Saturday, February 25, 2012

Plumpet and her brood! 2011

This is Plumpet, she is a pekin bantam I think. She is sitting on 6 fertile eggs.
This is Plumpet and her chicks house at the moment.
Hi there,
Plumpet and her sister Crumpet came to us a few months back from our Neighbour, Doris.
They were always broodie and a pain in the neck when you don't want chicks and you have to put your hand under an angry chook to retrieve the daily eggs. They didn't peck very hard though.
But I do wish to have some new chooks as our are getting on and number only 8. And people want to buy the eggs. So we made a deal and I took the broodies off her hands.
Well they both got broodie at my house pretty quick and several times each.
The remedy for broodiness is quite simple. You just take the chook from her dark and secret nest and put her in the light for 3 or more days.
I put them in the above Aframe house but propped open the nesting box on the end so light came in but they couldn't get out. It works a treat.
But we have got thru Xmas and all that brings and are ready to get down to business.
She went broodie the other week so I started looking for fertile eggs. My big plan was to get a variety of old breeds. Say 2 Welsummers, 2 Wyandottes and 2 australorps, to begin with.
There are a couple of hatcheries that offer these breeds and more just near here.
So when I went to inquire found that one wasn't offering fertile eggs till August and the other has a disease going thru their flock.
Great timing guys!
What to do?
Then I remembered my other neighbour Lyn has 2 handsome roosters and lots of different coloured hens. I rang her and she was very obliging. All I had to do was swap her half a dozen of my fresh not fertile eggs for 6 fresh fertile eggs.
She sells her eggs so it was no drama to do the swap.
So I set up the Aframe house for Plumpet. Dug in some wood around the edges to hopefully deter rats. We have lots of rats at the moment eating our vegies and I have heard they will hassle a hen and eat her chicks.
A lovely ramp up to the nesting box for the littlies when they arrive. Water and food for mum. I will buy some chick feed for littlies next week. A nice fresh bed for the eggs. I used sawdust and straw and hay.
Got the eggs and put them in the nest.
Collected Plumpet and gave her a dusting with derris dust for any mites she may have. Mites breed up quick on a sitting hen and can drive her to leave the eggs. Not to mention what they would do to the littlies. She didn't like that much. Holding her upside down by the feet and sprinkling the powder into her feathers and rubbing it in.
So then I carried her up to the Aframe and popped her into the nesting box with the new eggs.
All was quiet as she was checking them out.
Then she was off the nest and trying to get out and back to the main house where she was before.
She just needed a little one on one with the new eggs. So I got in and caught her and put her back into the nesting box with the fertile eggs and slid the inside door shut so she was stuck in there with them. I left her there for 2-3 hours, till dark.
When I returned on dark she was sitting on the eggs and I slid open the door so she could access water and food.
She has sat eversince.
So looking good at 9 days, another 12 to go. Due on the 9th march.
Lyn says one of the eggs is from a black chook the others she doesn't know but probably the brown Isa's.
The roosters are whitish with blond fringing on their wings and bits of black and red. Spectacular they are and friendly which is a must. Too many aggressive roosters out there.
50% will be roosters of the fertile eggs, so we can look forward to 2 maybe 3 roast rooster meals and 3 new hens. By then Crumpet will be ready to sit and we can do it again.
Such fun!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

snake visitor

All the little birdies on the back fence were making a real 'to do'!
Wrens and fire tails, getting really upest. I called M over to have a look with me and he spotted a snake moving through my hanging baskets in search of a birdy dinner.
I was just out there not half an hour ago watering my pots as it is going to be a hot few days coming up. It may have been in the pots and the water disturbed it. I have to be so careful.
Coming from the suburbs I am not prepared for this and it scares me I have to say. I cannot become complacent and walk out in my thongs, I have taken to wearing my boots even going to check on the chooks and goats.
So he didn't like the audience and turned around and left.
 I got another shot of his belly and back as he left.
It was only small, about 70cm long. Not sure what type, anybody guess?