Eni’s Rare Breed Chickens has Twin Websites!!

Enis rare breed chickens has a twin website!!!! It is called TX Stock Photos. It sells photos, graphics and videos, and has a wide range of subjects, but specializes in quality countryside and equine photos. You can visit it here. It has not yet launched, but will do so in 2013.

It also has a blog, where regular information on photography, new camera releases and tutorials in using adobe photoshop is posted. The blog is a rich yet reliable information fest for photographers of all abilities! You can visit the blog here.

Check out its facebook page and like it! Follow on twitter and Google +!

It is also twinned with Pony Galaxy,  a website that is… All about horses and ponies!!! This site will make all horse and pony lovers feel at home. In paradise in fact! This blog is full of reliably sourced information, and is really worth checking out! Also check out its facebook pagetwitter page and Google + page.

Banish Bad Behaviour!! How-to Have Harmonious Hens!!!

Banish Bad Behaviour!!

In general, chickens are social animals, living in peace and harmony. When a new bird is introduced, this harmony is temporarily disturbed as the hens squabble to sort out their pecking order. The pecking order is the heirachy by which chickens live. The hens have a little squabble, and the hen that wins is the dominant hen. She gets access to the food and water first, and can put any hen who dares confront her back in her place with a sharp peck. On the other hand, the lowest ranking hen gets to go to the food last, and can be pecked at by any hen. Because of this system, hens live in peace, but when the balance is upset, peaceful Poppy can turn into ferocious Frostie.

In this article, I will cover a few points of bad behaviour and give some tips on how to deal with it.

 

Excess noise

It is usually the cockerel who makes the most noise, while crowing, this can only be avoided by not keeping a cockerel. Cantrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to keep a cockerel to get eggs. The cockerel is only needed to fertilize eggs. Sometimes, a hen will make lots of noise, when she has layed an egg. If this is her habitual egg laying noise, it is not possible to stop her from making the noise, but a few steps can be taken to reduce the amount of noise she makes. These include:

  • Reduce boredom (see below)
  • Reduce stress
  • Practise good husbandry

 

Boredom

Overcrowding and small pens can cause boredom, which often manifests itself as feather pecking in adults and foot pecking in chicks. Chickens are attracted to red, (which is why feeder bases are often red), so if blood is drawn cannibalism can be the result. You should always keep some genitian violet spray handy because this is antibiotic, and stains the wound purple, to stop the chickens from attacking the hen.

Boredom can be prevented or alleviated by;

  • Scattering grain over the ground to encourage them to forage ‘naturally’
  • Hanging up bunches of green leaves for them to peck at
  • purchasing, and hanging up blocks of seed

 

Fighting

This often happens when two cockerels come in contact with each other. This is why cockerels should be kept apart. This takes place over hens, territory, etc.

Fighting can also be found with hens, when a new hen is introduced, for example. This is done to establish the pecking order. Once this is established and all the hens know where they stand, peace will return.

Egg eating is addressed here. Corresponding section highlighted pink.


Chickens respiratory system- science of breathing and lungs

Because of the energy required for flying,birds have a very high demand for oxygen. Even though chickens don’t fly much, they still maintain these characteristics.

han being a single ‘bag’ for air, they have air sacs spread around their organs, and in their bones which help keep the pressure of air in the lungs constant.

When a bird inhales, half the air passes through bronchi to the posterior (back) air sacs, and the other half goes to the anterior (front) sacs and the lungs. That in the posterior sacs is emptied into the lungs, rather than alveoli, gas exchange takes place between the blood capillaries and the air ‘capillaries’ known as para bronchi. Compared to mammalian gas exchange, that that takes place in birds is much more efficient because the partial pressure is the same as that of the environment.

Their lungs are quite different to mammal lungs, because, rather t

 

They have no diaphragm, and therefore air flows into the lungs and is pushed out by muscular contraction.

Located at the bottom of the trachea (windpipe) is the syrinx, the birds voice box, and as they exhale they can crow, cluck etc…

Hope you liked this post, please check ot my other posts!

 

 

Basic General Chicken Facts

Male chickens are known as roosters or cocks or cockerels, females are known as hens or pullets. Castrated males are known as capons, but castrating chickens seems a silly and expensive option to some people who reckon its easier not to have a cockerel if they dont want chicks.

Cockerels are generally distinguished by larger head furnishings (combs and whattles) and colourful plumage (feathers).

Head furnishings direct the blood to the surface to keep the chickens cool. In winter, when its cold, chickens head furnishings may seem a little more pale than usual, this is because vasoconstriction occurs, which is where the blood vessels near the skin narrow and more blood is directed deeper down to conserve heat.

Things to keep in stock for chicken keeping…



Below I have written a list of essenttials to keep in stock for poultry keeping. The first section covers day to day essentials that should be kept in stock, for disinfecting, treating, boosting, feeding etc.

Layers pellet or mash for grown  hens

Growers pellet or mash for growing hens

Chick crumbs for chicks aged 0-6 weeks

Disinfectant such as dettol which has the added benefit of being a red mite deterant.

