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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: cochin

We noticed some mites on a hen that was getting her injured leg wrapped. They are extremely tiny and easy to miss, but when you see them on your poultry, it is best to deal with the situation as soon as possible. Within the next day or two, one by one, I pulled our birds out of the coops. Each chicken was treated for these nuisance pests.

Our injured bantam Ameraucana hen

Wild birds and newly purchased poultry are the main sources of chicken mites and lice. It is part of the deal if you choose to keep chickens, but merely requires periodic checks and attention. Bird mites/lice are species specific. You may get a few on you when working with your chickens, and they may bite you. But, they will not take up residence on humans.

With our poultry now held in smaller, stronger coops due to predatory loss, parasite proliferation and disease can occur more easily. Free ranging chickens are usually very healthy since they have the freedom to take care of their own hygiene and balance their own nutrition.

Our main coop is a tractor type and allows you to move your chickens to a fresh patch of grass. It is the best compromise for caged v. loose. We need to build more of these.

Chickens normally clean themselves off by taking dirt/sand baths. They enjoy dusting themselves as much as they like to scratch and peck at the ground. I sometimes let a group out towards the evening to frolic about so that if any of them elude re-capture, they’ll roost shortly as the sky darkens. When they are in “zombie sleep mode” I can grab up any of the strays.

When I was taking this closer look at our fowl, I noticed how glossy our red bantam Cochin rooster had become. The feathers of a rooster are so beautiful. The older a male chicken gets, the more magnificent the plumage becomes. So, after completing my farmette chores, I took some new pics:

“Mozart” (bantam Polish rooster) unhappy about picture day

Black & White feathers

“Big Red” – Red bantam Cochin roo

Red feathers

Black & Red bantam cockerel

Black & Red feathers

Splash bantam Cochin cockerel

Splash feathers

Blue Showgirl Silkie roo

Blue feathers

White bantam Polish x Showgirl Silkie “Ugly Project” cockerel

I am not sure if any iridescence will show up in this little guy’s tail feathers, but we will know by the Spring. Either way, he is handsome
– in a strange and bizarre kind of way.

White feathers

Hens can have great feathers too.

Splash bantam Ameraucana hen’s feathers

Mille Fleur bantam Cochin hen

Mille Fleur (“Thousand Flowers”) feathers

Pictures do not do justice to the color, shine and detail of chicken feathers. In order to see how truly gorgeous they are, you must see them in person – or raise your own personal  flock!


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This boy was finally caught on his evening roost. I managed to get a few good pics of him this am. Aside from his battle wounds (still healing from his territorial fight), he is a very good looking bird.

The nice thing about Cochins is their mild mannered nature. This guy never tries to skewer (with his spurs) or bite people. Once you catch him, he is a cooperative model.

Bantam Birchen Cochin Roo:

His imitation of a Bald Eagle.

SG Silkie x Bantam Polish Cockerel
(just plain missed getting his pic yesterday)

This young roo has not been plucked nor is he molting. He is actually part of our ugly breeding project.

Chick Magnet!

This growing adolescent is actually quite full of himself. Our lady’s man proclaims to be quite a stud.

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More 2012 Breeders (& Upcoming Stock)

Bantam Ameraucana (Blue Egg) Breeders:

Splash Ameraucana Roo

Splash Ameraucana Pullet:

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FARMETTE 1769 – JUNE 2012
Chicken Pic Parade

Our Bantam Cochin Breeders:

Red Cochin Cockerel:

White Cochin Hen:

Blue Laced Cochin Pullet:

Mille Fleur Cochin Hens:

Birchen Cochin Roo – Who would not be caught for a good pic, so please excuse my photography. Also, this roo is recovering from a run-in with another too. He lost!:

Our Silkie Breeders:

SQ Blue Splash Silkie Roo:

SQ Blue Splash Silkie Hen:

Black Silkie/Polish “Ugly” Hen:

SG Blue Frizzle Silkie Roo:

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Things on the Farmette change all the time. As we delve further into our experiences in country living, we make more refined decisions about what works for us.

Our poultry is a big concern. We had added lots of different kinds of fowl to the mix. There are no regrets. We have loved having them all and learned a lot from doing so. This year, mainly by attrition as predators such as feral cats, coyote, foxes, and hawks discovered easy pickings in our domesticated bird lot, we have downsized by type.

We had started letting them back out, again, but that had dire consequences – worse than the last raid on our bantam coops a bit farther back in time. Everyone is now locked up for good unless we are out keeping a careful eye on them… They just love running around picking green shoots of grass and reducing the insect population, but it is not safe to leave them out for very long. We need to build a few mobile mini yards, so that they can enjoy more freedom.

We will be keeping our pet turkey raised from a week old poult.  She sits down to be pet like a dog and will follow you everywhere. Gertrude is a farm pet. We also get extremely big eggs for breakfast every Spring.

However, her beau Bart is FOR SALE. He is 1/2 Royal Palm and 1/2 Standard Bronze. He is a proven breeder and is 2 years old. We got him as a Jake. He is not aggressive (actually shy), but will follow you for food. Bartholomew puts on quite a show for his girl and will gobble up a storm during breeding season, or when feeling a bit cocky – throughout the year.

Bartholomew the Tom Turkey - $40.00 OBO. "Update" Gertrude for sale also if purchased with Bart. $75.00 for this big, healthy, breeding pair. Note: Need incubator for eggs since hen is so heavy. Gerti and Bart - SOLD

We have 2 female Japanese quail (need to get a boy). And the rest of the flock is made up of Mini Bantam chickens. Chicks are hatching out of our incubator now. It is located in my office so that I can keep it properly maintained and monitored at all times.

