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  1. #51
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    They were fvcking massive with all the scraps I gave them.
    They would eat absolutely anything, even chicken.

    Must have weighed a couple of kilos each. But Goldie the last to die and our personal favourite was more like 3 kilos.

    He had personality and would listen to you talking.

  2. #52
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    Well today was a good day!

    My first bum nut i.e. egg for those of you who didn't know.

    AND

    She laid it in one of the nests I built not on the ground.
    Who said chickens are dumb (probably me!!!)

    I might even have my first grandkid on toast for breakfast tomorrow.



    And for Mendip
    I have some more chicks hatching as of yesterday, now have 6 more, 5 yesterday and 1 today) so I would make that day 18 & 19 in the incubator.

  3. #53
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    Well today was not a good day, one of my hens died, don't know why or what from but she was alive when I fed them in the morning and 3 hours later dead, literally fell off the perch.
    The SIL was happy took it home and ate it for dinner.
    I couldn't believe that they weren't worried about eating a bird that was sick enough to die. Amazing Thailand!

    Hopefully no more catch whatever it was.

  4. #54
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    I'm sorry for your loss ootai.

    I've found that these red egg layers die quite regularly. They don't seem very hardy at all and I don't think I've had any live longer than around three years. I think they just burn themselves out laying an egg every day. The ones in battery farms are culled at around 18 months old I believe, as soon as their egg production drops off.

    The wild jungle fowl are completely different and seem to go on forever, and apart from when we got hit by fowl cholera I don't think I've had many die at all. My last cock 'Ziggy' was at least seven when the fowl cholera got him. I think they can live to around twelve years of age which gives 'Robin Hood' at least another eight years with his harem.

    The red egg layers seem to die in a variety of ways. The first batch of six we got years ago all crammed into the same hutch on their first night, and one got smothered to death - I don't they're the brightest of hens. She was eaten by a brother-in-law (shame that fowl cholera doesn't pass to humans as I would have sent a load his way).

    Getting egg bound is a constant problem with these hens and they can get a kind of prolapse at their rear end. I've tried bathing their rears in warm water, using olive oil to help the egg out, etc etc, but they always seem to die in the end. I now tend to just let nature take it's course. We had one old chicken last year who had gone partially blind and just sat on the floor looking sorry for herself. I spent weeks feeding her twice a day with mashed up egg and fruit in a syringe to keep her going. I kept her in an isolation cage within the chicken run and it was interesting as all the other hens sat around the cage to keep her company. Apparently hens are one of the few animals to show empathy towards others. It didn't end well for this one however... a few days after I had to go away to work I was told she had suddenly died. I don't think the gardener was willing to nurse an elderly chicken for an hour a day and I think her 'sudden' death may have involved a broken neck, followed by a long bath in a pan of boiling vegetables.

    Sometimes we just get an unexplained death and find a dead chicken, who was seemingly healthy beforehand, lying dead in the chicken run. I guess there's always a chance of illness or maybe snakes being responsible, but I think some may die of heart attacks when the jet fighters from the Korat airbase go screaming over. They fly very low and make an awfully loud noise.

  5. #55
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    My, what a splendid cock you have!

    My mom has been raising chickens on & off for the past 20 or so years. I have scars on my hand from when I was pecked by a rooster. At the moment, they're more of a hobby for her and they keep her busy. She stopped for a while, but bought chickens again soon after my dad's death some years ago. Whenever I visit her, I buy feeds and get the occasional egg in return. Not a good ROI for me, but hey, it's for my mom's mental health.

    Have you guys experienced a hen developing male characteristics? Last time I visited mom, she had 2 hens (Blackie & Whitie). She said that she observed Whitie developing rooster-like traits, such as calling the other hen during eating time and trying to crow! (They're free range.) I told her that maybe Whitie is becoming a tomboy. They were both egg layers, but now only Blackie is laying. They're of the same age, I think.

    I know that sex reversal happens in fish, but haven't heard of it in birds.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    My, what a splendid cock you have!
    Yeah yeah... I've heard it all before.

    The worst chicken related injury I've had was when I was training one to sit on my shoulder and she pecked me in the eye. That really did hurt.

    We also have several called Blackie and Whitie, or dam and cow if I want to mix it up a bit.

    I've seen a few young girl hens that develop as a boy... big, tall and with a long tail and a comb, and they have even tried crowing. I put it down to inbreeding since I have just one cock to service all the hens, and then their offspring, and so on. I'm more careful which eggs I put under the broody hens now.

    Maybe you can get tomboy chickens... nothing would really surprise me in Thailand any more.