Apple cider vinegar a booster

Grit to help chickens breakdown food

Crushed oyster shell, boosts calcium and avoids soft shelled eggs, can be mixed in with grit

Wormer to worm them

Emergencies

Coxoid for the treatment of coccidiosis

Hibiscrub to clean up wounds

Wound powder for minor wounds

Smite spray for red mite

Red mite powder

 

 

Note of the Month: September is Moulting Time



Now is moulting time. Chickens are losing their feathers to make way for new ones. The most intentensive moult takes place in september, but it often also occurs in August. Now, hens stop laying and concentrate their energy on changing their old, damaged no-longer-waterproof  plumage for new, waterproof, shiny feathers. Despite not laying, the hens still need the goodness of quality layers pellet or mash, and often benefit from a special moulting supplement. For those on a shoestring budget, a bottle of apple cider vinegar is a good investment, vinegar for birds health, your salad and chips!! Add the vinegar to the birds water at a percentage of one percent, maximum two percent. 

 

Sexing Partridge Wyandotte Chicks

Tips for sexing Partridge Wyandotte Bantams…

Girls…

  • Darker plumage (from hatching to early juvenile moults )
  • Rounder wing feathers
  • Paler combs

Boys…

  • Lighter in colouring (from hatching to first juvenile moult) from then on, orange slowly begins to appear, until they are actually darker than the girls
  • Thicker legs
  • Slower wing feather development

Partridge Wyandotte bantams can be sexed from hatching. Look at my story below.

………………………………………………………………………………….2011……………………………………………………………………………………………

I think you can sex Partridge wyandotte chicks from the instant they hatch.  The two sexes look very different from the beginning. One is  dark with ‘eyeliner’ the others are light with no eyeliner. I am doing an experiment to see if this is true, taking into account other sexing tips like;

* hens develop wing feathers faster than cockerels

* hens have paler combs than cockerels

*cockerels legs are (generally) thicker

* hens wing feather tips are more round.

 

 

 

 

 

By the end of the experiment, I will update and reveal the result.

 

 

 

All is now becoming clear. The eyelner chicks have very plain plumage and hardly any comb, so they are the females. The males are colouring up, their chests are growing a bit of golden and their combs and wattles are a telltale sign.

 

The latest images below show the growers after having gone through several juvenile moults.  They now have more adult like feathers. Also, my experiment worked. The ones with eyeliner have indeed turned out to be  girls.

 

 

 

 

Now the cockerels are no doubt cockerels, and have gone through more juvenile moults to reach a colour that is similar to their final colouring. The hens have grown and matured, but their plumage colour has not changed much.

One thing is for sure. You can sex Partridge Wyandotte Chicks from Hatching.
The darker ones with ‘eyeliner’ are girls!!

National Poultry Show, Stoneleigh!

It is coming round to that time of year again, the National poultry show, in November, at stoneleigh. This year, the show is held at the National Agricultural Centre, stoneleigh Nr coventry. Come and see one of the largest shows in Britain, on the 19th & 20th November 2011. There will be over 5,000 exhibits and over 130 breeds of bantams, large fowl, ducks, geese, and turkeys.

This is a very big attraction, remember to write it in your diary!!!

A chickens Brain- The Science

Did you know that chickens have a concept of the future?

Scientist used tho think that only humans and higher primates had brains with structure that is complex enough to allow forethought. The complex arrangement of the neurons, and the  fact that they have a concept of the future suggests that they are intelligent enough to worry. An example of this is shown when a strange person comes to the breeders house, puts them in a box and into a roaring creature with legs that go round and round (a car!!). They dont peck around happily, instead they make noises of alarm and worry what is going to happen to them. An even worse scenario is when they are stuffed into crates, loaded onto a lorry and brought to a slaughterhouse.  This is a terrible state for them to travel in, and they spend their time worrying what will happen to them.

The neocortex is the part of the brain that deals with complex thought. Chickens have one of these too.

An egg can only hold up to 200 calories, and many calories are needed for a big brain. This is why mammals go through the pain of childbirth, because they give their young a constant supply of calories, and their young grow a big brain. Despite possessing a tiny brain (about the size of a pea!!), chickens fit a lot into it. Their spinal chord, and some parts of the brain deals with movement, co-ordination and reflex, while the rest of the brain deals with memory, senses, future conceps and voluntary actions. This is quite a lot to fit into such a tiny brain!

Partridge Wyandotte Bantams

 

The wyandotte bantam

This version is lighter than its larger counterpart, therefore create less damage to flowerborders, manicured lawns and enclosures. Other than this, they are a replica of their large counterpart.

Cockerels weigh about 1.7kg while hens weigh around 1.3kg. Wyandotte bantams come in a similar array of colours, but my favourite must be partridge bantams.

Partridge wyandottes are very versatile. Like all other wyandottes, they are excellent egg producers, but are also a successful colour in the showring. Unlike colours such as whites and lavenders, they dont get dirty, but are still very pretty birds.

I recommend these birds for first time owners and first time exhibitors, but even if you have owned chickens for many years, these birds still make a delightful addition in any garden.

Wyandottes in general are strong, hardy, kind, easy to tame, good with children, good broodies, good mothers etc.