Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 62
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646

    My Splendid Cock

    I have fond memories of growing up in rural Somerset where we had a few ducks and bantams in the garden. Once my first daughter came along I thought it time to start keeping chickens again. I think itís important for kids to grow up with animals; it teaches them respect for the animals and gives an appreciation of where their food comes from. Also, it is just enjoyable. It was great to watch my daughter help a stuck new born chick out of its shell using a cocktail stick. She was so happy when the chick survived and joined the rest of the clutch.

    I started my flock a few years ago with a jungle fowl cock and a handful of the red egg laying hens which I think are called warren hens. The wild jungle fowl of SE Asia is said to be the ancestor of all world-wide domesticated chickens, so it was like going full circle to put together a jungle fowl cock with probably the most linebred/interbred chickens of all. These warren hens have even lost the instinct to go broody, such is the demand on them to keep producing eggs. I guess a human analogy could be to pair up a bushman from the Kalahari desert with an inbred royal from the English monarchy. Mind you, at least the jungle fowl/warren hen progeny are useful (good egg layers producing small eggs which are great in salads or pickled with a beer) which is more than can probably be said for our future English royals.

    The challenges of keeping hens in Korat are many and it has mostly been a process of trial and error. I am constantly amazed at how little the Thais seem to know about caring for animals (and about almost anything to do with nature to be honest). Their attitude seems to be one of live and let live, or live and let die, as unfortunately everything they touch seems to die prematurely. I have had to learn most stuff on my own.

    I started by building a large chicken run which is more to keep the dogs out than to keep the chickens in. This underwent several stages of extension and development until the finished product today which I am happy with. After a few disasters I am now relatively happy with the way things are going with the chickens in general, and amongst the stuff I want to cover in this thread are:


    • Dealing with the heat
    • Food; to keep the chickens happy and healthy and to keep their eggs with strong shells
    • Dealing with snakes (did you know it is thought that snakes can smell the odour an egg gives off when it is due to hatch and to back this up we often get a snake take up residence in the chicken run just before a clutch of eggs hatch in the hopes of an easy meal)
    • My experience with breeding chickens
    • Disease; we lost nearly a whole flock a few years ago to fowl cholera before I started vaccinating every three months. Also, my own remedy/prevention against bumblefoot
    • Keeping them clean (not easy with a largish flock in a confined area) and using the waste
    • What to do with 20 or so eggs every day (and keep your cholesterol level manageable)


    So, to kick this off, a picture of My Splendid Cock, which is the title of this thread. He was named Robin Hood by my daughter. Apparently, the few white feathers at the base his tail are a sign of a genuine jungle fowl.


    I will be absolutely buggered if I can get a picture to attach to this post. Dillinger, you offered before... please could you post a picture of my cock in this thread and then I can carry on. Its Photo1 in my Chicken album. Or any help from anyone else would be gratefully appreciated.






  2. #2
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    21,360

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    15,541
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    These warren hens have even lost the instinct to go broody,
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    just before a clutch of eggs hatch
    How do the hens brood if they don't go broody, or do you use an incubator?


    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    What to do with 20 or so eggs every day
    Charity. Be nice to the neighbours You could also pickle them: I'm sure Thai would love them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    we had a few ducks
    Do you have ducks now? A harmless but amusing prank is to swap fertile hens eggs with fertile ducks eggs. Maternal instinct and infant instinct means the "mother" and young bond naturally, but when the chicks and ducklings hatch, it's funny to watch the mother duck trying in vein to get her "ducklings" into the pond, and the mother hen having coniptions as her "chicks" instinctively run into the water.

    ^Nice set of spurs.
    When I was younger, some of the village boys used to hunt jungle fowl. The term "hunt" is deceptive, "catch" or "trap" would be better. The method was to take their rooster into the bush and tie him up with a meter or two of string. He'd settle in, but any jungle roosters in the area would come running if he crowed. The two would fight and end up tangled in the string. Jungle rooster caught!

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Many thanks Cyrille!

    Maanaam, I omitted to mention we also have a few female jungle fowl, or at least bantams as we'd call them in the UK. When they go broody I'll sometimes give them a few of the jungle fowl eggs and the larger warren hen eggs to sit on. As we are gradually getting overrun by chickens I don't often try and get eggs hatched any more, but its very difficult to stop them being broody.

    Years ago in the UK we'd often put duck (Khaki Campbell) eggs under broody bantams as they make so much better mothers than the ducks. One time we put a couple of goose eggs under a bantam and within a week of hatching the chicks were bigger than the mum who tried to control them in vane. We don't keep ducks in Korat because they just make too much mess, although I would like to - they have much better characters than the chickens.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Robin Hood lives in the chicken run with a large harem. He has mainly redheads to choose from… but can also opt for brunettes, blondes or even go ebony if the fancy takes him. He doesn’t seem too choosy and daughters also seem to be fair game, although we discourage that kind of behaviour I guess no harm is done so long as we don't hatch chicks from his daughter's eggs.


