The bees and insects will enjoy it very much too!

After the sadness of loosing my last ex battery hen, the little chicks have given me back  my smile and keep my days very busy!  I am looking forward to many years of fun and joy with these little ones and one day they will become part of the flock with Lemony Splicket and his increasing henfriends, his much favorite at the moment being the delightful and very beautiful Maize Moo. However, I still think one of those pekin chicks is a cockerel and I will have to find him a home if this is the case. 2 Lemony Splickets would not be a good idea especially as I live up in a built up area! Not only would I have a fight for henfriends but also a crowing competition at the crack of dawn which would not please my neighbours! See what you think…

I hope you enjoy the chick pics. See if you spot a Lemony Splicket JNR!

 

Hatching Chick!

5 Apr

Hatching Chick – Cheeks

Well the little chicks are a week old today and they are already growing well!

The weather has been really cold here so it has been an ongoing battle to maintain the temperature in the brooder. I have been up and down all nights to check  it’s not too hot or not too cold! I feel like I am a Mummy again!

Today I have removed their towels now their little legs are getting stronger and put down some cozy chick bedding which they like to scratch in very much!

The pekins are very playful! They remind me of Lemony Splicket when he was a tiny chick! I cannot tell which are cockerels and which are hens yet!

We have named the favorelles chick, Cheeks! I think you will see why at the end of the video. She is so sweet. She had such a struggle hatching, I was very worried she wasn’t going to make it. But, this little chick is a true survivor and watching her hatch was very special.

I hope you enjoy the video. Unfortunately, it does not play on mobile devices due to Copyright issues but I am working on a solution!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoG9i4ZcKYA

 

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!!

 

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!

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!