Sunday, June 07, 2009

A BabyBee bag? And new chickens.

Like many of us do, I take time almost every day to really look at my breeding stock and my rapidly growing lambs. My eye was drawn today to BabyBee, who is starting to look a little bit on the plump side.

Just a little bit plump. And is that a flaccid remnent of her bag from last years lambs? it a budding bag hinting at the promise of new life? Did Damascus hit more than just Mudpie when he strolled up a January snowbank and visited the ewe flock?

I guess I'll know sometime this month. :) I love suprises, pleasant ones anyway.
If BabyBee is bred, I'm actually pretty pleased. I was disappointed that she didn't settle last fall. Although I've been careful to watch the dominant patterns in my flock, most of my polled rams just happen to be katmoget, and my flock is getting a little katmoget heavy. A moorit lamb will be a welcome addition.

Some chicken news. We lost three more chickens to an unknown predator. So I'm going to have to lock them up at night, although I will allow them to free range when I'm home. We went to the Kankakee bird swap today and bought 15 pullets.

This little mottled bird might have fooled me. He/ she's hen feathered, but behaves an awful lot like a cockerel.

Columbian patterned Wyandottes or 'dotte crosses.

A pretty red- pyle type pattern, and a white. Probably crossbreds, but young and healthy.
Got a few Columbia patterned Brahma or brahma cross pullets.
Grey Cornish pullet, a solid little lady. I've never had Cornish before, having heard they have heart attacks at an early age. But thought I'd try them out. If one dies, I'll just butcher the rest.

More Cornish, greys and blacks. Below is another pretty little cross.

We now have about 20 hens and pullets, one cock, and some chicks. A pretty healthy chicken population of pretty birds. Eggs, meat, and eye-candy.


Rayna said...

First black and white feathered one is a cock...Your little colombians have at least *some* light brahma in them...and at least one looks like a cock...the red pyle looks like he's getting saddle feathers in, and the white looks like a cock too :( ....hahahaha that little top hatted light brahma cross is adorable. And that beautiful red and black and white one towards the bottom looks like a cock too :( I mean, just by looking at photos is a poor means of sexing, but I'm going from experience. A lot of boys get their hackle and saddle feathers in late, but these all look fairly young yet. Actually had one cockeral last year that the 4H judge almost DQ'd because he thought it was a hen, and I had to point out the VERY TINY hackle and saddle feathers out. I hope to hell I'm wrong and you have a lot of pullets there...but I'm not so sure about that... =/

Juliann said...

We'll see. :) Won't be the first time I've been fooled by hackel & saddle feathers. But hey I loooove chicken.
Silkies are the worst! I remember somebody's "cockerel" laid an egg at a show, lol!
I paid less for these chooks than day-olds would have cost from a hatchery, so no big deal if I get some cocks. And there were a ton of sick and nasty looking birds there, these are at least nice, healthy birds.

Rayna said...

Definately nice, healthy birds! Yeah, silkies are awful, 3-4 months minimum, sometimes 6-8. Or earlier if the boys decide to crow earlier :) But hey, the price sounded right, so who cares? :) Like you said, chicken is goooood :D

Laura said...

Pretty chickens!

You could always check to see if BabyBee has a puffy butt.

Gail V said...

Hi Jules,
we DID have Cornish Rock birds have heart attacks! But my butcher told me why -- and said not to let them feed all day, but to limit them to 2x a day. They overeat, he said, and become "flipover" birds-- the heart attack makes them flip over and they are found with their feet in the air. No kidding! It's worked to feed 2x a day.

Juliann said...

Hi Laura,
I've tried over the years to look for the puffiness, color change, etc. that others have said are observable on a ewe who is close to labor. I just don't get it although I've looked and looked. Sheep vaginas just always look the same to me.

Gail, are they just a short lived breed? Some of them must live long enough to reproduce, lol. I just might butcher them in a month or so, I don't want to have to feed them seperately. They are very heavy at just four months, they will make for some real nice eating.

Gail V said...

Hi Jules,
short-lived if all you bought them for was the dinner table, true in my case. Eight weeks old is a very nice sized, delicious bird.
I wouldn't want to limit feed forever either.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I hope BabyBee is PG for you! Love the various colored chickens; they could be a serious addiction for me if I let them. Although I think I could have fun just collecting all the colors that Easter Eggers come in, and their fun eggs!