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-   -   Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3 (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1449127)

sarahannecloud9 10-01-2012 05:07 AM

Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
A place to share your pics, help/support one another, learn new facts. Just all things chicken.
Let's get to chatting.



I'm kinda tossing this months featured chicken info together at the last min, so please forgive me if it's not quite compleat. ;)

Barred Plymouth Rock

http://humgardens.com/chickens/images/barred_rock.jpg
http://www.backyardchickens.com/foru...0403111344.jpg
http://landbasepoultry.co.uk/images/Barred_Rock.jpg?434


Courtisy of wikipedia

The Plymouth Rock, often called simply Rocks or Barred Rocks (after their most popular color), is a chicken breed that originated in the United States. The Plymouth Rock is a dual-purpose, cold-hardy bird and therefore makes a great breed for the small farm or backyard flock owner. The Barred Rock is often called the Plymouth Rock, but this title correctly belongs to the entire breed, not just the Barred variety.

Characteristics

Plymouth Rocks are large, long-lived chickens. Some varieties are good layers while others are bred principally for meat. They possess a long, broad back; a moderately deep, full breast; and yellow skin and legs. The hens have a deep, full abdomen, which is a sign of a good layer. The face of a Plymouth Rock is red with red ear lobes, a bright yellow beak, bay-colored eyes, and a single comb of moderate size. Their feathers are fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle. The chicken's bottom feathers are soft and downy, like baby chicks feathers.
In terms of temperament, both roosters and hens are calm and will get along well with people and other animals such as pets. The hens often will go broody if in the right environment, and are good mothers.

Colours
There are eight colours of Plymouth Rocks recognized in most of the world, but in Australia, the barred colour is split in to two separate colours, Dark Barred and Light Barred. The difference between these colours is highly noticeable, with the bars of white colour wider and the grey lighter in the Light Barred, than in Dark Barred.
The list of colours correct for most of the world (Namely the United Kingdom, America and Canada), is the following:
  • Barred
  • White
  • Buff
  • Partridge
  • Silver Penciled
  • Blue
  • Columbian
  • Black
With the following list correct for Australia, as per the Australian Poultry Standard, 1st Edition:
  • Light Barred
  • Dark Barred
  • White
  • Buff
  • Partridge
  • Silver Penciled
  • Blue
  • Columbian
  • Black
Eggs
Plymouth Rocks lay a large egg that varies in color from light to medium brown with a touch of pink. The birds continue laying throughout the winter but with decreased production. The amount of eggs laid is dependent upon the strains of the birds.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...5px-Anegg2.JPGhttp://bits.wikimedia.org/static-1.2...gnify-clip.png
A Barred Rock Egg

Weight

The standard weights for Plymouth Rocks, as established by the American Poultry Association, are as follows: **** - 9-1/2 pounds; hen - 7-1/2 pounds; cockerel - 8 pounds; and pullet - 5-6 pounds.

Approximate weightRooster3.4 - 4.3 kg7.5-9.5 lbsHen3.0 - 3.4 kg6.6 - 7.5 lbsCockerel3.6 kg8.0 lbsPullet2.3 - 2.7 kg5.0 - 6.0 lbs


Sexing:

Sexing a juvenile in my experience is quite easy.
Cockerals:
-fatter legs
-more yellow legs without the grey, or less grey on front of legs
-more red comb and waddles
-comb and waddles are larger and grow faster
-there is more white barring on feathers (more 25/75 blk wht)
-feathers are muted or greyish
Pullet:
-skinny legs
-greay splashed on fronts of feet and legs
-more of a black color
_they seem to be more of a 50/50 black/wht
-paler waddles and comb
-small comb
-faster feather growth

Chicks:
There is feather sexing, like with any breed.
The feather seem to be all one length on wing tips-it may be a cockeral.
Feathers are 2 length-it's prob a little pullet.

Courtisy of Speckledhen on byc:

"Males: larger, splotchy headspot, lighter silvery/grayish color rather than black, no or little black down leg fronts

Females: headspot is more defined and smaller, down is very black, legs usually have dark wash down the front.

These, taken together, will give you the sex about 90% of the time. The other 10% aren't as clear and can fool you."

sarahannecloud9 10-01-2012 05:09 AM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
AFM- Got the roos cleaned and in the freezer. Took me all day. There was some trouble with my cleaning station setup. I had to keep putting the pot of water on the wood stove to reheat for each chicken. The yellow jackets were tearing me up too. OOOO, I'm late to get Cayden up for school. TTYS!

Geckmumto3 10-01-2012 12:38 PM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
I have to say, I love this thread, and read last month's. Did not contribute, because every time I tried something happened here. :giggle: Crazy days around here right now.

Barred Rocks are my fave. Our Barred Rocks are so lovely and docile. We call them the "Lizzies." Our girls are named in groups, except for a few favourites.

