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Happy Easter April 16, 2017

Posted by Tamara in Uncategorized.
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Happy Easter all.

It has been a bit since I have posted and lots has changed. I am down to 3 hens in my Partridge Rocks. Do to the fact there are so few breeders I have decided to change breeds. I have Eggs in the incubator now of Black Copper Marans and Black and Blue Ameraucanas. These are real Ameraucanas meeting the SOP for the breed. I have joined the Ameraucana Breeders Club and am planning on showing as I have a friend who has grandkids that likes to show. So they will be showing my breeding for me.

Next month I will be getting Wheaten Ameraucana eggs in the incubator. Maybe some more blacks and lavenders too from another breeder. We have changed things here in that cows and pigs are no longer here. So I am working on chickens, Muscovy ducks, La Mancha dairy goats and coming in this year will be Satin Angora Blue Rabbits. Lots of ne things happening as we get buildings finish up.


Winter is here. October 24, 2013

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Well, we we down to the 20’s last night. Brrrr But chickens are good. I have upped the corn and all the feed since forage is slim now. They spend most of the day in our woods since leaves are down, looking for bugs. They are ranging further now too because pickings are low.

Pullets hatched this year are now starting to lay. First hatching done in early April is laying. So we are now getting fresh eggs again. Rooster are going nuts over these hens. Opening coops in the morning is interesting to say the least. Lock up gets a bit wild too with rooster chasing each other and the hens.

We are changing the roof of the coop to let more light in. Right now new hen coop has a tin roof. We are taking one panel out and replacing with a clear plastic panel so more light get in. This will make it easier for me to work in the coop with door closed. Also it will help the hens have more daylight time since they have to be let out late morning most days.

My two oldest hens are in molt now. Since we no longer have Longfeather, these hens have not bonded to a new rooster yet. When let out of the coop the run to North part of property to get away from all the roosters. One in particular is really avoiding the roosters. She was never mated by Longfeather either and when she went broody and hatched eggs killed the chicks by not caring for them. She is a good layer but will be for the soup pot this winter after she is done with her molt. Same with many of the roosters this winter.

The girls are now out. October 3, 2013

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Well, it has been just over a week since we moved all the new pullets and the two older hens. I did some early out with them but only a few hours before sunset. I had a few try to go back to their old coops. So I kept them locked up a few extra days in the new coop.

For the past two days I have left them out late with no problems. So today they got to be out for 4 hours instead of two. Tomorrow they will be out all day and then from now on. This should make the cockerels very happy. They have been after each other a bit since I locked up the girls.

Letting the girls out causes total chaos. Which was not helped by BIL feeding the pigs. Which in turn got Sky all worked up keeping the pigs off the trough, as well as hens that were screaming. But now when we let the girls out it is not as bad as the first couple of times.

Longfeather is not happy since he is locked up all day but for two hours. BIL tends for him not to be upset for much longer. On a better note I have marked his 4 replacements that I will be using for next year. Since we have 24 hens/pullets 4 to 6 roosters are needed. Probably this winter we will be thinning the hen coop some too. There are a few that I do not want to included on next years breeding.

I might rehome a few but most will end up in the freezer since they are not worth breeding. Since I am trying to bred up my line to the Standard of Perfection I can not let those not worthy of the breed go to others if they are too far off from the SOP. If I did I would not be a good breeder.

Having goals in one breeding practices is a must. This year I am working on tails. Since my original stock came from a hatchery I have a pinch tail problem. Thanks to the hens I got from NC I have many offspring much further along to fixing that problem.

acceindents happen March 23, 2012

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We are hatching out again. Started yesterday afternoon. I went to be last night thinking everything was OK. Woke up to dead chicks that I had moved out of bator. Only one survived. It was a off heat issue and has been taken care of.

On a good not I found 5 alive in bator with more hatching. I was worried that we had more infertile eggs than not. I crack one last night for yesterdays collecting and it was infertile. Seems a few of the hens are avoiding the roosters. Since we are setting up small coup on sun or mon I might be putting hens in with roo so they get the job done on thos 2.

I am also looking now at getting rid a 2 hens for color reasons. Got a neibor who is interested maybe. I know they are laying as I am getting 8 eggs a daay with 7 hens. Yes, we have one laying 2x a day. Rare but it happens. She must be from last years hatching.

