Call Ducks, Bantams and chicks…..

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my two call ducks – brothers who get on really well

I was just sitting in my garden this morning, after feeding all the above, and watching their antics, and thought – Its about time I put a blog up about them all!

Now that I have moved to rural West Wales – for reasons you can find HERE – I can finally keep some chickens again.  I started just looking around the local auction – isn’t it great that poultry auctions are allowed again! – without any intentions of buying, as I hadn’t got anywhere to put them.

But …….I couldn’t resist the two fellas above……….or a lovely pair of bantams – both lots for some reason being very cheap.

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photo taken by my cousin O Eliason – professional photographer – you can tell!

This is the cockerel – does anyone know what breed he is – he and the hen are both very small, so whilst they look very like barbu d’uccles – which I’ve got a soft spot for, I think they might have been crossed with a Lemon millefleur sablepoot.  As you can see, they both ended up in the garden shed, and before long the hen got broody and I gave her a shoe box (you can see the edge of it where he’s resting his leg) which turned out to be just the right size for her!

Three weeks later her tiny chicks arrived – they were about an inch tall.

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I took this one – its slightly out of focus, but then I was trying not to spook her or the chicks

At the same time, I’d bought some eggs off ebay, and put them in my old manual incubator.  Whilst buying eggs by post is about as safe as a bet on the Grand National, I’m glad to say I got 10 chicks – out of 18 eggs.  Buff Sussex and Speckled Sussex.

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the chicks are about a week old here

By this time, I’d managed to get hold of a second hand ‘hen house’, and found someone to put it back together with me, but even tho’ it had wheels, I found I couldn’t move it on my own, so it, and I were stuck!

Luckily my cousin decided to visit and help me out, and by the time the chicks were getting far too active to keep indoors, we’d managed to create a nursery home for them outside.

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Only to find that they were even more active than we thought – its just a hop and a jump onto the roof after all!

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buff sussex chicks making themselves at home on the roof of the hen house!

I’ve since put some netting up, which keeps most of them in, and any circling red kites out – except for one of them, who keeps getting out whatever I do!

Hope you like the pics – I’ll probably post some more – cos I’m just loving having them around me – smile.

easter is coming and – my chicks have just hatched!

two buff sussex chicks

two buff sussex chicks

I put eggs from three different suppliers from all over the country – courtesy of ebay! – in my old incubator on 5 March, and lo and behold, on 26 March the first one hatched.

She was a Buff Sussex, and for some reason it took nearly another day for the other Buff Sussex’s to hatch, and some of the Barnevelders and Marans, and by last night, 27 March, all that were going to hatch, had hatched!

barnvelder out of the incubator, and behind him is the maran (grey) and a buff sussex chick

barnvelder out of the incubator, and behind him is the maran (grey) and a buff sussex chick

So out of 18 eggs, I got about 11 chicks – still not sure because the move around so much I’m not sure which ones I’ve counted!

But its a good ratio, because sometimes, almost nothing hatches, because the eggs were infertile in the first place.

I am hoping to start a flock with these three breeds, which are the ones I like best, although there are plenty other rare breeds that are just as nice.

A crop from one of the group pictures

A crop from one of the group pictures

I had intended to photograph  the eggs as they were hatching, but I seem to have killed my old camera, by pressing the card down on the pins, in the wrong position.  Its annoying, because the rest of the camera works fine, but I doubt that it would be worth sending it off for repair, because someone would charge an arm and a leg to dismantle the camera and put some new pins in!

I didn’t even bother finding out – altho if anyone reading this

the group photo

the group photo

knows of someone who could do the job – in the UK, I’d be glad to have their email address.

So, having sold some nice yarns to Romania and the USA in the last week, I decided to put the money to good use, and bought a  basic digital camera.  I felt bereft without one, I saw some wonderful pictures during the eclipse and I didn’t have anything to take them with!

But I think they will stay in my head, because the light was so special.

what's outside this warm place?

what’s outside this warm place?

I haven’t yet got my head round this new-fangled digital thing – see the stuff I wrote on the Julz Cards page – but I did manage to take a few pics of the chicks – they are between 1 and 3 days old – I will be moving them out of the incubator tomorrow, as you can see they were curious enough to come out already!

Hope you enjoy these, may take some more later, when I’ve got the hang of this new camera!

 

Linked to Clare & Deans photo of the week event:

http://clare-n-dean.com/category/photo-of-the-week/