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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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Discussion Starter · #268 ·
Sorry, I was so busy all last week and then ended the week not feeling well at all. Guess that's what I get for keeping so busy all last month!

Gus's peeps, I'm happy with them, yeah, other than that I'm starting to suspect they (and many of their broodmates) are cockerels. 😩 It's always a gamble with hatching, though. I suppose that means we'll find out whether they sell well in my area this fall when I list all these boys!

I'll have to get pictures of them at some point this week when I'm feeling better. They've gotten so big already! I feel like as busy as I was and then not feeling well for a few days here, I've missed so much of their growth, including blanking on taking their 3-week pictures on Thursday, darn. I sat with them for a moment this morning after refilling their feeder, though, and they're still just as friendly as ever, so thankfully I've still managed to socialize them properly, it seems. :giggle:
 

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Are you going to keep one of Gus' peeps if it is a male. Didn't you lose him?

Taking time for yourself is so important. Wear yourself to a nub will leave everyone short that depend on you. I had to live a long time to learn that important bit of information.

Do not worry about this forum. It's supposed to be a fun break from the routine, not a chore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #270 ·
Gussy's still around! He is named after another silkied Black Cochin cockerel that I did lose years ago, though. I may keep one of his sons, depending on how they turn out. His sons would go to the next flock over for rotational breeding, and both other flocks will have fairly young males leading them still by the time these chicks are mature, so I don't necessarily have a reason to hold on to a son from him yet, unless they're exceptional. Gus is a pretty good looking guy, so that is definitely a possibility!

Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't consider it a chore to check in or anything! I just want to be clear that I'm not avoiding sharing pictures with y'all, I just haven't really had the energy to take any this past week or so. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #271 ·
That got me wondering if I had any pictures of the original Gus saved still, and sure enough I do! He was one of my very first silkied Cochins, along with Roscoe, Donna, and another hen I named Cordelia who has also since passed on. The original Gus was pretty young when he passed away, maybe 8 months old at most, so he never got the chance to really fill out, but he wasn't too shabby looking overall. This was him, way back when.

Bird Phasianidae Chicken Comb Beak



The current Gus is 2 years old now, and quite the hunk :love: Love this big guy!

Bird Chicken Comb Beak Phasianidae
 

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Discussion Starter · #273 ·
Phew, I guess not feeling well really took it out of me more than I thought it would! I've accomplished next to nothing all week! Finally got around to getting updated baby pictures today. They're about 4 weeks old.

Bird Photograph Vertebrate White Light
Bird Photograph Vertebrate White Nature
Bird Photograph Vertebrate Beak Organism


I am confident that Black 3 and Blues 2 and 6 are pullets, and that Blues 1, 3, and 5 and Chocolates 1 and 3 are cockerels. I'm pretty sure Blue 4 is a pullet and that Blacks 2 and G1 and the mixed color baby are cockerels. The rest are sort of in that gray area where they could go either way, or in the case of Chocolate 2 I just am not familiar enough with the line to be confident either way, honestly. I'm really hoping that a few more of them are pullets, but we'll see. Also pretty sure I already have a cull or two, but I may hold onto them anyway, depending on how many are male and how many are female, just in case.

Let me just say that regardless of whether she's actually a pullet or if she turns out to be a cockerel, I am SO excited to finish growing out Blue 4 and see how she turns out! She is already beautiful, and thus far everything I am hoping to accomplish with my Blues! :love: The other Blues are unfortunately quite dark already. Hopefully with Blue 4 in the mix, I'll get more light Blues over the coming years to fill out that flock with. 🙏

Also, mixed color baby is thus far feathering in as a dark Blue as well. I imagine he'll end up with some red leakage based on his chick down color, though. Oh, and don't mind Chocolate 3's eye, he just blinked. His eyes are perfectly fine!

Anyway, there they are. :)
 

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Is this a bad thing if I agree with the ones you've picked out so far as being boys? I saw those combs and I thought oh, oh.