Our focus is on “the Ridiculous-looking chicken” project. We cross Americauna, Polish, Silkie, Silkie Showgirl, D’uucle, Serama, Sebright and Cochin in order to accomplish this goal. One great by-product is that the crosses are extremely healthy since inbreeding flaws are bred out in the process. You get a lot of great looking chickens, wonderful layers and a strong genetic pool.

Project Chicks

Chick Pic 2

The following pics show last Spring’s crosses and Parents.

Silkie Showgirl x Polish Hen

Cochin x Silkie Hen

Serama Rooster

Polish Roo

Polish Top Hats have quite a Headdress

Bantam Americauna Rooster

D'uucle x Silkie Hen full shot

D'uucle x Silkie Hen head shot

Silkie Showgirl Rooster head shot

SSG Roo

This RIDICULOUS masterpiece is up for sale. He is an Americauna x Silkie Showgirl and falls into the Easter Egger category since his female offspring will lay blue or green eggs.

Americauna x Silkie Showgirl Young Rooster - SOLD to Becky M.

Alternate pose

Head shot

This hen is a Serama x Sebright with a little Cochin mixed in. There is also one more hen. She is a black with rust colored Serama with a little Cochin mixed in. She produces nice tiny chicks.

Serama x Sebright Cochin Hen

Serama with a twist of Cochin Hen

And last but not least is our Purebred Silkie Roo (a bit muddy today).

White Silkie Roo

Marshmallow

Have a Cockle Doodle Day!

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Yes, this blog has been neglected for a few weeks. Work, medical issues and a mini-vacation (and prepping for that too) all took over and kept me away from writing. Well, it is time to catch up…

Soon, there will be a post about “How to take a Get-Away when you run a Mini-Farm”.  It will tell of ways to streamline operation not only for your guest caretaker, but of how to simplify your own time/effort spent on a farmette.

But, for today, let’s talk chicken! I had seen an ad come up a few times on craig’s list about a little chicken  and egg operation that offered a great variety of birds. I have been trying to get away from mixed sales since it is so easy to pick up a disease carrier. I called and they had a few bantams that I have been looking for, so I went right out.

It was not too far away either, which helped (I have been having a bit of trouble managing my stick shift vehicle due to neurological issues) . I have been stealing my husbands automatic van for errands, but due to his height (6 foot, 6 inches), when he needs it for work, I have to give it up. Best to use the truck anyway so that the birds can be transported in the bed.

Here are my bantam finds.

3 New Bantam Chickens

The bird on the left is a Black Cochin Bantam hen. Our little Gold Cochin Bantam rooster will be very happy now (Chicken Photo Parade – Day 4).

Cochins are mild-mannered and have feathered legs. They waddle around the yard like little stick-less mops.

Black Cochin Bantam Hen

The other two are a pair of Rhode Island Red Bantams. We only have Ameraucanas in the Standard size now. All of the other Standards left were sold off.

This is a nice young pair. They should make some nice chicks in the Spring. The reason that I wanted RIRs back in the mix is due to their creamy brown-colored eggs. They look lovely, especially when helping fill a basket full of blue (Americauna) eggs. The colors go nicely together. And we are all about the eggs.

There were a few dollars left in my pocket, so I took hold of the opportunity to purchase one lovely little lavender guinea keet.

Our son and the lavender guinea keet.

Luckily, we had a cage with 2 young keets and a cockerel that have not reached the hormone stage yet (once they do territorial wars ensue). The little guinea was accepted right into the group.

Successful Introduction

The introduction of the new bantams did not go as smoothly. This takes a bit more time with the adults. If you are not careful, they will kill each other while your back is turned.

The king of the little flock is a frizzle silkie/cochin cross. He is a ridiculous looking rooster. But he is a tough one. Our white silkie rooster lost his last fight to him – fatally. They were in a pen together. That was not a good idea.

The Boss

The new tiny RIR rooster is being kept in a cage with his hen until the serial killer rooster adjusts to the idea of him being around.

A small fence was put up recently, which allows the mini-chickens to free range out back. As long as they can get away from the lead rooster, the lower cockerels and roosters in the flock hierarchy will survive. Come Spring though, the breeding pens must be ready or there will be a male chicken massacre.

RIR Bantam Pair

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Silkie Chickens have down-like feathering. They look something like a marshmallow and the Michelin man with legs and a beak. They have black skin and the feathers come in a variety of colors (mainly solid neutrals). There is an up and coming breed called the Showgirl Silkie that is a bizarre version of this. It has a naked neck.

Silkie Showgirl Chick

We have Normal Silkie Rooster. Although these birds are considered mild-mannered, he is not. I have to use thick gloves or something to block him with to get in his cage. He was actually a bit too aggressive for our Showgirl Silkie Hen, so he has an OEG Hen right now. She is not aggressive but can stand up for herself if need be.

Before the new matches were made, we did get some eggs from the Silkie pair and the first chick came out Showgirl!  There are several more from them incubating. I haven’t been putting them in the incubator in breed groups, so she is hanging out with 4 Chinese quail.

Silkies and other ornamental Bantam (small sized) chickens are a lot of fun to have around. We call our Showgirl Hen the Dr. Suess chicken.

We also have a Frizzle Cochin Rooster with wild curled feathers. He is in with a Cochin Hen, but she is not old enough to lay yet. She is not a Frizzle since F x F = death. They should make some nice chicks when the time comes.

Last but not least of the ornamentals is our Polish Rooster. He has a crazy top hat of feathers. We do not have a hen for him right now, but he is teamed up with our Showgirl Silkie Hen. We are anxiously looking forward to the results of this cross.

Showgirl Silkie and Polish Top Hat

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