All about Faverolles!
|Posted by Kate Hart on March 10, 2013 at 5:25 AM||comments (0)|
Enjoyed the brief sunshine recently, but the weather was just teasing it seems and we are although well into March, cold and minus 3 is expected tonight. Frustrating really as I really want to get the young growers out soon, they are growing really well and soon wil need more space.
These are some of the eight and ten week old salmons..:)
|Posted by Kate Hart on February 17, 2013 at 1:40 PM||comments (0)|
At last a glimpse of spring? Mustn't lose the bedsocks just yet methinks though!
The birds really are enjoying a much needed break from the cold wet weather, they were really enjoying themselves today in the sunshiine. Samson was paying particular attention to his lovely ladies..and he has already as all his eggs have been fertile which really is good news this time of year.
Hatching is already underway, and we already have large salmon chicks as well as few chicks..These are the chicks from the above flock, lovely strong and fat faced babies!
Other positve signs that spring has popped in are our honey bees were out and about, a relief that all four of our beehives have survived so far, fingers crossed they get through the next couple of months or so.
|Posted by Kate Hart on August 26, 2012 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Well what a month so far! Some sadness too. Priscilla Queen of the Desert, our ancient Pekin cockerel decided to pop his clogs and fly to the the flock in the sky. He may actually have left a heritage however. I found a day old chick in the duck house that Athena had been hiding under straw when daily I removed her eggs. The day old chick secretly brooded by Athena one of my Muscovys, is now happily enscounced with Mrs Bean who just happened to have a clutch of salmon pekins, so that was really lucky! Dare I hope the father was Priscilla?
Faverolles are doing well, the large salmon boys are at that puppy dog stage and turning into big fluffy fellows which always seem to be in my way! I have earmarked a few for breeding next year, big boys with lovely type and a friendly nature. The photo below is Mars one of my favourites this year. I also have an Appollo and a SatNav named so far!
I also have to mention the ducks, the young muscovys are now at that stage where they have realised they have wings, and although not flying yet are spending a lot of time flapping on tippy toes, won' t be long now methinks before they once again trill good morning at the bedroom window...
|Posted by Kate Hart on July 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
No time no blog! I know, shameful...:roll:
So what have we all been up to? Apart from being really busy that is! Lot's of garden redesign, new patio which with this weather really has been a challenge, hopefully will all be finished by the end of July.
Faverolles are gorgeous! This year the focus has been on bantam black and blue and whilst we have not hatched in large numbers the quality has been promising! The large are good too, I think we have improved on the colour of the pullets, much less uneven on the wing bows with some showing a nice, even colour throughout from tail to hackle. Still a couple of years to go before I am completey happy with the standard however.
We have had a few available to sell and have now gone to their new homes, I do like hearing all about them so please keep in touch, you know who you are! Hopefully in a month or so we will have a few more available, so please keep in touch if you are interested! I don't mind emails, just prod me if I forget to reply!
We don't normally bring stock into Beanwood, but this year thanks to Jason Roberts I have made an exception and Mr and Mrs Bean are now happily settled into the garden, Mrs and Mrs Bean manage the overgrown veggie plot where strangely through no intervention from ourselves our strawberries seem to have flourished! Anyhow so who are Mr and Mrs Bean???. A lovely pair of salmon pekins that I really could not resist! Keepiing on the same topic, bees have now appeared, and we somehow have managed to aquire 4 colonies now in total! It has been a bit " touch and go" with the bees, mainly because of this wet, cold weather. Bees need to be out and about foraging this time of year and the weather has meant they haven't been able to so the spring feeding has had to continue well ino the summers months.
Finally the ducks, we love our muscovies and my dream of owning lavenders has come true many thanks to Helen of http://www.kensmyth.com
Lavender and White Muscovies
Mr Bean - salmon pekin
|Posted by Kate Hart on August 27, 2011 at 3:35 AM||comments (0)|
A distinct nip in the air..and already in the morning sun Beanwood has that autumnal "glow" when the weak sun hits the top leaves in the wood turning them a lovely golden colour.
Some of our vegetables are ripening, lovely crop of yellow corgettes and our Katy apples look almost ready! The muscovies have already spotted that fact I think!...
Growers continue to develop, and at last I am now able to see the potential in some of the large salmon cockerels, it does take time as they mature more slowly than the females and the colour in the boys take a good 6 months to be able to detirmine the final plumage. When raising the large faverolles, patience is a must and try not to be tempted to over feed them, let them develop naturally so they develop good strong muscle which I believe gives them that lovely strong shape and stature.
We feed our boys on Garvo cockerel grower and supplement with Alfastart chicks which contains good quality protein. I find it can take a year to get one of them up to their full weight and size. Oregano is also given in the form of Oregistim in the drinking water to aid good gut health and feathering along with cod liver oil occasionaly given mixed in feed.
Hatching early though is important to allow the long days for optimal growth and development, otherwise all their energy will be used to keep warm in the short winter months and not for growing. We try when developing breeding stock not to hatch beyond March, although we still will hatch later but those will probably not be mature until late summer of the following year. We usually can see the potential at around 6 months, these are then named...and used for the following year for breeding, the others are grown on for the pot.
The other colours are easier, especially the bantams and it looks like I also have some nicely marked ermines as well as one or two good blacks. I also have one particulary "stocky" salmon bantam cockerel, son of Cliff Lowes strain, showing lovely type already. My thanks to Sue Bruton for letting me have the cockerel for breeding.