    Cyrille? If you could please put up Photos 2 and 3 that would be great!

    I won't get lazy and will persevere with the picture posting issue tonight, but it would be good if I can get the first five pics in the album posted in the meantime.



  6. #6
    Fookin' Fumin'
    Dillinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    33,244








    Interesting thread mate. How many chickens and cocks are there?.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Many thanks Dillinger! You were spared posting a photo of my cock!

    Things have unfortunately gone a little bit out of order.

    One thing that I have found very rewarding is watching new additions settle in with the existing flock. We have enough chickens already, but when my young daughter accompanies me to the chicken feed shop in Korat she often persuades me to buy a couple more of the young red egg laying hens ‘to give them a good life’. These girls are around six months old when they come on to the market, just before they are due to start laying. We take them home, my daughter names them, then we release them into the chicken run. At first they are totally bewildered by the space and the attention from other hens and our cock who gives them his own special welcome. They also walk all funny as though they have never been in any space before, or maybe that’s due to Robin Hood’s attention. At first they have no idea how to eat the fruit and veg lying around, a bit like watching the Scots I work with offshore.


    Within a few days Robin Hood will succeed in calling them up to roost at night. I find it amazing that the innate instinct to roost up high has survived in such interbred chickens and it’s great to see them enjoy a pretty normal life. Many would have been destined for the cages in the battery farms. (see third pic down in Dillinger's post)

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    As an aside, during a recent trip to the UK we got our eggs from a free range farm near my parent’s village. The hens there seemed to be the same warren hens that they use in Thailand for egg production. If anyone knows differently I would be interested to know. I’ve noticed when at work in Norway that the eggs have white shells rather than brown shells, so presumably the Norwegians use a different type of hen for eggs?

    My daughter seems to have got distracted by an EasyJet taking off from Bristol Airport while taking this picture. I guess maybe it was inevitable that a half Somerset / half Isaan kid would start pointing at planes? (see top pic in Dillinger's post!)

  9. #9
    Fookin' Fumin'
    Dillinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    33,244
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    We take them home, my daughter names them
    Is that a good idea for when you come to slaughter and eat them?.... 'is this Henrietta, Dad?

    Have you considered getting into cock fighting yet? i see loads in cages around here and it's quite humane I think?

  10. #10
    Fookin' Fumin'
    Dillinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    33,244
    As for the eggshell colour....this I didnt know


    White-feathered chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs; red or brown ones with red earlobes lay brown eggs; and the Ameraucana breed, also known as the Eastern egg chicken, lays eggs with blue shells. Shell quality does not differ by breed, though younger chickens lay eggs with harder shells
    Brown-egg chickens tend to be larger and cost more to feed and raise, so white eggs are more cost-efficient.

  11. #11
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    21,360
    Quote Originally Posted by Wow Bingo View Post
    The breed has not yet been recognized by an poultry association in North America.

    The Norwegian Jaerhon Chicken Breed
    How will they sleep?


  12. #12
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    21,360







  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Quote Originally Posted by Wow Bingo View Post
    Great thread Mendip.
    Would you sell any of your eggs to the Bangkok consumer market?
    Hi Wow Bingo, I can't really see that it would be worth trying to sell eggs properly as we only get around 20 to 30 a day, less in this hot weather. The eggs however are just about organic and the yolks are deep orange due to all the fruit and veg the chickens eat. Fresh eggs are great to poach as the white holds together and one of my pleasures is getting my daughter to collect a few fresh eggs on a weekend morning to boil or poach. Yes, small things...

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Well, this is a fast evolving thread.

    I was just about to address a couple of your questions Dillinger when Max (one of our dogs) started doing his snake bark. I ran downstairs and found the dogs had chased a beautiful radiated rat snake into the chicken run (Pragmatic may be interested). We caught it and its now in the snake house. Korat Zoo will probably take this one.

    If someone could please do the honors with photos 6, 7 and 8 I would be very grateful. I don't seem to be getting much done today and have now run out of time - the school run.

    This has pissed me off to be honest as I was going to address our snake problem later in the thread and its screwing up my intended order, but as its a 'live' happening I thought it could disrupt things.

    On reflection, looking at the last photo there is a distinct bulge so maybe this snake caught one of the mice in the chicken run. The bulge doesn't look big enough to be a chicken!

  15. #15
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Abuja
    Posts
    26,216






    You're gonna have a well behaved kid, when there's a snake house you can threaten to throw them in to.

  16. #16
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Abuja
    Posts
    26,216
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    If someone could please do the honors with photos 6, 7 and 8




    [steveirwinvoice ] He's a feisty wee fella. [/steveirwinvoice ]


  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Many thanks Luigi.

    Yes I have a well behaved kid but I'd like to think its not because I shut her in the snake house some nights. A bit of discipline never hurt anyone.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Dillinger, this multi quote function is beyond me but I'll try and answer your questions...

    I have one cock and about 35 hens. I think a better ratio is around 1:20 to keep all eggs fertile but my daughter keeps wanting to give more hens a home and also we still occasionally hatch new chicks. Robin Hood's not complaining but he does look permanently knackered!

