Well we’re really moving forward now. This week it looks like a few people will be coming by to pick up the Cream Brabanters, as well as the one with the beak deformity. That’ll be eleven down, fourteen if you count the three Creams I already traded for potentially fertile mini appleyard duck eggs which are now lounging in my incubator. We also had four random and unexplained deaths, all in the same day but in three different brood boxes. Three were Brabanters, one was a Dorking, all were growing fine and had full gullets. In fact two were the biggest of the lot! I wonder if there wasn’t something in the food because I have come up with no other explanation seeing as they showed no symptoms of anything and were just dead when I got up that morning. I feed them 4, sometimes five times a day, and clean them as well so I think I would have noticed if anything was noticeably off. It still baffles me.
So that means we’re down to 70 Brabanter chicks by next week. Sadly, it looks like I have way more roosters than hens and I wonder if this whole adventure will be for nothing. (If it is I will have to start with another order of 100 and hope for better luck!) Right now we are waiting for their combs to come in so I can sex them more accurately and weed out the ones who are wonky. I am still hoping to get 2-3 decent roosters and maybe 10-15 hens.
Below are a photo of some great head poofs and the special needs bird – which as you can see definitely looks like a girl now! Figures! Before her beak was misaligned. Now it doesn’t seem to be but her top beak is not growing while her bottom beak is. It’s very odd.
Meanwhile I am delighted we got a lot more hens out of the Welsumemrs than expected. Of 25 birds we only ended up with 8 roosters! And one of those I am just not sure about. He’s the biggest of the lot but looks freakishly different than anyone else. While the girls have big salmon colored breasts and the boys have big black colored breasts this bird maintains both colors on his or hers. Also his or her comb is smack dab in between the large flashy roosters and the petite little hens. If this isn’t confusing enough his or her coloration is also very weird… it’s a dark and solid Mahogany red. I don’t even know if it’s a Welsummer… Here it is with a Welsummer rooster.
The Dorkings are doing really well. They’re such docile and tame little buggars. I really enjoy them and boy do they know how to eat! They are really good at eating up every last crumb! (Unlike all the other breeds who are actually so fussy now they expect me to make fresh mash after only half is eaten!)
The White Laced Red Cornish are also doing VERY well. They’re my best growers by a long shot! Best yet they’re too tubby to fly like the rest – sure they try but it always ends with a thump. Known for being quite crazy these ones are actually very quiet and calm and play Catch-me-if-you-can pretty well. They run from my hands but once I do catch them they seem entertained, looking around the room, perching on my arm, and staring a me super intent when I talk, their eyes pinpointing like those of a parrot. I need to take a more updated photo but for now the most recent I have is from a week or more ago when they were so much smaller!