  7. #57
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    Well it is a good day today I now have 2 hens laying. I got 2 eggs yesterday but wasn't sure if I had forgotten to collect the previous days, so I waited and today 2 eggs again so all is good in the hen house. I also have seen the rooster doing his job so hopefully they will be fertile. I need to wait until all 5 hens are laying so that I can collect 24 eggs (needed to fill my incubator) within 5 days. That way i hope to have them all hatch within a couple of days of each other.

    The latest batch of eggs I put in has been weird as I had 7 hatch after 5 days and now I have another 9 hatched after 16 days so it is a bit hard to manage because I want to try and keep the chickens in batches that are the same age and believe me a week is a long time in the development of a chicken.

    Mendip I took note of your comments about "bumblefoot" and spend some time on Google as one of the hens had a bad limp so I immediately thought of what you had said.
    Anyway it seems that it is not all about trauma due to landing but rather an infection (see picture below).
    Anyway I wen and ordered some Epsom salts to see if would work but while waiting to get that I thought why not try the anti-bacterial spray I have for Co-vid.
    So i have used a combination of both and it seems to have worked.
    When I first noticed it she could barely put any weight on one of her legs and today I seen her break into a run with barely any noticeable limp.

    My Splendid Cock-bumblefoot-2020-png

  8. #58
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    ^ Ootai, I also tried Epsom salts but with no success, so that's interesting.

    I think that the impacts can maybe make them more susceptible to infection?

    Next time you're in Korat you could take it to Bung Talua Animal Hospital. The main man there once operated on one of my chickens with bumblefoot and it was fine afterwards and had a long, happy retirement.

    You could always question the wisdom of paying for a 500 Baht operation on a 200 Baht chicken, but as I've mentioned before I think that I'm probably too soft these days.

  9. #59
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    Mendip
    I think it is actually the hand sanitiser spray more than the Epsom salts but it seems to have worked.
    I never did see anything that might have been an abscess or any swelling / redness in her foot.
    There's no way i would ever take a chicken to see a Vet but then I don't have a young daughter watching me.

  10. #60
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    To many roosters in our village that no-one wants. Apparently rooster isn't as tasty as hen!

  11. #61
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    Sad times in the Mendip household... I was told yesterday that Robin Hood has passed on.

    RIP Robin. He was only young, maybe 3 or years, so this was a surprise.

    Here he was in all his glory.



    I'm trying to get to the bottom of how he died. I think this is one of the reasons I find it stressful living in Thailand... my Western mind likes answers to things... why did he die, how did he die, how can I stop it happening again? The Thais don't seem to be so enquiring. So far I've discovered that he was hard and lying upside down under the perch. I think that's as much as I'll find out and have left it there.

    Maybe he over-shagged himself?



    We have two young cockerels who were soon off to join the local temple flock, so these have now been given a reprieve and can stay a while. Robin was the father of both but their mother's are a bit more difficult to work out.

    My daughter sent pics today...

    I think this one was the chick I helped out of it's egg back in July. If so, he came out of a big brown egg from a warren hen, so maybe his progeny will be good egg layers?



    I don't know a lot about genetics, but I think the second one's mum is a little easier to work out.

    I've never had a black cock before.



    And here's a picture I took back on June 14th... Blackie had two of her own eggs and two warren hen eggs.


  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post

    I don't know a lot about genetics, but I think the second one's mum is a little easier to work out.

    I've never had a black cock before.


    Mendip
    I think your boy (above) must have snuck up to my place as I recently hatched 12 chickens and every one of them is black.
    Bit suspicious to me.

    My Splendid Cock-20201202_171047-jpg

  13. #63
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    Its been a while since I posted here so here's a bit of an update.
    I now have 5 hens all laying as 4 out of the last 5 days I have collected 5 eggs. One must of had a day off one day.
    They are now all bonded together into a flock i.e. my 5 hens along with the Thai rooster but do they make him work hard. He runs all over the place trying to keep track of them so they don't get stolen by any of the other roosters in the yard.

    Also last week I hatched the first full batch of their eggs in my incubator.
    Unfortunately there were only 16 chickens hatched from 24 eggs so I don't know if the others were infertile or just went bad somewhere along the process.
    I am leaning toward the cause being that the hens are only young.

    Here's a picture of the grandkids.
    My Splendid Cock-20210129_095944-jpg

  14. #64
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    ^ Ootai, what's your hen to cock ratio? I think that anything over 20:1 and the cockerel will struggle to keep the eggs fertilised.

    Our new cockerel is only young and has around 40 hens to service. He seems happy with the task but will struggle with his duties. I would like to keep two cocks but they keep fighting.

    Today I picked up four new hens to make up for the losses over the past few months while I've been away. These are around 5 months old and will have come straight from a crammed rearing station. Their less fortunate siblings will have gone to a battery farm.

