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I wonder how many started that way. I got three silkies as pets. Next thing I knew I was buying hatching eggs from known breeders.

Those first birds are the special ones. And you've still got yours after a decent amount of years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #262 ·
I suppose one would almost have to start with chickens in some capacity before deciding to breed them. :unsure: That doesn't seem like something you'd just jump into without some experience with the birds beforehand.

Yeah, my mixed flock has a lot of old, old birds in it. My oldest is 12 years old, an Easter-egger from Tractor Supply Co. Then I have eight or so random breeds ranging between 9 to 11 years of age after her, and around ten birds at 6 years old including the two LF Cochins. Anyone who ends up in that flock (and doesn't cause problems) stays here until they pass on naturally. :)
 

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That's what you'd think. It would make perfect sense. But there's those out there seeing highly bred birds selling for large amounts of money and they jump in thinking they're going to make tons of money.

That is not shabby at all to have that many senior birds in your flock. Not shabby at all. It makes me wonder, if I had stayed in longer would I still have them hanging out with me like that. I only kept the few birds that were important to me so there weren't that many to hang out for so long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #264 ·
Phew, sorry, such a busy week! Next week will be packed, too!

I did take a moment on Wednesday to take pictures of the babies at 2 weeks old! I didn't have the chance to crop them and label them until today, though, so here they are.

Bird Photograph Vertebrate Beak Nature

Bird Photograph Vertebrate Nature Organism

Bird Photograph Vertebrate Beak Organism


We did lose the Chocolate Cuckoo baby Wednesday night, sadly. :( I really think something was wrong with him internally or something, because he never was quite right. He also had a squinty eye and a little knob on his navel that never fell off or healed over properly. By the time I was taking pictures, he was just so weak that he just laid out in my hand. I did go ahead and take a picture of his wings, but couldn't get a good side shot like the above.

Dog breed Liver Finger Rodent Fawn


I do think he was a cockerel based on how he was feathering in. That's not really much of a consolation because I was interested in seeing how he'd feather out, but at least it's one fewer cockerel I have to rehome later on. :confused: I hardly ever lose babies at this age, literally he's only like the 6th one in many, many years of raising these birds, so it sucks. However, I really don't think anything I could do would have made a difference.

The rest of the babies are thriving, though, and rapidly outgrowing their brooder at this point! They also stopped using their heater entirely this week and sleep in the corner of the brooder instead, so at the ripe old age of ~16 days old, they are off heat and thriving at room temperature. So much for 95 minus 5 degrees a week, huh!
 

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Darn, I was so looking forward to see what he looked like. I'm with you though on there not being anything to be done. When they're that small there just is not enough info to treat.

I'm surprised at how much color the black cochin babies have. My Silkie babies hatched black. No neat colorations anywhere on them.

I think I might be liking the chocolate babies more. Is it the pic or is that mixed baby showing a lot of type already?
 

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Discussion Starter · #266 ·
That coloring has been pretty typical of Black (and Blue) Cochin bantam chicks in my experience. Genetically, I'm not sure what's going on there unless it has to do with that Silkies have additional genes that darken their skin as well. I'm not super well-versed in the genes behind chick down coloration other than that a lot of it is explained by what they have at the e locus with slight modifications from other genes like blue or mottled possible as well.

Part of the chicks just froze where they were, and others immediately started moving around looking for their buddies. I think the typiness you're seeing is just from the chicks freezing in place as they were when I set them there to take the picture. :giggle:
 

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Now you understand why I'm so lost when it comes to hard feathered birds. Sometimes I recognize a birds breed when mixed but most of the time not at all. What you posted about the two birds on the other post was very enlightening for me.

Well, I'm waiting on what they all do. I want to see the chocolates with their adult plumage. And whether the light blues keep their light blueness.

Are you pleased with Gus' peeps?
 
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