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{Flock Updates} Possible New Additions & A Future Plan

This past week was a bit of a tough one for me. My continuing recovery from the car accident has been a continuing frustration for 5 months now, and last week it kinda peaked as far as how bad things got. I was having cognitive fatigue all week & then I pulled/sprained something in my right ankle causing an excruciating pain to radiate from my foot to my hip. The ankle also swelled up in a knot about the size of a grapefruit.

Lot of depression, pain, and not great feeling as I missed a number of days from work this week (another thing that did not help make things improve). So, in order to try and get out of this, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do as far as chicken keeping. There was a lot to think about.

Obviously, there was no plan whatsoever when I started this. It was, “This little guy is lost & he’s going to die if I don’t take him in & care for him”, that quickly went to, “This little guy thinks I’m his hen so I better get him some real hens before I have a problem” & finally came to, “Chickens come in a lot of colours, shapes & sizes & so do their eggs, I think I might like to gets one variety for this decorative flock”. There wasn’t ever a real plan other than to take care of Odysseus.

{Ayam Cemani picture by unknown}

{Ayam Cemani picture by unknown}

 

Lately, I’ve come across a number of breeds that I absolutely love the look of but can’t find any of or even a single breeder of them here in Colorado. So, I figured maybe that could be my plan: breed my own lines of 2-3 rare breeds for other chicken enthusiasts or for shows & 4H projects here in Colorado. This has to stay relatively small, obviously, since I’m not utilizing land I own & because I’m still handicapped by my injuries & I will most likely be doing all the work on my own.

Taking those things into mind, I’ve decided to go with mostly bantam breeds (like Odysseus – small & for decoration instead of meat). The breeds I’m going to try for are Bantam Phoenix, Dwarf Olandsk & Ayam Cemani.

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{picture taken by current owner}

The Phoenix flock is pretty much a go right now. I found someone willing to trade me a Phoenix rooster that’s not a year old yet for some hatching eggs & they’re willing to hang onto him until May when I get the coop/run built. I’m not sure what type of Phoenix he is or if he’s a Barnyard Phoenix, but I think he’ll be a good start with Phoenixes for me. He is definitely much bigger than Odysseus, so the pullets & cockerels I’m looking into buying from a few small breeders/hatcheries will need to be bantams to start with so I can breed for the smaller size.

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{Dwarf Olandsk picture by Mother Nature’s Daughter on backyard chicken.com}

The Dwarf Olandsk & Ayam Cemani breeders I’ve found are not a sure thing yet for me. This is understandable as they are trying to establish their own line of each first, so there aren’t that many chicks they can sell to others yet (there is a waiting list, I’m sure). However, I am willing to wait for the opportunity to try breeding my own line of both those breeds. Not having those breeds be a sure thing right away does allow me time to prepare better for their care & upkeep, as well as giving me more time to research breeding programs & bird shows so I know what traits I should be looking for in my breeders.

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{OvaScope & Mini Advance Incubator with Zelda in the background}

 

The other thing I have been getting ready for is my first attempt at hatching. My incubator & egg scope showed up & kinda put the nail in the Am I Really Going To Do This? coffin. I’m really going to do this. Odysseus & his ladies will always be my main flock & any small roosters & hens that come along from hatching will be added to his flock, within reason. With the main flock, they’ll mostly just be producing eggs whenever the feel like it for the eggs to be eaten. I do want a few Barnyard mixes just because I can’t help myself being curious what some of the mixes would look like, but sinc I’m not breeding/raising for meat (or even really eggs for some of the breeds I’ll have), I need to have any breeding/hatching done with a purpose & with control. So, Odysseus’s flock will pretty much be the egg flock & not so much a flock for breeding purposes.

It’s a lot to still think about & plan out & I have a lot of things to look into beyond finding my starter trios & getting the coop/run set up (like becoming NPIP certified, learning about vaccinations & how to administer them or finding a vet that handles poultry, getting into bird shows), but it’s about 12% of a plan right now. Which is better than 11%.

{further reading on creating your own breed strain -to be updated periodically}

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