    Their first night and they're already trying to roost off the ground. It's amazing how these highly line bred egg layers retain their natural instincts. In a week they'll be roosting up in the roof with the others. I find it very rewarding to give these hens a decent life, and fresh eggs are good as well of course.


  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ^ Ootai, what's your hen to cock ratio? I think that anything over 20:1 and the cockerel will struggle to keep the eggs fertilised.

    Our new cockerel is only young and has around 40 hens to service. He seems happy with the task but will struggle with his duties. I would like to keep two cocks but they keep fighting.

    Today I picked up four new hens to make up for the losses over the past few months while I've been away. These are around 5 months old and will have come straight from a crammed rearing station. Their less fortunate siblings will have gone to a battery farm.

    Their first night and they're already trying to roost off the ground. It's amazing how these highly line bred egg layers retain their natural instincts. In a week they'll be roosting up in the roof with the others. I find it very rewarding to give these hens a decent life, and fresh eggs are good as well of course.

    Mendip
    We must have almost met up as I also bought 3 more hens today while in Korat.
    That will bring the total to 8 hens and 1 rooster. There is another rooster here but if he is let out at the same time as mine they find each other and start fighting. My MIL had another older rooster here (the Dad of mine I think) but she sent him out to the farm with her son.
    Anyway I read on the net that the best ratio is 10:1 so I think you will kill your young rooster.

    The reason I bought 3 more hens is because the MIL asked me to so she could sell the eggs in the Village. I have a German mate here who buys eggs from me as well and every month I will need 24 to stock up the incubator. Waiting to see how it goes before buying a second incubator. It being how the cross bred chickens grow and what they end up like maybe the chicken buyer won't like the look of them.

    Did your hens fight with the 4 new ones? I read on the net (the place of all wisdom) that they can get nasty but mine didn't do much but I will wait and see what happens over the next 2 weeks. I am planning on keeping them locked up in their hen house for 2 weeks to learn that is their new home so my older hens are gonna get pissed off being in quarantine with them, you know how that feels but you didn't have 8 girls with you.

    I wen out after dark and had to put 2 of the new ones up on the perches as they were on the ground.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    Mendip
    Anyway I read on the net that the best ratio is 10:1 so I think you will kill your young rooster.

    The reason I bought 3 more hens is because the MIL asked me to so she could sell the eggs in the Village. I have a German mate here who buys eggs from me as well and every month I will need 24 to stock up the incubator. Waiting to see how it goes before buying a second incubator. It being how the cross bred chickens grow and what they end up like maybe the chicken buyer won't like the look of them.

    Did your hens fight with the 4 new ones? I read on the net (the place of all wisdom) that they can get nasty but mine didn't do much but I will wait and see what happens over the next 2 weeks.
    ootai, I got that 20:1 ratio from a UK website... I guess everywhere is different.

    What worries me about your strategy is that you're using warren hens for meat production. These warren hens have been bred for centuries to put all their energy into egg production at the expense of putting on weight. In the commercial world, when these guys' egg production drops off they get tuned into soup, stock and pet food, they're not the chickens you roast on a Sunday. In Thailand the meat chickens are white, you see them in cages on the lorries, but I have no idea what breed they are.

    Out of around 40 chickens we get between 10 and 16 eggs a day. We have a lot of retirees who are having an easy old age. They do bully the newcomers a bit but the cockerel soon sorts out any real nastiness. There is a pecking order of course but that's only natural and you have to let them sort it out.

    I think you should use these hens for egg production. I think an egg sells for around 5 Baht... you'll get no extra for organic eggs, I've tried that. We just barter our eggs for, for example, a local noodle seller's leftover soup for our street dogs, or some mushrooms from a nearby small holding. The mixed offspring from your warren hen/wild cock progeny will also be good egg layers... nice small eggs ideal for pickling. They go great in moo palo. I just think using chickens bred for egg laying efficiency for meat production is counter productive.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ootai, I got that 20:1 ratio from a UK website... I guess everywhere is different.

    What worries me about your strategy is that you're using warren hens for meat production. These warren hens have been bred for centuries to put all their energy into egg production at the expense of putting on weight. In the commercial world, when these guys' egg production drops off they get tuned into soup, stock and pet food, they're not the chickens you roast on a Sunday. In Thailand the meat chickens are white, you see them in cages on the lorries, but I have no idea what breed they are.

    Out of around 40 chickens we get between 10 and 16 eggs a day. We have a lot of retirees who are having an easy old age. They do bully the newcomers a bit but the cockerel soon sorts out any real nastiness. There is a pecking order of course but that's only natural and you have to let them sort it out.

