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Posts Tagged ‘chicken behaviour’

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Every few weeks the Silver Campine chicken “Silvie” doesn’t lay every day, but the day after the no egg day we get a huge double yoker egg from her.  Even though she is the most timid out of our 4 backyard chickens she is the only one that has ever laid a double yoke egg!  She is a very special hen!

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Goldie the Vorwerk chicken has been laying for 7 days, the middle row starting from the left is day one, across to day 6. I cant wait to eat them!!

All our chickens are laying now, at the top of the photo are the appenzeller eggs, then the middle row are the Vorwerk eggs, they are a lovely creamy peach colour, and the bottom row are the Silver Campine eggs, they are very similar to the Appenzeller, they are a slightly different colour and a touch slimmer.  The Silver campine has laid 3 double yolkers in a really short time too!  Her eggs got bigger and bigger when she started to lay, and that was why!  None of the other chickens have laid any double yolk eggs, so even though Silvie, the Silver Campine is super timid she is a very special chicken.

Also our Appezellers had their 1st birthday on Monday, Happy birthday Tufty and Whitey!

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These are the last 3 days of eggs from the new layer, every day they have got bigger! I can’t imagine them getting much bigger than that though, todays is the same size as a large supermarket egg. I’m still not sure who is laying it!

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I have just been home and collected the eggs from our back garden chicken coop, the 2 on the left are the Appenzeller eggs. The 1 on the right is much bigger, over the last few days the 3rd egg has been much smaller, so hopefully this will be he size we get from now on. I still don’t know which one is laying the Silver Campine or the Vorwerk! I’m going to order a video camera to hook up in the coop so I can find out.

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I’m getting concerned that our new chickens might be cockerels, they turned out to be much larger than I expected.  The Silver Campine chicken (Silvie) had a real growth spurt on her comb and wattles, her tail feathers are also getting longer!  Following a poke around on line it seems that cockerels will start crowing before they are 4 months old, our Silver Campine is 22 weeks old on sat so hopefully she is a she!!

Silver Campine Chicken picture

I would hate to have to get rid of her.  I don’t think the neighbours would like even more noise from our backyard chicken flock!

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Yesterday however, Goldie the Vorwerk chicken squatted for the 1st time, so I’m pretty sure that the Vorwerk is a hen!  Hopefully we will have eggs from her soon.  She will also be approx. 22 weeks old on Saturday.  I wonder if her eggs will be distinguishable from the Silver Spangled Appenzeller eggs?  How exciting!!!!

Here is a video of Goldie the Vorwerk and Silvie the Silver Campine eating out of my hand, I put the Silver Appenzeller mafia in the other section of the run and closed the door to keep them out, poor Silvie is the bottom of the pecking order and is still so timid.  This way she gets some treats without getting bullied!  The Appenzellers, Tufty and Whitey were not happy at all, pacing back and forth along the mesh!

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I was getting worried that our Silver Appenzeller Spitzhauben chickens were never going to lay, how old are chickens when they start to lay? You are supposed to get eggs after the 1st 18-21 weeks, it has taken our Appenzeller chickens 36 weeks to lay their 1st eggs!

I noticed a few weeks ago that the chickens would squat in front of you when you walked near them. They go dead still and stick their wings out a bit, it looks like they are wanting you to pick them up, almost like chicken submission. As soon as they heard you in the house they run to the back door, and when you go in the garden they squat right next to your feet. I have been able to handle them so easily. I was reading somewhere that a chicken Squatting is a good indicator that the pullet is reaching maturity. So if your chickens are squatting they should start laying soon!

I also noticed that the wattle on our chickens had gone bright red, the Appenzeller Spitzhauben has a comb that is hidden in its upright crest of feathers on the top of its head, their combs had also gone bright red, you see the combs much better when it has been raining and their heads are wet. Apparently Laying that first egg is often a distressing experience for both the chicken / pullet & the keeper. I have to say that we experianced no real behavior change other than the chickens squatting.

On Boxing Day we put the chickens in the enclosure (they normally have free range of the garden) and went to see family, on the odd day and night that we are out, we enclose the chickens in the enclosure that is around the coop, and they put them selves to bed and as we can leave the door open, they get them selves up too. We came home last night, I never thought to check the coop. This morning they were making strange noises, more than normal. They sounded like sheep! I went out at 8.30 to see if there was anything wrong, gave them a stroke, and then went back to bed. About 10ish I chopped up a bit of bread and went out to give the chickens a treat. I could only see one of the chickens. I have never seen one with out the other. I looked everywhere, I panicked, what if she had flown over the fence, been eaten by the ginger cat? I looked in the coop, and there she was sat in the nesting box! I was so excited. I ran in the house got the camera, and took a picture. I didn’t disturb her, and only looked in the nesting box when she had gone out side. There were 3 perfect white eggs. What a nice Christmas present!

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I let the chickens out at lunch (They are still out now) and as normal the ran after me, all round the garden!  Once I had gone in the house to make my lunch, I watched them out of the kitchen window.  Whitey was sat on the gravel path, with one wing stretched all the way out, for about 2 minutes she was totally still, then she turned over and did the same with the other wing.  Then sure enough Tufty joined in, sitting as close as she could get to Whitey.  They have been doing it for about 15 minutes now.

Are they doing to sunbathe, maybe to warm up?. Or is it to dry off? It had been raining all day.  They could just be relaxing, having a nice chilled out day!

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