Sunday, March 31, 2013

A new chicken, now two week old.

Our friend Matt gave us three eggs from his Rhode Island hens, to vary the bloodlines in our chooks. Our white hen was clucky so we put them under her to hatch. Only one hatched out, and he is doing very well. Such a busy little chicken, running around after his Mum while she teaches him how to feed and drink. For the first week we could hardly go near them; she is a very good mother and she flew at us every time we entered the aviary. I had difficulty getting the photos, because she kept trying to shield her baby from me!
In the second photo you can see his little legs behind her head.  The last photo was taken when Ken was able to catch the chicken for a closer look.  He cheeped long and loud, and the mother hen was very anxious until Ken put the chick back with her!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Chooks

We've had many changes in the Chook family since I last posted about them here! Ken sold nearly all the bantams we had since they were chickens, and invested in some pure stock Rhode Island Red bantams. While they aren't as big as the ordinary hens, they are bigger than our previous bantams. We've got one Rooster named Ralph, two hens, and three chickens who have grown so fast I barely had time to snap them as babies!
 Here they are at a week or so old.  So cute!
I love this one peeping out from under Mum's wing!  She was not happy with me hanging around for her babies to show themselves!

A few months later....they grow so fast!  This photo shows them with their Dad. One of the chickens is a lighter colour and we suspect it may be a New Hampshire that must be in it's family tree somewhere.

Gouldian and Emblema Finches

I haven't been posting any updates of our Gouldian flock lately, but they are still breeding well. We lose some now and then; one or two have escaped from the aviary as Ken or I have been going in and out of the doors. And a few have been killed by Butcher birds who mesmerise the young ones to the front of the aviary where they cling to the wire, enabling the predator to stab the little ones. Ugh...not nice to find little bodies on the floor. Now we have put an artificial owl up on the roof of the aviaries and so far it seems to scare the bigger birds away. Here are three Emblemas (also known as Firetail Finches) at the waterbowl.

 Some photos of the young birds that have just coloured up this year. We have been doing well with the white breasted Gouldians - aren't they pretty?

Kookaburra visitor.

We hear Kookaburras around our area most days, but they don't always land in the trees in our back yard. There are thousands of trees and fences for them to choose from! But last week we had a flock in a tree next door, and one of them came over to say hello to me!