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Happy Easter April 16, 2017

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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.

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Announcing Farm website December 14, 2013

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After weeks of working on it our website is now up and running. It is featuring our farm dog Sky, our cows and some extra pictures of the chickens. This blog will be kept solely for news on the chickens as that is what it was meant for when I started it. There is a link to this blog on the farm site and I am planning a forum so questions maybe asked about any thing we are raising ,breeding, or working with or on.

http://www.bluemoonvalley.com/

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.

chicks and new pup update September 6, 2012

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Well, it is sunny here once again. We have had many days of rain off and on. Thanks to tropical storm. Chicks are growing like weeds. Mom hatched out 6 total all are doing well. We have 4 females and two males. Thank goodness for that as we need the girls. I have left them locked up in the coop due to that we do not have a dog now. But that is soon to change.

I have put a reserve on a female pup. She was born labor day. She is a registered English Shpherd from Green Moutain English Shpherds in NC. I found the breeder thru the English Shepher Club. New pup will be a sable. Hubby wanted another tri color like Noel but is happy that new pup is now another color. I shall post links to club and breeder page.

http://www.englishshepherd.org/

Older chickens are doing good. I have 6 pullets growing well as well as 6 cockerals. The cockerals will be butcher this fall mostly for puppy food. The hen we picked up in NC is doing great. I look forward to chicks from her, hoping some from last hatching are from her.

This past couple of weeks we have had a hawk trying to get the chickens. It looks like a young male. Saw him the other day going for the adults. Luckily I chased him off the last visit. I hope he learned his lesson.

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.

First egg October 8, 2009

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Well, chickens are 21 weeks now and many are getting nice red combs. I have started banding those I plan on keeping based on body type. This past weekend we got our first egg. It was only 2 1/2 inches long and a light brown color. Nothing since then though but we have had lots of bad weather so that might be the reason. Below is a pic of the inside.
chickens and egg 007

Rocky is now crowing. August 19, 2009

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This morning like yesterday I was up early. Yesterday I thought I heard a roo crow before I let them out for the day but was not sure. Today I know I did for I opened the window to hear it. Rocky and everyone is 14 weeks old today. I know it was Rocky for Captian is not showing alot of red in his comb or face compared to Rocky. I think Captians bad leg is keeping him down a bit but he is getting around good.

Anyway Rocky is crowing but only at sunup. He has not crowed any other time. Only the past two day have I been up that ealry most time I am up later. I would not have heard him in my bedroom for that is the other side of the house. Even when he did crow it was muffled without windows open. Maybe it will get louder and he will crow more. But from what I have been hearing from others who own Partridge Rocks they are morning only crowers. Time will tell if that holds true.

Rocky and gals

Rocky and gals

6 weeks and trouble July 1, 2009

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6 week pullet

6 week pullet

rocky
rocky

Here they are at six weeks.  Finally got a better shot at Rocky the second roo that I named first.  As you can see from the pullet they have been nothing but trouble.  Always flying up out of brooder when I open it.  I am so glad I thought to make it so big knowing that it would be a bit to get coop done.  One more week till we can get everything for it.  Then up it goes fast as can be for there is no cutting just alot of measuring and leveling.

I did weigh the chicks today both of these you see.  The pullet weighed in at 1 lb 3/4oz.  Rocky weighed in at 1 lb 9 1/2 oz and I did captain again he weighed 1 lb 7 5/8 oz.  Seems pullets are winning the gain fastest award this week.
It will be interesting to see when I get off the TSC Dunmor starter in a couple of days how much they gain.  I have almost gone thru a 50lb bag and I bought it last week.  I could see going thru a bag in 2 weeks since last one was 4 weeks but one week.  Another reason this food is not that great.  Yes, I am seeing feathers all over the brooder also and believe as someone told me it is the feed.  I am now planning my own layer ration for winter since we have two local fed mills.  Three if you count the next town over.  I have been harvesting plants that I have grown and that are growing wild around our place.  Mostly tomatoes I did not plant in time, red clover and plantain.  Will be picking up grit this weekend along with more feed so I can give more plants without problems.  That makes hubby happy for if I harvest it he does not need to weedwack it.
Chicks now are much more fearless than they were before.  They do not run from me that much unless I move fast.  They are very use to my dog as she is always there looking in and even pushes them back in the brooder when they fly up to roost.  It seems it is a game now with that one pullet and her.  I have been watching her very close to make sure she does not get over excited with the chicks.  It is good thing she listens real well and has a softer temperment.  Her herding instinct is very noticable when she is around other animals be it the chicks, cats or cows.  She has been sky watching for a long time now and gets real upset when the big birds fly over head.  She will be good for hawk watch with the chickens.
All for now I wish everyone a very Happy and safe 4th of July.

Hello and Welcome! June 10, 2009

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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.