So far this years has been interesting to say the least. Chicks are bigger much bigger. Now that can be from what I have been feeding but legs do not change that much. Legs on these chicks are large what I would call roo large. Only thing is their tails came in on many and those I know are females. Also combs are not growing like they do on the roos. The first batcch are 4 weeks old now and I think I have mostly pullets in it. This would be interesting because Longfeather is an Alpha son and he threw lots of pullets too. I do have a Beta son here that I might tet this theory with ths week. I also have another Alpha son. Who know who I will pait those two hens with that need a lesson. One thing is for sure they will not get away from them when locked in with them.

Selection process October 21, 2011

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OK, I was asked how to I choose my keepers for breeding. One is I am basing breeding on the Standard of Perfection or SOP for the breed. Therefor whatever is not allowed in the breed is first to go. Major DQ is white color. No white is allowed in the color at all. Luckily it has not showed up except in chicks just hatched but turns brown within a couple of days.

Since roosters and hens are two total differnt color and patterns in the variation, it make things more interesting. First I look at leg color for early rejects. If leg color does not match chicks are gone before 4 months. After that selection waits till 5 months and older. Right now cockerals will be thinned based on combs and fluffliness of underfeathering. This is supposed to be a tight feathered breed not like the Cochins which is much looser in feathering. I can also seelcted at this age based on tail set and poor wing set. I do not do body or pattern selection till over a year old. Reason is this color variation changes with each molt. So when they finally have their true adult molt I know there pattern is set. For those chicks hatched this year in May selection for them will not be until fall next year. This is one big reason there are not alot of breeders of the pattern plymouth rocks. Most do not have the time of space to wait that long before making final selection on keepers for breeding. I am lucky in that I have the space and time since I do not show.

The wonders of Fall October 16, 2011

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Wow, it has been a few months since last posting. Sorry all for that. Flock is doing good. Sold last 6 of chicks that a friend bought for laying. Have been slowly moving rest of chicks over to big coop. At this time we stand at 25 total mostly pullets and hens. The cockerals are growing well and are very large. Besides Spike I have 3 others almost his size. I do have a few that will go to either new homes for mixed flocks or become food for dog.

Since I am now on a new computer I have to reload my chicken software. Glad I bought the disk. It is Zooeasy program and can be found on the net. Luckily we were able to save data from it so I can just switch it over. I will be banding the chickens soon as some are indeed large enough for adult bands. This comming year I will be keeping more records than before. I have seen an improment in size as well as shape in the offspring.

The nice thing is with more roos the chickens are forgaing farther. A couple have there own ladies following already. But most are just too young yet. The older hens have been rough on the new cockerals. Most have no tail feathers since they keep getting pulled out. I am sure that will change soon as Spike start to come into his own. With Beta gone now, Spike is top cockeral and he grew up in big coop. All the others are in small coop.

Out of those in the small coop I have been looking them over real good. Since I feed only in the morning that is my time to sit and watch. It works well in being able to see faults or things I want to correct. Right now with weather the way it is sitting for an hour or 2 is fun. One thing I have notice strongly in the cockerals is Alpha passed on his comb to many. But on the good he also passed on his size. Spike has his comb and is almost his sire double in looks. Now if I can see if one of the others that look like him but gets the correct comb I will be happy. I have 2, I am watching as their combs are not curved up front but straight all the way back as a single comb should look. I am not worrying about how many points right now just getting that thumb print curve gone.

In color everyone is good. I do have a couple to watch but they are the hens and it is a lighter neck thing. I have one cockeral that has a weird wing feather thing going on. Last outside feather comes to a long point. Might be fun to see if that moults out but I have him listed for culling. Pullets that I sold, the last bunch were all sold with longer tails than I wanted. All those I kept were much better in that area. I have a few pullets from my first hatching that are just looking great in body. Much better than moms and larger too. It will be interesting to see what they lay in egg size next year. My hens now only lay between lrg and xlrg. I am hoping the breeding them up back to standard of perfection size they will increase egg size. I kept and hatched only my largest and most uniform eggs. It looks too have worked well. Time will tell. At this time I am still waiting on the first to start laying. Should be I hope next month.

Hello and Welcome! June 10, 2009

Posted by Tamara in A little history.
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This blog is about my experiences with raising and breeding up heritage Partridge Plymouth Rock chickens.  In this blog I will be detailing the day to day adventures of my free range flock.  This is my first time working with this breed and we are also in a new home which is out in the country with semi close neighbors.  To learn more about me and what brought me here please see my about page.