That mixed color baby looks awesome though. Very heavy down on it and the foot feathering is amazing.

On black 3 and couple of others, are there feathers on their shoulders? They look nude and making the pic bigger didn't help.

Do you think you might have had covid?
 

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Discussion Starter · #275 ·
Haha, not a bad thing at all! Those Blue boys are undeniable, the red in the face of the two Chocolates is pretty damning, and the Blacks are tougher to gauge in this set but BOY OH BOY have most of them developed COMBS! It was bound to happen eventually, though, because I've had amazing luck with high percentages of pullets in every silkied Cochin hatch I've had since getting into the Blacks in 2020. Guess this is the hatch that tips me back toward the 50-50 split between males and females with them. 😬

The mixed color baby does look nice and fluffy so far! He and Blues 5 and 6 are all a bit light on the middle toe feathering, but I'm hoping that changes as they grow. It's too bad he's looking like a cockerel as I just won't have the space to keep him while prioritizing breeding males. :confused: A pullet at least I could justify integrating into my mixed flock and holding onto there.

Yes, everyone is starting to develop feathers on their shoulders if they haven't grown in feathers there already! It's a lot more obvious on the Blues because of their light chick down and dark feathers, but the Blacks have them as well.

No, I'm fairly confident I didn't have covid. I was not sick in the traditional sense, more just that fatigue and stress caught up with me from being so busy for so long and my body kinda revolted against me for it. :ROFLMAO: I think I'm okay now, which is good because I have some things I need to get done with the birds that I've had to put off for too long, like new fences to put up, coops to get cleaned out, etc. I finally sold my two big Orpington boys yesterday, too, so the coop they were in needs to be cleaned out (and maybe fixed up and rearranged a bit, especially the perches) to accommodate my third flock of silkied Cochins. 😁
 

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The second time I had Covid it was just fatigue. Lots of extra long naps. A little heart involvement in the early days. The first time I had it, the fatigue and non stop sleeping was unreal. The heart and brain involvement was really tough.

Just think of what happened to me once, 17 eggs, 15 males. At least you have a 50/50 going at this point. I was fortunate though since they were paints and easy to rehome at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #277 ·
Yes, I'm aware that could be a symptom. Let's just say I know beyond a doubt what caused me to be so worn out and it was not covid. 😅

The funny thing is that every time I look at the ones that aren't obvious, I change my mind. :ROFLMAO: One day I'm sure I have a million cockerels in there, and the next I feel like some of them could actually be girls after all. I wish they'd just make up their minds before I go crazy waiting to know!!
 

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Actually, it's a good thing. They don't like it when we keep contracting it. Seems it takes a little bite out of us each time that we never get back.

I've been there a few times. Probably the one that had me guessing for so long was Chicklett, a Silkie. Until she laid that first egg at several months old I was uncertain about her being boy or girl.

You know what they say, our first impression is probably the right one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #279 ·
Phew, I hope that's not the case--my first impression is always 'oh no you're a boy aren't you?' :ROFLMAO:

I did compare the Chocolates to one another yesterday and I think that Chocolate 2 might be a pullet after all... Her feet are smaller than the other two and she has hardly any comb development or color thus far... But, of course, there's always the possibility of her being a slower to mature male, so I just can't say confidently.

Blue 4 has me going back and forth again, she had a touch of color in her comb this morning... But I wouldn't mind at all if she was male, honestly, it's just that I don't have very many pullets if she does go male on me. 😅
 

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:ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: Are you one those that goes for the negative and hoping to be pleasantly surprised later?

I had one group of whites that if the peeps hatched out grey, I knew they were males. For some reason the double silver gene only showed up in the boys.

Who would be more apt to pass down the lighter blue color? The male or the female? Or does it matter which is the lighter shade?

I sure don't see the comb with chocolate baby 2 from the side like I can on the other two.
 
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