Finally processed our Roo on the weekend. We were putting it off because the kids had grown attached. But, he attacked me on Sunday afternoon while we were in the garden and that was the last straw for DH. So, we are Roo-less. I actually miss the crowing and his presence, but I am hopeful that losing him will let our girls finds their way again. We have had some social issues, mostly revolving around his two favourites, so losing him will shake them up a bit. Plus, they can all free range again now that gardens are drawing to a close.

sarahannecloud9 10-01-2012 12:57 PM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
You were busy processing roo too eigh, lol. Booboo chicken rescently had attacked me. I was at the pen and just slowly went to pet him. He was obviously in a bad mood because of the new roo in the pen. Nobody would get along so all but one was processed. :( Cayden was fine, even helped. William was mad that Booboo chicken wouldn't talk again. Then with the roos after, he helped too. I was quite surprised. I didn't expect it to go so well. I have prepared then, but it was a big step. I didn't allow them to watch me do the actual "act" though.

BTW, I'm really glad you commented. ;) Happy you enjoyed the little facts, lol. I had to sling it together. We have 5 br's. Found we had a roo so he is now in the freezer. We really like them. They are all identical so can't name them, lol. We have to come up with a group name, haha. Good idea! They are so sweet!

I too am looking forward to letting them free range all day! I have a fall crop out there atm.

Geckmumto3 10-01-2012 01:09 PM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
LOL That's why we call them the Lizzies. We have the Lizzies, the Florences and the Violets. Then we have individuals-- Clementine, Beauty, Goldie, Glitter and Fred (named by a 3 yo :giggle2:).

Our kids were also surprisingly ok with Roo. We had been speaking to our DD about it for a while because she LOVED him. He let her carry him around like a baby. :cry: I won't ever let my kids get attached to a rooster again. But, they were ok. She knew that it was coming, and the boys were scared of him, so it was ok. Unfortunately, it happened while she was at a birthday party (we didn't 100% plan on it happening at that moment.... ), so that part was wrong, but I would not have let them watch the act itself, anyway.

Ironically, I had another chicken defrosted in the sink for dinner already. When I pulled it out of the oven, my four year old did a double take, looked at it for a moment, and said, "Who is that??"

:giggle2:

3lilbubs 10-01-2012 02:05 PM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
:giggle2: @ "who is that".

Sorry y'all are having to butcher your roos, but yay for fresh yummy chicken in the freezer!

Stupid Fred might find himself there as well if he doesn't start fulfilling some of my requirements of him. For one, he's not fertilizing all the girls! He's only mating the four oldest, the BSLs and the RIRs. None of which I have any interest in breeding. Both his sisters have been of mating (and one is laying) age for a month and he hasn't even attempted to mate them. The littlest girls aren't so little anymore. They are 18weeks now and should be laying within the month. He should be attempting mating them as well.

He's also still on edge with the boys, stalking them along the fence if they are outside. We haven't allowed them in with him but it appears not much has changed. I've been toying with the idea of a new roo. :/

Other than that, still no egg from Greta the 26 week old EE!!! 26!!!!!!!!!!! :banghead: She's pretty but not pretty enough to keep if all she's going to do is scarf feed and be weird and skittish.

So I've mentioned a few times that I have had trouble with the young girls trying to roost on/in the nest boxes at night. I tried for probably a month to discourage them by covering the boxes and then just kicking them off every night but they're either too stupid or too stubborn to knock it off so I took out the bucket nests and the board they were on and put rubbermaid tub boxes under the roosts. This managed two things, it opened up more roosting space so that the two groups of girls could again force the great divide between them like they prefer (:rolleyes:) and it got the nest boxes lower so that they wouldn't be tempting. My issues with it are that I don't have any area in my coop thats NOT under a roost the way it's set up and that means I have to sweep poop off the top of the tubs every morning and the girls have to hop down from the roost to the floor to get to the nests. I don't love it but at least they're roosting where they are supposed to and the eggs are clean. I'd feel better about them hopping down if I could put bedding down there but they poop so much of the floor up and I worry about ammonia and yuckies. If your girls poop directly into hay how do you keep that clean? And how is the smell in your coop? I hate for them to walk in their poo so I clean it daily sometimes 2x.

So Sadie's not liking the new boxes at all. She's laid her egg on the run twice now. I hope she gets better about it because there's not much I can do to remedy the situation. I liked the bucket nests better too, but if I can't keep the little girls from roosting on them they can't stay.