    When we get young males from the new chicks I wait until they mature and then they go to a new 'home'. Our resident cock won't tolerate the competition and starts fighting once the youngsters mature. I used to take the young cocks to the local temple to add to their flock, naively assuming they were going to a good home. When I visited to see how they were getting on tbe Monks always said they were sleeping somewhere... I finally realised that 10 minutes after being dropped off by this strange farang the monks had knocked them on the head and put them in the pot.

    I have become way too soft to kill them myself. All our chickens live out their retirement long after they have stopped laying eggs. These are pets so the naming issue isn't a problem. Besides, they all look the same so when Jess names one ' Fluffy' for example, and Fluffy dies young, I just tell my daughter that Fluffy is that other one over there. Kids are great, they believe everything!

    Initially I named the chickens following the Thai tradition of using colour. Our first warren hen was Deang, followed by Deang 1, Deang 2 etc. We have had Whitey 1 through to Whitey 10, Whitey brown eye, Whitey black tail, etc etc. Fortunately my daughter prefers her tablet these days so I am spared thinking up more names.

    Incidentally, the red warren hens are not robust and do seem to die young. In the free range farms in the west, these hens are still culled and turned into soup after a couple of years, once egg production drops off. They have been bred to lay six eggs a week... they burn themselves out fast and are then slaughtered. That's life, but mine get to be shagged mercilessly by Robin Hood until the end of their days. It only seems fair.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    We're off for a week at the seaside tomorrow, and when we return I'll be straight back to work. This morning I remembered that our hens are overdue their fowl cholera vaccinations, so had to get it sorted pronto.

    A few years ago we lost almost an entire flock of about 50 hens to fowl cholera (including my 6 year-old cock). Very upsetting as a lot had names. After we had been hit, many helpful local Thais mentioned that they couldn't understand why we didn't vaccinate. Of course, had they mentioned the need to do this beforehand, I would have done so. Thanks.

    So, this morning I had to pop into town to get some fresh vaccine at the animal feed place.



    This cost just 45 Baht. A bit galling to discover our previous flock could have been saved for less than the cost of a bottle of Leo.

    While we were there my young companion couldn't help but notice that there were hens for sale. These will be about 5 months old, and just about ready to start laying.



    What can ya do.... another four hens to join our flock. Cost 200 Baht each and once they start laying will lay around 6 eggs a week, but only for a year or so. After that the egg production drops off rapidly and in commercial farms the hens will be culled at around 18 months (even free range). Ours enjoy a happy retirement.



    We get back home, and the hardest part of the operation is catching the buggers. Once confined, we are ready for action. The four newcomers in the background are getting to know their new home. These new hens come ready-vaccinated so weren't included in today's program.



    Each chicken gets a 1ml (1cc) dose into the muscle of the chest. It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I've also been vaccinating some of our local street dogs (the ones I can catch) for rabies and that's a lot more difficult.





    If you keep chickens it may save you a lot of heart-ache if you vaccinate against fowl cholera. It is pretty common and is probably spread by the wild bird population and also by rodents. The vaccinations need to be done every three months to keep your flock protected. Since I started doing this we haven't lost a single hen to this disease.
    Last edited by Mendip; 06-07-2019 at 04:52 PM.

  20. #20
    Newbie

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Last Online
    04-10-2019 @ 11:53 AM
    Posts
    36
    Hey my hobby is pickling eggs !! i will run a topic when ive done my next batch.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 04:54 PM
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    13,313
    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post


    It appears there's digital information coded on that snake, and I think it says : "if this bugger bites you, you will have between 5 and 30 minutes to live".


    Just got the name (The radiated ratsnake, copperhead rat snake) after saving the photo, and looked it up. Non-venomous, but : "These snakes are generally very defensive. They are very confident in their ability to defend themselves so you must be very confident in order to remotely have a chance at controlling this species. They are also a good trainer snakes for those looking to get into cobras and other elapids".
    Last edited by Latindancer; 06-07-2019 at 04:06 PM.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    ^ We get quite a lot of these but generally I leave the non-venomous snakes alone unless they go in the chicken run.

    The one in the pic was supposed to go to Korat zoo but it escaped from the snake house. It came back again a couple of weeks later but the dogs chased it away and we haven't seen it since.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Quote Originally Posted by tweedle dee View Post
    Hey my hobby is pickling eggs !! i will run a topic when ive done my next batch.
    That would be great, or any other egg recipes for that matter - we get so many. I've been pickling the small bantam eggs but don't really know what I'm doing...

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 01:11 PM
    Location
    nakhon ratchasima
    Posts
    1,783
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    That would be great, or any other egg recipes for that matter - we get so many. I've been pickling the small bantam eggs but don't really know what I'm doing...
    you must have a fine cock there mate.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Location
    Korat
    Posts
    3,646
    Quote Originally Posted by headhunter View Post
    you must have a fine cock there mate.
    Why, Thank you!

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •