Biography of Westinmoreland House

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July 6, 2004

Steve our Rooster is Sick

This will be the journal where we enter all our farming information. So far we have 4 chicks, 4 chickens, 2 turkeys, 2 goats, and 5 cats.
Currently our only adult rooster, Steve, is sick. He has been losing a lot of weight, which now he is only skin & bones. He has no energy and has a verocious appetite when we gave him chick feed. So after some consideration as to what he could have, we think its worms. So we went down to the feed store and found something called Pig Swig, which is a dewormer for swine & poultry. We had to make sure his water was taken away last night, and today we start the treatment which goes into the water and is consumed for a few days. Hopefully this will do the trick!


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July 12, 2004

Steve is Better

Since we gave him one dose of the Pig Swig the bumps we discovered in the back of his throat disappeared. He is much more spirited, and slowly gaining weight. So I think Steve just might make it after all. We have him currently with Salt, two turkeys and 4 chicks and they all seem to be getting along just fine in the cage.


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September 1, 2004

Our Chicken Salt

Salt is quite a "peppery" thing loL! She chases the other chicks and keeps the turkeys on thier toes, quite literally. She has some new type of feathers growing around her rumpus. In the picture of her below you can see the different style feathers. She didnt used to have those. She has been getting very fluffy too. She is back to her laying routine, thankfully, as is Cinnamon, our part rhode island red chicken. We have been collecting thier egss and we are now up to 16 in the hatchery.

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Salt and the Young Rooster

Salt has been particularly territorial about her nest which resides in the coop. Today the young rooster found his way into the coop while we were viewing the animals. All of a sudden you hear all this commotion over by the coop so we gaze to see whats going on. Salt had the young rooster by the top of his neck (feathers only) in her beak and was ushering him right out of the coop! Off he flew as she let him go. I could just figuritivly see her swinging her leg at him as if to finalize her "get out!". It was so funny to watch. Needless to say our young rooster, whom we havent really named yet, probably doesn't venture too near her or the coop now!


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September 7, 2004

The Four Chicks

I had taken some pictures recently of the chicks that we hatched since we added them to the animal's pen. Here are some of the pictures along with thier "baby" picture before I forget who was who.

This is our firstborn chick. It was the only chick with a white spot on its head. She was our early bird hatcher being born June 14, the rest June 15. It was the dominate of the chicks, though now its quite the opposite. We havent named her yet. We thought she was going to be male at first since two got pointy crowns and two had flat ones. Eventually though her crown flattened and she also became very docile.



This is the dominate leader of the group. We didnt know that until she got into the pen with the other chickens. Although she was the last to catch in the chick pen. We named her black beauty for she is all black with a lavendar/green sheen. She has some lighter colored feathers showing through on her neck.



This is our young rooster. He grew bigger than all the other chicks and developed his crown very nicely so we knew he was the only male. He has gotten some colorful feathers in. He has touches of a gold color so we will just call him Gold.



And this is Ugly. She is a rather ugly mixture from Salt. She even has off white feathers which make her look dirty. She was the obvious chick of the bunch that we knew would look like salt.



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September 9, 2004

Incubating Eggs

We have a total of 20 eggs incubating right now. Thats after taking out the quitter eggs. Here is the schedule so I can refer back to it if needed.
Eggs | Date Added | Stop Turning Date | Hatching Day
5_____Aug 25_______Sept 12th_________Sept 15th
2_____Aug 26_______Sept 13th_________Sept 16th
3_____Aug 29_______Sept 16th_________Sept 19th
2_____Aug 31_______Sept 18th_________Sept 21st
8_____Sept 8_______Sept 26th_________Sept 29th

It will be interesting to see how these chicks turn out. So far most of salt's eggs have been quitters or underdeveloped. So she isnt making good eggs. Which is fine, since I prefer Cinnamon's eggs anyway.Maybe this time we will get more of a rhode island red chick. I know I am hoping hehe. Thats why I went through and sided up the pictures of the chicks to what they look like now to help me identify what kind of chicks, when these hatch, will be. Next Wednesday is the first hatching day! Cant believe its almost time for that.


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September 22, 2004

New Chicks

Well we now have 5 chicks. Out of the first five only 3 hatched. Sept 15 hatched the first one which was a reddish gold/yellow with some brown mixed in it. It has a small brown patch on top of his head. Then on Sept 16 came a black with white spot in its head. On the same day another reddish gold/yellow , only this one has some brown stripe down its back.
The next batch of 2 hatched one black with a white spot on its head. Sept 16.
The set of three hatched none.
The 4th set of 4 eggs saw only one hatch which happened today in the wee hours of the morning.
The next hatching day is Sept 29, one week from today.
I'll post pictures when I get a chance, and when I take some decent ones hehe.

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October 29, 2004

Chicks

Our first gold colored chick came out of this last batch. We actually ended up with two of them, both are now a mixed Rhode Island Red. Here is a picture of the first three chicks when they were very little:



There are a total of 6 I believe. The last run truly is a runt so far since it just wont grow as fast as the others. Its seems healthy other than that. They have been out in the chick pen outside since we havent gotten our cool weather in yet and they are doing just fine.
Last weekend we got a new fence put up for the goats, 5 chickens and turkeys. Steve, our older rooster, is being borrowed for "his services" at the moment.


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November 29, 2004

Chicken Talk

Well we finally did it, one of the chickens made it to the chopping block. It was for sure an interesting experience. I have to admit I like the idea of free food.
And we just recently discovered two of our "hens" are indeed roosters. So we now have 3 roosters, 1 rooster on lend, and 2 hens. We still have 5 chicks, though we dont know what they are yet.


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May 9, 2005

Possums & Chickens

A lot has been going on at our mini farm here. We started out this year with 12 chickens. One died during a cold spell back in the early months. We eventually moved all the small chickens into the main pen with the three roosters. Well since there were only 3 hens against 8 roosters they were being quite abused. Even Steve one of our older roosters became a victum of the abuse which we put a stop to by moving him out into a separate pen. Along with him we moved Cinnamon, one of the hens, since she was so tramatized by the brutality of the other roosters mating (and several at one time) that she kept herself in the coop, butt in one corner, head buried in the other. She wouldnt even come out to feed.
So we had them in thier to recooperate and then our neighbor clears his forest. Well the next couple of days first cinnamon disappears completely without a trace. We just assumed she got out since Steve was wandering freely around the yard. Well after that we decided to take one of the roosters named Ugly and put him in with Steve to fatten him up & put in our freezer. Well the next couple of days with find Ugly headless and half eaten in the fattening pen, as we coined it. Steve once again was wondering the yard freely. So we decided whatever was killing our chickens could get into the little pen, so we moved Steve back into the large pen. Next day he too was found headless and half eaten. But all the other chickens were fine. Well we put a trap out and one evening before going to bed we went and checked it. We found it had caught a possum and there was another wondering about it snarling, growling and hissing. Thus we believe it was possums that have been killing our chickens. Once, which was a while back, we had found a possum who had wondered into the chicken coop and talk about made quite a ruckus! Later we had trapped a possum who was missing one eye and had a feeling it could have been the one who got caught in the chicken coop. Never thought they would try and kill our chickens!


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July 2, 2005

Chickens from Hattisburg, Mississippi

The other day Brian had to drive up to Hattisburg, MS and on his way what catches his eye but a sign that says Fresh Eggs $1.50 a dozen. So he stops in on his way back home and found that the eggs are fertile and that they would lay aside 3 dozen for him to return the following Saturday. And thats just what we did. Right now those 3 dozen (only 6 being infertile) are forming in the "hatchery" [ I detest calling it an incubator - such an unnatural expression ]. We got a chance to look and see the birds that laid the eggs and what a nice variety they are. We even have some green eggs (and no ham ~ hmph!).
We have the two hens penned up with a rooster, Silver. They are now laying on a very regular basis.
We have been dropping a tablet or two of Calcium that you buy over the counter, into thier water, and the shells of the eggs are turning out quite hardy.


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July 17, 2005

Hatching Day

Yesterday was official hatch for the 3 dozen eggs we purchased 21 days prior. There were green, brown and white eggs in the batch. Six of the 3 dozen were infertile, while nine have hatched so far. Two yesterday, and the seven through the night and today. We have had to help a few since the shells and membrane were very thick and tough. I hope we have more that will hatch! I'll post some photos soon.....


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Hatching Day

Yesterday was official hatch for the 3 dozen eggs we purchased 21 days prior. There were green, brown and white eggs in the batch. Six of the 3 dozen were infertile, while nine have hatched so far. Two yesterday, and the seven through the night and today. We have had to help a few since the shells and membrane were very thick and tough. I hope we have more that will hatch! I'll post some photos soon.....


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July 27, 2005

Dewormer for Chickens

Seems like everyone we have spoken to has never heard of chickens getting worms. I guess when their chickens just are not behaving normal, and their tails are down, they just figure they are under the weather or something. Well its no wonder some people "always lose a few" as it was once told to us. Well for those who don't know, chickens DO get worms/parasites. When your chicken seems to lack energy, its tail is down, roosters stop crowing, they begin to get thin, and/or open thier mouth and see strange ring-like blisters in the back of thier throat, most likely your chicken has worms. We learned that keeping the coop clean on a regular basis helps the chances of your chicken getting worms, but they also say if your chickens roam the same ground year after year you increase your chances of the chickens getting worms.
Now let?s say your chicken does have worms, what can one do? Well first off if you are at a feed store you can pick up a bottle of Pig Swig, which is a pig & poultry dewormer. But if you are like us and found our 3 roosters near dead from a bad infestation of worms, we needed some dewormer ASAP, but it was late Saturday and no feed stores were open and no prospects to be open until Monday. So I jumped on my computer to find a solution. What was it that pig swig contained to kill the worms? Well its called Piperazine salts. And I had come to find that almost all over the counter dewormers for animals are Piperazine salts. I happened to have a bottle of cat dewormer and the ingredient? Piperazine salts, so we threw some of the cat dewormer into the water for the sick chickens. Thankfully they are recovering nicely. We have already lost of a few chickens with the first outbreak some time ago since we had no idea what was wrong with them.
So next time you notice your rooster quits crowing, or his tail is down, or he almost coo's at you as if for a cry for help, or he seems to be very tired and maybe even falls over when he is "running" from you, or seems awfully skinny, you might want to throw some dewormer in his water and feed him something high in protein such as dog or cat food.

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March 17, 2006

The Chicks have Hatched!

Spring is here and so are our eighteen chicks! This is our largest batch yet! Brian modified the incubator so he could monitor the humidity & temp which means we were able to have a much higher hatch rate. They are sooo cute too, and we have variety this time!! We had about 3 hatch a few days after hatching day...the late comers I suppose. We helped hatch two of the chicks, since they were clearly having trouble and were in the same position for nearly the entire day. In addition they were drying out which makes it harder, sometimes impossible, for them to hatch. They lived, so I suppose we are getting better at that sort of thing. In the past we have lost a few when trying to help them. But if they are stuck too long they will die anyway. Something we noticed though is usually they are already having genetic problems, such as crooked feet, or such which was obstructing the hatching process. Despite this these are very vivacious chicks, not sickly like we have seen in the past. So we will see how they end up. Only a few had feet problems.
I really wish our hens would LAY on their eggs, but as of yet we have not been able to get them to. They will lay and lay and lay eggs, sometimes all three hens laying the eggs in the same nest. The eggs totaling over 30 sometimes, but before a single hen will lay ON them for good, the possums will sniff them out. And speaking of we discovered they were eating only the white eggs....not the brown ones. How odd is that? Maybe they can only see the white ones at night ~ perhaps? Well just a theory anyway. We finally secured the coop and have the three hens and one rooster, in hopes they will lay on a batch for themselves. Is there any way to train a hen to sit on her own eggs? As silly as that sounds, we have never been able to get ONE hen to do such. It?s so bizarre to me.
We have about 30 more eggs still waiting for their hatch day. So who knows how many we will get from those. Baby chicks are soo cute to have around! Almost therapeutic!
Our chicken count is now...18 chicks, 3 hens and 5 roosters. Oh well just a little farm update since not much for the house has been going on, been really busy these few weeks with everything else. We do have a real estate agent coming by next Thursday to give us remodeling tips as to what to spend our money on and what not to. That ought to be informative.

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March 19, 2006

The New Flock

The chicks are doing great. They are eating well, even the "lame" ones, which are only two, and getting around quite well. They sure do qo through a lot of water though! Here is a picture of the "flock in a box"

We had just switched them to that box and they were all getting warm by the light. We couldnt keep the plastic box quite warm enough. So we moved them back into the cardboard box which does so much better at keeping them toasty and warm.

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Biography of Westinmoreland in the Animals: Chickens category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Animals: Cats is the previous category.

Animals: Dogs is the next category.

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