Meet the flock, past and present

Meet my flock of delightful bantams. I added the girls two at a time in the order shown below. If you would like to see how my flock evolved from my start of chicken keeping to my current flock you can read “The history of my flock¬†part one” and “The history of my flock part two“, which is more recent.

Honey and Amber on my little chair

Honey and Amber on my little chair

Honey is on the left and Amber on the right. These girls are bantam vorwerks and were my first bantams. Amber was third in the pecking order and Honey was fourth.

Topaz

Topaz

Topaz is a bantam gold laced wyndotte and became head girl.

Sparkle

Sparkle

Sparkle is a bantam silver laced wyndotte and was second in command.

Toffee

Toffee

Toffee is a bantam game bird and was number five in the pecking order but eventually worked her way up to top girl.

Emerald

Emerald

Emerald is also a bantam game bird and is just below Toffee in the pecking order.

Peaches and Barley

Peaches and Barley

Peaches is on the left and Barley on the right and these girls are bantam brown leghorns. They are only eight weeks old in this photo. Peaches is top girl of this pair and I think they will be in the bottom positions.

Peaches and Barley are now grown up and laying eggs. They started laying at six months old and Barley started two weeks before Peaches. Peaches has remained slightly bigger than Barley but Barley has a slightly bigger comb and has become top out of these two.

Peaches and Barley at six months old

Peaches and Barley at six months old

Barley is on the left and her comb flops to the right, Peaches is on the right and her comb flops to the left. This makes it really easy for me to tell them apart.

And that is my lovely flock of very different little girls. If you would like some information about my bantam breeds you could read about them here.

Amber died on 25th April 2015. We had had her for two years. She had always had an egg laying problem but died suddenly overnight after seeming absolutely fine the day before.

Sparkle died on 26th June 2015. We had only had her a year. She had a crackle to her breathing and after a visit to the vet had a course of antibiotics. She then laid an egg with no shell and after that stopped eating. After weeks of not being able to get her to eat and her weight dropping I made the the decision to have her put to sleep.

After losing two girls the flock felt small so I decided the time was right to add two new girls.

On 28th July 2015 I added a goldtop and an ancona and continued with my theme of descriptive names.

Butterscotch

Butterscotch

Butterscotch went in at the middle of the pecking order. She proved to be a really good layer and laid twenty eggs in twenty three days. She then went broody for two weeks and two weeks later she started to moult but to my surprise also started laying again.

Speckles

Speckles

Speckles was at the bottom of the pecking order and was very wary of the girls and of me to begin with. It would take time to win her confidence. She started moulting as soon as we got her and instantly lost her tail. I delayed updating this page until her tail had grown back.

So we were back to eight girls again which felt like the right size flock for us and I loved the new additions.

By 15th August 2016 we were down to five girls. We had to re home three girls with Moira at Whitehouse Farm. For more detail about why this came about you can read it here “History of the flock part two“.

The time felt right to add two new girls. On 31st August 2016 we added two seramas. We called the buff one Caramel and the grey one Pebbles. They both have silkie feathers.

Pebbles and Caramel

Pebbles and Caramel

Caramel and Pebbles

Caramel and Pebbles

Seramas are not only the smallest bantam breed but the smallest chickens in the world. You can read about them here “Some information about my bantam breeds“.

These two girls are adorable and a lovely addition to the flock. The flock of seven is a perfect sized flock for our set up and I love having such different breeds.

Caramel died on the 20th of September 2016 after only being with us for three weeks. She had a closed eye and I had been treating her with antibiotics, painkiller and eye drops. Eventually her second eye closed too and she was having difficulty breathing. I had to make the heartbreaking decision to have her put to sleep.

I didn’t want Pebbles to be the only tiny girl left on her own in the flock so I searched for another breeder of seramas. On 25th September 2016 we added Rusty and Freckles. They were four months old. Rusty has silkie feathers and Freckles has straight feathers.

Rusty and Freckles

Rusty and Freckles at four months old

These two very quickly settled into the flock and are adorable. We were, once more, back to a flock of eight.

Rusty and Freckles at seven months old

Rusty and Freckles at seven months old

Toffee died on November 30th 2016. She was our first girl to die from old age. She had taken to spending her afternoons in the chicken shed and perching in the run for the mornings. She was refusing to eat and her poop was bright yellow. I researched this and it suggested a kidney problem.

As her weight dropped it seemed the kindest thing to take her to be put to sleep. Her veins were very thin indicating her blood pressure had fallen and the vet agreed that she probably had a kidney problem. It was so sad to lose one of our oldest girls and such a lovely gentle character.

Pebbles died on December 7th 2016. She had been wheezing and had been on the antibiotic baytril for three weeks with no sign of improvement. I took her back to the vet and that day her eyelid swelled up like Caramel’s and she was foaming from the eye and struggling with her breathing. These are the symptoms of mycoplasma and we realised that must have been what Caramel had.

I had her put to sleep as I couldn’t watch her suffer like Caramel and I couldn’t risk it passing on to the rest of the flock.

The vet gave me tylan to put in the water for five days for the rest of the flock to give them protection from mycoplasma.

We were once again down to a flock of six. This had been a terrible run of bad luck and I decided to wait until the following spring before adding any more girls to the flock.

I waited until the frosty weather was behind us and the temperature started warming up. We got three more seramas on 25th February 2017.

We have Dandelion, a frizzle feathered girl, Apricot who is a silky feathered girl and Cinnamon who has straight feathers.

Dandelion

Apricot

Apricot

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

The three amigos

The three amigos

It took six weeks to get them integrated as Rusty and Freckles were really aggressive with them until the pecking order was established with Rusty being top serama followed by Freckles.  When we could no longer call them new girls we named them the three amigos as they always stick together. Dandelion and Cinnamon are especially inseparable.

Cinnamon is a tiny girl and is much smaller than Freckles, our other straight feathered serama. Apricot was really friendly from the start with Dandelion and Cinnamon being much more shy.

Now for the first time we have a flock of nine. We hope the flock will be stable and settled for a good while to come.

6 Responses to Meet the flock, past and present

  1. Jackie says:

    I think they are just perfect and lovely to see a description of each pair and their breed which before I was not sure about .

  2. Jillian says:

    Are you adding your new girls?

    • I am going to add my new girls but no sooner did I get them when Speckles started moulting and lost her tail. I want a good photo of each and have been waiting for her tail to come back.

      I am also unsure if I should start this as a new page because otherwise it will just get longer and longer. What do you think.

      • Jillian says:

        It doesn’t matter, I don’t mind if it gets longer.
        I would say get rid of your past girls, but then again I like seeing them still in the page…so that part is up to you!

        I agree that you’d want to get good photos of the girls too.

        • I think what I will do is continue on with “Meet the flock” and “My bantam breeds” as they are not quite so long but end “The history of the flock” where is it and re-name it “Part one”. Then start another one as “part two” and start with a group photo of the six bantams then add the two new ones. That way the first history is big girls, followed by a mix of big girls and bantams through to how I ended up with all bantams and the second history will be the continuation of my bantam flock.

          I do want good photos though as they will stay there and I don’t want it to look like ancana’s have short or no tails. I wish it would hurry up and grow so that I can update. I think it’s about half way now.

          Watch this space….. I will update when Speckles is ready.

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