Night temps have fallen to the 60's, I've started thinking about winterizing. Like I said, straw in the coop is a consideration. Not sure just yet. I've found my heat light BULB but not the fixture? I swear dh borrowed it but he denies it fully. :giggle2: Still looking. What wattage are you ladies going to use? Mine's 250 degrees but I'm not sure my big fat fluffies are going to need that much warmth. LOL I'd planned on having it set up just for nights when the temps get down to freezing. I also need to rig up a water warmer like the one I bookmarked here:

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/sea...water%20heater

What are you all doing to get ready?

sarahannecloud9 10-01-2012 08:04 PM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Geckmumto3 (Post 15755277)
LOL That's why we call them the Lizzies. We have the Lizzies, the Florences and the Violets. Then we have individuals-- Clementine, Beauty, Goldie, Glitter and Fred (named by a 3 yo :giggle2:).
William named our roo Booboo chicken because that's Donald ducks roos name. William's 3 as well, lol.
Our kids were also surprisingly ok with Roo. We had been speaking to our DD about it for a while because she LOVED him. He let her carry him around like a baby. :cry: I won't ever let my kids get attached to a rooster again. But, they were ok. She knew that it was coming, and the boys were scared of him, so it was ok. Unfortunately, it happened while she was at a birthday party (we didn't 100% plan on it happening at that moment.... ), so that part was wrong, but I would not have let them watch the act itself, anyway.

Ironically, I had another chicken defrosted in the sink for dinner already. When I pulled it out of the oven, my four year old did a double take, looked at it for a moment, and said, "Who is that??"

:giggle2:

We too had roo for dinner. :blush: The boys both asked who it was. Then Cayden wanted to know who's leg he had at the table. I roasted the 2 bantams. I took a pic of how lovely they looked in the pan, haha. All garnished up with veggies. :) It was another free meal pic. I've been toying with that lately. Dork, I know. ;)
Quote:

Originally Posted by 3lilbubs (Post 15755567)
:giggle2: @ "who is that".

Sorry y'all are having to butcher your roos, but yay for fresh yummy chicken in the freezer!
The bantams were great, but very tough and sorta gamey.
Stupid Fred might find himself there as well if he doesn't start fulfilling some of my requirements of him. For one, he's not fertilizing all the girls! He's only mating the four oldest, the BSLs and the RIRs. None of which I have any interest in breeding. Both his sisters have been of mating (and one is laying) age for a month and he hasn't even attempted to mate them. The littlest girls aren't so little anymore. They are 18weeks now and should be laying within the month. He should be attempting mating them as well.
Oh no! Dang thing. :( I wished he would have changed for the better. I'd deff process him Liz. What's the point of a roo if you can't even let the darn guy outa the pen. :( Stinks! :hugs:
He's also still on edge with the boys, stalking them along the fence if they are outside. We haven't allowed them in with him but it appears not much has changed. I've been toying with the idea of a new roo. :/

Other than that, still no egg from Greta the 26 week old EE!!! 26!!!!!!!!!!! :banghead: She's pretty but not pretty enough to keep if all she's going to do is scarf feed and be weird and skittish.
What is that girls deal. Seriously though, I have some around 8 months old not laying. I think it's one of the rir's and the rsl. Errrr.
So I've mentioned a few times that I have had trouble with the young girls trying to roost on/in the nest boxes at night. I tried for probably a month to discourage them by covering the boxes and then just kicking them off every night but they're either too stupid or too stubborn to knock it off so I took out the bucket nests and the board they were on and put rubbermaid tub boxes under the roosts. This managed two things, it opened up more roosting space so that the two groups of girls could again force the great divide between them like they prefer (:rolleyes:) and it got the nest boxes lower so that they wouldn't be tempting. My issues with it are that I don't have any area in my coop thats NOT under a roost the way it's set up and that means I have to sweep poop off the top of the tubs every morning and the girls have to hop down from the roost to the floor to get to the nests. I don't love it but at least they're roosting where they are supposed to and the eggs are clean. I'd feel better about them hopping down if I could put bedding down there but they poop so much of the floor up and I worry about ammonia and yuckies. If your girls poop directly into hay how do you keep that clean? And how is the smell in your coop? I hate for them to walk in their poo so I clean it daily sometimes 2x.
My boxed are cut buckets and I really love them. I thought a good idea would be to screw them to the wall! I want to, but with my setup, I couldn't reach inside without looking. Sankes? Eak. Terrifies me, just the thought of grabbing one. Or even a feild mouse, which we have both terribly. Hence getting Daisey May the kitty.

I'm getting the mulch next week when my check comes I think. The hay has just been more than terrible. it get's matted down with poo super fast! I HATE cleaning it out! The ammonia isn't bad, really. I have beyong superior ventilation in that thing. As you know, it's off the ground with the floor half open. Then we have more ventilation in the truss area. Can NOT wait for chips! I clean once a week. It's hopeless to try and keep up, really it is. I have way too many for it. :giggle:
So Sadie's not liking the new boxes at all. She's laid her egg on the run twice now. I hope she gets better about it because there's not much I can do to remedy the situation. I liked the bucket nests better too, but if I can't keep the little girls from roosting on them they can't stay.

