Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Eggs, chicks, calves and piglets!

In animal news, we have babies everywhere!

Poddy’s are doing really well! They are 5 weeks today! Each has their own character, Bart loves to buck and show off & Ruby is a little more reserved and lady like, very gentle… Unless food is involved!

She has gotten over her teething problems, for want of a better word with regard to feeding. And now drains her bottles in half the time of Bart, and then proceeds to badger him and whoever is feeding him for his too. Both of us have admitted that we would struggle to raise her for the freezer, so we think she will go up for sale once she is weaned. So she will be with us for a few months yet!


Since my last post I had purchased a few feathery additions, 5 chicks, a few days old; 2 Dark Barred Plymouth Rock chicks and 3 Silver Sussex. We definitely have a rooster in each, but not the end of the world, as both make good dual purpose birds- so roosters should make good table birds. And we are both keen on Plymouth Rocks, so may consider keeping the rooster and breeding them. As for the Sussex we already have a silver hen of a different bloodline and Lights (both hens and roosters), so breeding maybe an option for this guy too.

When I bought them, the lady told me I could have first pick of the Plymouth Rocks (the Silver Sussex there was only 3 left). So I picked 2 different markings; guessing I woul dhave at least one hen... If I'd have picked the same markings I know I'd have picked two roosters!


As for our own breeding birds. We had found an odd egg within the Indian Game nesting boxes, so had separated them into desired breeding groups (for preferred colour combinations etc). Given that they are still in temporary pens at the front and we needed the panels for our pig pen,this didn’t last.

We had collected over a dozen eggs that went in the incubator, but only 1 was fertile. We had thought it was more than likely rotten, until it pipped over the weekend. Much to my excitement, that nearly landed in catastrophe (literally). As I dropped the pipping egg on the tiled floor! (From the kitchen bench). Much to our surprise (and my many tears) this little one is still thriving and graduated to the brooder box last night- as it was causing mayhem in the incubator.

The incubator is still full, a few later eggs from the Indian Games (lets hope we have an improvement in fertility) and a number of turkey eggs. The turkey hens themselves are currently sat on a few more eggs, and a few chicken eggs. So we will see how that works out.

And in piggy news, we are relatively sure that Sage (our replacement) Berkshire sow is pregnant. As not only has she not seasoned since; and she should have had a few cycles by now. But she is starting to ‘barrel’. So hopefully we will have our first Berkshire litter in September. More imminent however is the arrival of our second litter of piglets (Berkshire crosses).

We sectioned off Christmas Ham, our heavily pregnant Berkshire –Saddleback cross sow, a few weeks back. As she was looking huge and we were worried we had miscalculated the dates. But she is still hanging on, only now she is looking low too, and has been farrowing in the shed; preparing for her litter- nesting if you will.  So hopefully I will be posting news soon. Her last litter she delivered during the day and if it wasn’t for my partner noticing that she wasn’t ‘fat any more’ then we would have been none the wiser. So fingers crossed that everything goes well for this time- as she is twice the size she was last time. So we figure she is either has big piglets or a larger litter this time.



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