Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New chooks in the a-frame

Okay, I've been holding out on you lot - I actually bought some new chicks about a month ago. The only reason I jumped at it, is because a local breeder was advertising "Barnevelder" chicks for sale in our area. I have plans to house them all, but nothing as extravagant as a full-scale permanent chicken coop.

When I initially bought them, they were 4 weeks old - now they're just over 8 weeks. I don't have a group picture yet, but I have a couple of close-ups of individuals.

I ended up with 2 roosters, and these are the two boys. One is obviously darker than the other, and I don't believe they are pure Barnevelders. More like someone else's breeding experiment. But they are still welcome here, as their natures are gorgeous. Especially the lighter coloured male on the left.



He comes right up to you, I can pat him on the chest and everything. The darker male is more skittish and the only flighty one of the lot. I ended up with two girls also, who don't seem very Barnevelder coloured either. Here is a picture of one of the girls (front) and the lighter coloured boy in the back.



Obviously, they're more ginger in colour than the traditional Barnevelder double-lacing, as seen in photographs here. Although one of the girls in particular (below, left), seems to have more "partridge" feathering. Not a very good photograph, sorry...



The two girls (seen above) aren't as flamboyant as the males, but they both have gentle and friendly natures. I'm told by the breeder, they do lay a dark brown egg (like Barnevelders should) but as the chicks grow out more, I'm beginning to realise they don't really have that much physically in common with the Barnevelders.

I guess this is a case of buyer beware. I wasn't familiar with Barnevelder chicks before and at 4 weeks of age, they weren't fully feathered either. If they weren't such friendly peeps, I would be tempted to feel disappointed. But then it's just another lesson learned. That's why I collect so many different breeds of chickens - to learn from them and about them.

I'll update later, when they've gotten bigger and their lacing more distinct - I hope. :)

6 comments:

  1. Well I think they are lovely too! I don't know anything about barnevelders (have australorps and RIR's here) but their feathering looks really pretty, and if they have nice natures then you have some great chooks there.

    Hopefully they will reward you with loads of eggs too when they grow.

    Will you keep the roosters? Can you breed from them if they are not true breed?

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  2. I'm really interested in seeing what colour eggs they girls lay. Probably darker than any I've had in the past.

    You've asked the golden question though. Which rooster to keep?

    As long as they don't cause too much trouble together, I'm going to keep both roosters. I'd really like to breed from the darker one, but if he develops into an aggressive rooster, I'll always have the lighter one to fall back on.

    Of course, that's as long as they get along. They seem to be friends at this stage. :)

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  3. You're so lucky to have the space. I know nothing about barnevelders but they look very nice whatever they are. Its great to have nice natured chooks, my Isa Browns are friendly enough but were vile to my Wyandottes and the Wyandottes are extremely timid. Looking forward to hand raising my own chicks :-)

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  4. Good luck with the hand-raising, greenfumb. It's a very rewarding experience. It's kind of like having babies that grow up very fast - then you get to off-load them in the backyard.

    But you never really lose that bond. It's very special. :)

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  5. I have just bought four Barnevelder hens 6-8 weeks old. They are delightful girls. I am getting our smithfield dog used to them and the hens just tend to ignore him. The dog will not be on his own with the hens out in the yard though. They are such delight to watch and mine are Tasmanaian bred barnevelders apparently some of the last genetic true dutch barnevelders. I still have a wait till I see their lovely dark brown eggs.

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  6. Hi Aussiemade and thanks for dropping by. I checked out your blog quickly and you have a very photogenic dog - likes to have an adventure or two, as well, LOL.

    I look forward to seeing any updates on your barnevelder chicks on your blog. By the sounds of things you bought some very good stock. It's hard to find a good example of a barnevelder nowadays.

    All the best with them. :)

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