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My First Chickens

Discussion in 'A Place To Discuss And Show Off All Other Pets' started by sunnyring, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    these were my first chickens, all sadly now long gone from old age. they laid a rainbow of eggs
    mixed hens.JPG chirpys first egg.jpg mixed eggs.jpg
     
    tka, Kim, DizzyBlue and 3 others like this.
  2. Beaky

    Beaky Regular Member

    love it and brings back nostalgia when we kept them.. so relaxing to watch chickens scratching about, We cane back from France 4 years ago after 8 yrs living the good life,
    Seven acres most of which we let the farmer take hay from, We had a one acre paddock in which we kept laying hens and table birds, flock of white geese, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowl and a some qual, also two white silkies that we kept separate. Also we bought two lambs each spring and let them fatten themselves up in the paddock. The geese, ducks and hens, quail and silkies all had their own huts and lived in complete harmony and content sharing the paddock all day, Quail kept separate, Guinea fowl wont go inside and geese preferred to sleep outside only moving indoors for feed. We also had a pollytunnel on the paddock which we left open in the winter so the hens could dust bath all year round. The table birds were the naked neck variety and put on good weight quickly, Also had a veg patch which i ploughed and rotovated with a MF35 tractor, The farmer muck spreaded fro me each spring in return for the hay. Happy days, we came back as we were not not seeing the grand children often enough. C'est la vie !!
     
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  3. Beaky

    Beaky Regular Member

    Oh it was in a little hamlet called La Reynie, part of Festalemps, Riberac, North Dordogne..
     
    Kerin and sunnyring like this.
  4. Kerin

    Kerin Regular Member

    Those are beautiful birds, and the eggs look wonderful in those different colours! What is an average lifespan for a chicken @sunnyring ? :)
     
  5. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    varies a lot. I've had one make it to 9 but many go at 4 or 5 and its not unusual to lose one at 3. egg laying is a high risk endeavour so egg related problems can see a hen off young. they don't generally live long once they have run out of eggs either- its why I was so pleased my elderly duck laid a few days ago , means she still has some life left.
     
  6. Heather2131

    Heather2131 Regular Member

    Why do chickens continuously lay eggs for no reason?
    Other birds do it more seasonally don't they also usually if there's a mate!
    I've always wondered that but never looked into it
     
  7. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    domestication... wild jungle fowl lay a clutch like any other bird and hatch them. on domesticating them we ate the ones that did not lay many eggs and bred the ones who laid well- pure tradtional breeds lay less then commerical birds, my serama lay when they feel like it - they are bred for size and looks not eggs.. my big hen - a traditional pure bred -lays nearly every day from Spring till Fall then has winter off, the little brown commerical hen I had laid an egg nearly every day all year all her life. Barbie my duck lays about 14 eggs then goes broody..
    a mate is not needed for chickens - they like having a cockerel about as he is their body guard and keeps order in the group but he isn't needed for eggs.
     
  8. Heather2131

    Heather2131 Regular Member

    Aw that's sad
    It must really take it out of the ones who lay all the time
     
  9. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    they tend to live slightly shorter lives then traditionals. not very much shorter though. main danger is egg laying going wrong which can happen to any hen- ie egg bound, prolapse, internal laying, and thats why I bought a male african grey - I didn't want the worry of eggs... and of course I still got a girl as seller had sex wrong!
     
    Heather2131 likes this.
  10. Heather2131

    Heather2131 Regular Member

    Yeah I do hate that about female birds
    One of my budgies laid an egg in a cozy hut thing, well it had no sides so the egg was nearly out and splat on the floor I was so stressed
    Quickly put a breeding box in for them and she laid 2 more, all infertile but I'm a proper stress head when it comes to birds

    Now I'm gonna have to go through all that stress with a female Caique one day...

    How did you find out your African grey was female after all?
     
  11. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    she acted female.. all female birds adore my husband-and I mean really adore (well apart from cockatiels who all hate him lol) we thought she was a girl and my curiosity was too great so I got her DNA'd to confirm. need not have bothered - once she settled in she started laying eggs!
     
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  12. DizzyBlue

    DizzyBlue Administrator Staff Member Admin

    WOW look at those lovely egg colouring's :) they are really pretty!
     
    sunnyring likes this.
  13. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    Egg colours are fun, made some olive green layers one year from hatching eggs from a brown layer hen covered by a blue egg gene cockerel- those were pretty and the silkie laid little pinky coloured eggs.
    Barbie muscovy lays greeny coloured eggs that are encased in a waxy coating-you can scratch into it as its quite thick and they are a rare delight as she doesn't lay many before going broody. I had an omlette from her first 2 eggs of year for dinner tonight- amazing flavour and beautiful deep yellow/orange colour. home laid eggs always have a deeper coloured yolk then shop eggs and the flavour is beyond compare.
    Sophie Cag laid when my mum visited and I horrified her by joking I would use the eggs in the stuffing with dinner - funny how eveyone eats chicken eggs but a fresh parrot egg appalled! (and no I couldn't fancy them either lol)
    in a similar vein my old neighbour who would have hen eggs when I kept large fowl asked me in all seriousness how I knew which eggs were not fertilised and thus suitable for eating when the cockerel ran with all the hens....
     
  14. Ararajuba

    Ararajuba Regular Member

    I thought the pale blue and dark brown eggs looked the most appealing. @sunnyring, which birds laid those?
     
  15. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    the cream legbar (greyish hen with a crest) laid the blue and the maran cross (black) laid the dark brown. the dark layer was a very poor layer though- only about one egg a week!
     
    Ararajuba likes this.
  16. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    I must say the eggs look great and so do the chickens. did you find they got on well together or did you have to separate any
     
  17. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    o no they were a happy flock. chickens are very social and although introducing a new one can take a little effort they do want to be friends. cockerels are different- they don't usually get along with each other.