Night temps have fallen to the 60's, I've started thinking about winterizing. Like I said, straw in the coop is a consideration. Not sure just yet. I've found my heat light BULB but not the fixture? I swear dh borrowed it but he denies it fully. :giggle2: Still looking. What wattage are you ladies going to use? Mine's 250 degrees but I'm not sure my big fat fluffies are going to need that much warmth. LOL I'd planned on having it set up just for nights when the temps get down to freezing. I also need to rig up a water warmer like the one I bookmarked here:

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/sea...water%20heater

What are you all doing to get ready?

Believe this or not, we had 37 deg the week before last! I even got a heavy frost that froze my winshield solid. the tops of the houses looked like it had snowed! Way too early! This year has been a wild ride. :/

Now it's back in the 50's and low 60's. I do need to winterise the coop asap! I read that that super thick cardboard works great to insulate tempirarily. We also have to put the hinges on the plywood that covers the cutout in the floor of the coop whare I walk up and put it back. The front window/door has to be done too. We are going to only put up 2 lamps. I'm only planning on 60 watts. My research showed that winter gives the girls a needed break from heavy laying. Also, each chicken puts off around 10 watts of heat each. Mine huddle on both sides of the coop on the roosts so we need 2. I hope to only need it nights. We do get some seriously cold days. The other thing is to put very thick layers of the mulch in the coop and below, also to remove the rest of the metal sheeting from the roof of the run to let mor sun in. I also worry the snow would colaps it. I've seen some portched brought down. :( I'm really thinking i need to get started on a waterer warmer as well. Just not sure how it will work for us yet. Something simular to what you had linked. :headscratch: More power hookups. :( I need a better option. My waterer will deff freeze and it's not possible to just break the ice. I once left water overnight in the shed washing machine. That thing was SOLID! It can be bitter cold here. Crossville isn't that far away and we are always 4 deg colder. It's because of how Pleasant Hill is situated. I believe we are west faceing slope here on the plataeu. Even though we are on the top, it's still really mountianous. (sp?) Lordy I'm tired!

Oh Liz, how old are the small girls roosting on the buckets? My two littlest just stopped on their own resently. :lostit: About time!

3lilbubs 10-02-2012 12:24 AM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
I know, I'm torn and I keep waiting to see if he'll get better because I'd hate to cull him based on immaturity. We'll see.

The nest roosting mob is a collective 18 weeks old now. :giggle: I was so tired of booting them off, they may have quit eventually but somehow I doubt it. They're brats that way. LOL

I never even thought about what might happen in a washer! The lowest I have ever seen here is one morning that I had to open the store at 430am when I was bookkeeping. It was 15 degrees out... my fingers hurt by the time I'd walked across the parking lot! I don't envy you all your cold winters. 30 degrees is the average low for winter here.

I meant to get a picture of the new boxes today and forgot. I need some thoughts on the litter thing too. When you see the coop you'll understand why I'm unsure. Mine is more like a stall than a solid build as snowfall is infrequent and does not stand for long here.

other odd things.. had to trim Rudy's beak tonight. She'd slacked off on beak sharpening when she was wearing her peepers. I think the side to side motion must have hit the nose piece. So her beak had forked a little bit. I'm going to regret saying it (knocking on wood NOW) she has not pulled any feathers since it fell off three weeks ago. I feel badly that one of the kids noticed before I did though. :hide:

sarahannecloud9 10-02-2012 05:26 AM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
Well Liz, I hope you are able to come up with a solution that best for Fred and the family. :hugs:

18 weeks! Troublemakers, haha. My 2 littles are "supposed to be around 20 weeks. Hope FINALLY looks her age, but sweet little Tinker looks around 2 months.

You have great weather. That shed was actually well built. It's when we were in the camper. We had our sparkeling new one in there but the lines froze internally and wasn't able to be repaired. Leaked everywhere. Then we got the clunker. The one that took 3 weeks to thaw enough to get the ice out and use again.

Oh heck yea, pics! You know I'm a sucker for pics!

You know, I've trimmed tons of beaks, but never a chicken. Is it much diff than a parrot or other pet type bird? Interesting. Do you still clip wings? I did the orriginal batch when they were first put in the coop. I havn't done it again though. They all do so well out there.

Boy it's lonely sitting on the back portch not hearing all the boys crow like it's a musical in the am. Only Solomon now. :(

sarahannecloud9 10-02-2012 06:33 AM

Re: Chicken Moma chat thread. Share, Q&A, all things chicken! <3 October <3
 
Oops, 40's and 50's is what I meant to put. ;)


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