Monday, June 14, 2010

11 Weeks Old

So I didn't take pictures at 10 weeks old.  I had a lot going on between all the rain.  But I did take pictures today.

This is a pecking block I added to give them something else to do.  They were suspicious of it at first so I put some grain on it and sprinkled it around on the ground.  Gradually they pecked their way up to it and checked it out.  This picture shows a rooster and a hen.

Here they are relaxing in the morning shade on the outdoor perch.  The feed is in the gazebo and the water is where it stays shady all day.  They eat more outside now than they do inside so I have to fill it more often.  They have graduated to turkey grower which has 20% protein and no medication.  It is in a pellet form which they seem to like better.  It also works better in these type of feeders.  With the powder feed I would have to shake down the feed several times a day, I don't have to do this withthe pellets.

They took care of this watermelon rind and now they play with it.

Congregating on the gazebo roof.

Buckeye roo at 11 weeks old.
Buckeye pullet at 11 weeks.  Beautiful birds.  Very big.  They are also friendly and calm.
I am concerned about two of the Buckeye roos.  They are a little slower feathering, especially on their backs.  This was exposing the fluff of their saddle feathers drawing attention to themselves.  When I noticed others going up to them and removing the fluff, which is by the way an entire feather, I panicked.  I tend to do that when I see something strange going on in the flock.  I immediately wrote a letter to Ann who forwarded it to Jeff who wrote back to me concerning the goings on in my chicken yard.  When my husband got home I alerted him to the goings on as well.  I looked up chicken jackets on and ordered two.  I also went out and purchased a pecking block to help distract them.  I went over and over with Mark plans for a chicken tractor so we would have alternate housing should the need arise.  At first he really wasn't into the tractor idea but I managed to find a small video of one on Garden Girl TV's website and showed it to him.  I am absolutely useless when it comes to relaying to my husband what I want.  But he totally got it when he saw the video.  Huge thanks to all of you out there posting pictures and videos of your chickens and their happenings, including lodging.  Now I'm going to post pictures of the two Buckeyes in question.

It isn't that the others are being mean.  I'm not seeing it that way.  It is that they are always taking care of each other.  If one has a piece of shavings hanging on it another will kindly remove it.  Sometimes a bit of grass or something hanging out of it's mouth etc.  To the others this looks like somethings wrong and they kindly remove it.  I've been watching these two for several weeks since their is another Buckeye roo who's back doesn't look like this.  The back feathers neatly cover the tail feather fluff.
So this is what I've been concerned about.  Skin is beginning to be exposed.  Since the chicken is a dark brown a small droplet of blood isn't as obvious as it would be on a white chicken.  But to me this is an all alarm alert.
This is what the back of the other one looks like. I believe this is normal.  This is a beautiful bird but he doesn't like to be photographed.  A little afraid of the camera I think.


  1. Last year I raised several varieties of Rocks, and the Buff and White Rocks drove me crazy with their picking. I had one little guy I had to separate from the others til feathers grew to cover, as they continued to pick his tail to a bloody stub. Is your Buckeye boy low man on the totem pole? The Sussex that were in with them never gave me a problem. And these birds had over an acre to forage on, so I know it wasn't boredom or too close quarters. This fall I'm only retaining the Sussex hens to go in the big coop with the Buckeye girls when they are grown, and the Rocks are history as they have bad attitudes to boot and I don't want my Buckeye girls beat up on. Some people have told me some of the hatchery lines of Rocks are mean, and I think that's what I got. (mine were from McMurray).

  2. I'm definitely noticing an attitude problem with the White Rocks. I'm disappointed that I went with them. All the Buckeyes are low on the totem pole, and such beautiful birds. Have you ever had Barred Plymouth Rock. I'm interested in them but not sure of their attitude. Anyway there are so many different types of birds out there to try and I'm interested in the Orpington and Dominique.

  3. I've had a mixed bag with Barred Rocks. I just culled a hen a month or so ago for her bad attitude, (actually chasing down other hens and grabbing them by the neck, feathers flying!) but I've got several more that are just fine. The cock birds seem to turn devil on me after 6 months or so, we've never been able to keep a B.R. rooster that didn't flog us.

    You couldn't get much more laid back than the Orpingtons, and I've never tried Dominiques. I think I took the Dominiques of my list because they laid smaller eggs and weren't big body-wise, and part of what I was looking for was males that would butcher out nice, which is when I found the Buckeye. I do love the looks of those though, and they are supposed to be excellent foragers.
    My Speckled Sussex are over the top friendly, my 3 yr old grandson tries to haul them around all the time. The only problem I have with them is they are terrible winter layers for me, and the eggs are only medium in general.But personality A++

  4. What feed did you have them on before the turkey grower, and what is the reason for turkey grower?

  5. I started them on turkey starter - 26% protein. The reason I did this is that the albc recommends a higher protein feed for heritage birds. These birds are outdoors all day from very young, they are more robust and great foragers. The traditional chicken is kept more often in close quarters and is not bread to be so robust as quick growing. This is what I've understood from my research. The turkey grower is not as high in protein (20%) but by now my chickens are getting a lot of food off the land and from my table and bug collections. It is also unmedicated, important if you are going to eat the birds.

  6. Marci, interesting about the Sussex. I'm researching it. Do you have them for meat?