    I think you should use these hens for egg production. I think an egg sells for around 5 Baht... I just think using chickens bred for egg laying efficiency for meat production is counter productive.

    I agree with what you are saying and that's why I have said I want to see what the crossbred chickens turn out like. Whether they are too small, too bony etc. for the locals. The place where my missus sells our chickens buys the native bred chickens so they must like them rather than the meat production type birds.
    He has refused to buy some that he reckoned were too small, we just feed them a bit longer until they grow big enough, and he pays a bit less per kg for birds he thinks are "too" big which is over 1.5kg.

    I don't ever think it will be a commercial operation more a hobby that doesn't cost me money like playing golf does

    As I said my MIL wants more eggs so she can sell them that's why I bought 3 more hens. Eggs here sell at 90baht or a bit less for 30 so when i sell them to my friend I charge him 10 baht for 4 eggs. He likes them because he says he knows they are fresh.

  18. #68
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    It's a shame you don't seem to get a premium in Thailand for almost organic, fresh eggs. In addition to the egg-layers feed (which contains grit for the egg shells) our chickens eat a lot of fruit and veg and the occasional fish carcass... in fact anything that the street dogs don't fancy. Also any snails, frogs or gekos that get into the chicken run soon get nailed. This results in deep orange-coloured yokes and delicious eggs, but no-one will pay more than the going rate for the shop-bought battery eggs.

    We have about 45 chickens now but only get around 10 to 15 eggs a day because a lot of our older hens are now enjoying a happy retirement.

    Incidentally, if you're not using proper egg-laying hen feed then make sure you crush up your eggs shells and add them back to the feed as the chickens need the calcium carbonate. We used to get occasional wafer-thin, rubbery egg shells before I started doing this.

    A few ideas Ootai if you get a surplus of eggs... this is what I've been up the last few days.

    Poached egg on toast (use the fresh ones you collect the same morning for this!)



    Scrambled egg...



    Pickled eggs... the small wild hen eggs are great for these. I really wish I could find decent crisps in Korat... one of my favourite bar snacks used to be dropping a pickled egg into a bag of prawn cocktail.



    And quiche... I used up 22 eggs making up this little lot.


  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    It's a shame you don't seem to get a premium in Thailand for almost organic, fresh eggs.
    The farmers may not get any extra Mendip but the middle men must be. I only buy organic eggs (we get thru about 20 per week) and they cost around 80 Baht per 10-pack versus about 45 or 50 Baht for non organic. Totally worth the extra few shekels too, the taste is so much better.

  20. #70
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    I think that stuff you cooked up looks good but I don't cook I have a missus that does that for me.
    And for breakfast I just have some cereal, usually weet-bix and then some toast with something on it usually vegemite so a true Aussie meal.

    So far I have not had a surplus of eggs to worry about. That's because I have a large extended family here that would eat any i want to give them.

    As for the egg shells, I did get a bag of feed for laying hens but they didn't like it much and were always eating the other chickens feed if they could.
    I also ground up some egg shell when I managed to save some as the Missus usually throws them into the bin.
    But given all of that I have not had any issues with soft or thin shells as yet.
    My hens spend 8-10 hours a day free range feeding around the yard and houses so I believe they should be getting enough "grit" for the shells. I get into trouble if they shit in the wrong places which is often.

    @ days in and there has not been too much fighting so hopefully they will work it out soon.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    I think that stuff you cooked up looks good but I don't cook I have a missus that does that for me.
    You must be newly married!

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    You must be newly married!
    Yeah right! Been married for nearly 20 years.

  23. #73
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    ^ Yeah... what a show off. I've heard about wives like that.

    Mine lost interest in the kitchen within months... everything else soon followed.

    Good job the gardener's a trained chef!

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ^ Yeah... what a show off. I've heard about wives like that.

    Mine lost interest in the kitchen within months... everything else soon followed.

    Good job the gardener's a trained chef!

    It is not really as it sounds because she doesn't necessarily cook stuff for me more, like she cooks and I eat whatever it is she cooked.
    She never cooks me breakfast and I don't eat a cooked breakfast because I'm too lazy to cook it for myself. Mind you she has cooked me bacon and eggs a few times if I specifically asked and bought the bacon cause she wouldn't buy it.
    For lunch I perhaps half the time make my own sandwiches if not then she gets me something from one of the food stalls i.e. noodle soup or fried noodles/rice.
    At night she cooks whatever for herself and makes some of it not so spicy so I can eat it.

    So in the end I suppose the reason she cooks for me is that I eat rice a lot and am not fussy, don't need peas or western food and am happy eating rice everyday.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    ... don't need peas...
    It sound idyllic, but you lost me at that point.

    You're a lucky man Ootai!

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