This is Hercules, one of my pullet breeding large salmon boys for next year...we also have Titan, a darker "cherry" mahogany boy. Hercules was actually a late March hatch, but this strain.. a true "utility" does mature faster that the darker strain I also keep, which takes forever to get to a decent size! You can see here depth of keel, width across the breast and saddle, he also has that strong stature that we like to breed here. This enables the bird to carry plenty of meat.
|Posted by Kate Hart on August 16, 2011 at 12:15 PM||comments (0)|
I know, I haven't posted for ages but we have been so very busy!
Now is the time we evaluate our early hatched birds, and separate the large boys from the girls, to allow the girls to roam in peace without being harassed, and this gives the boys a bit of space to grow well without the destraction of these beautiful salmon ladies! There are some promising boys this year, both in size which is my predominant interest and some stunning colours as well. Salmon boys in the prime of health and out in the sun look gorgeous in my mind, rich chestnut back offset boy glossy black feathers on the wing which should have an almost irridescent green sheen to them. I do like a nice strong head with a neat comb and small wattles, I really don't like the big fleshy floppy combs you sometimes see, but each breeder no doubt has their own personal preferences!
Two young lads...wonder what they are talking about?
The girls are also looking lovely this year and maturing well, although they do like to hang outside the boys run at the moment and natter to them!
This time of year though we are also thinking ahead to the autumn and winter, building began in ernest for the foundations of the new winter run. The base was dug out..16 foot x 10 foot, a base installed and then woodchips to cover. Hopefully the housing will be in place soon, a 4 x4 chalet style house to match the others.
The runs then have a covered area and a bark area with the grass runs extending behind on good days.
Progress so far....
So are the rest of our menagerie?? The ducks are doing well, the young muscovies have now found their wings,..literally, and take great pleasure in regular circuits around the farm..luckily so far they have managed to find their way back! Indeed they have found that landing on the garage roof and then climbing up to our bedroom window and "tapping" is a fun game!!They are beautiful, although methinks this may be an aquired taste, not everyone is convinced by their odd carbuncled features but we find them lovely!
This is Hera, one of our chocolate ducks, she is a very dark glossy brown almost black, she posed quite prettily for this photo bless her! She is daughter of Maggie.. a lovely Muscovy given to me by Debbie must be a couple of years ago now???
|Posted by Kate Hart on April 3, 2011 at 4:08 PM||comments (0)|
We have had a very busy weekend! Major jobs in the garden need tending too, plus all the henhouses needed a good clean out...
Onto the birds first, two hatches of large salmons completed, and I am very happy with them!. the first was a test hatch, I wanted to see what happened if you just used one hen and one cockerel from the same developing strain, would they all look identical? accounting for sexual differences of course! My supposition was that if the strain was now "fixed" they should all look identical in the main features and characteristics. This does lead to an interesting question however. how long does it take to develop your own strain?
These are now almost eight weeks old, and the pullets do look like peas in a pod, which I was rather hoping for. Personalty wise they are very similar too. I will keep an eye on these and keep you posted!
I have also hatched another batch of large salmons, they are only 3 weeks old and again look promising! Just a small batch again, need to have room for all the bantam eggs I am collecting! Incubator goes on for the last time early next week for a batch of bantams...salmon, ermine, black and blue, then methinks I am done for the year as we are trying to focus on a lot of work on our garden. Speaking of which we had a couple of visitors today!:)
The deer do like to visit, last year we had them raid our veggie plot, they took a liking to our strawberry bed..which never quite recovered so our crop was somewhat diminished. This year I have planted a few more tender strawberry plants out....and guess who was watching...sigh.....
|Posted by Kate Hart on March 6, 2011 at 3:35 PM||comments (1)|
This is the time of year where everything happens at once! So in order to keep up with myself I end up writing endless lists and consulting my calendar, checking hatching dates, when I need to sort out brooders, where the new growers will go...and despite all my efforts to be organised, usually I am led astray by a beguiling broody or two!:roll:
Talking of broodys, the Muscovies are detirmined to have ducklings this year, it is a battle of wills, and me hunting down their nest sites, here is the latest one in our chiminea!
So far this year I am ahead of myself when it comes to hatching, certainly compared to last year. I have some nice young growers in the large salmons now 4 weeks old, would like to take them outside in the nursery shed, however the forecast is back down to the minuses, so I worry the change from a nice central heated spare room to a cold shed (albeit with heat) might be a bit much, or am I fussing too much? More good news...19 eggs are due next weekend, from my large salmon breeding pens, really excited as this is the earliest I have ever hatched large salmons. I am also hoping to get the bantams started in April, hopefully this year will also see the culmination of my attempts at making bantam blue salmons.
Thanks to Nigel Retallack will be hatching from my new bantam black cockerel who I have named Jack Sparrow, a lovely boy very tame with a huge personalty! He loves to follow me around...calling his new girls to follow!
Some photos of my latest chicks below.. from this year, unusually 4 out of 5 are pullets, normally my ratio favours the boys..no doubt this will even out as hatching progresses..
|Posted by Kate Hart on February 21, 2011 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
Well this is the earliest I have ever hatched, so quite pleased and this means they will have the long balmy days to mature.
Only a few eggs in to test fertility, but delighted that from 5 l/f salmon eggs, 4 are girl, now that doesn't happen very often!The incubator is on again for another batch of large fowl salmons.
The garden is starting to come back to life, subtle changes in the apple trees, the buds look full and I think the blossom will be early this year. The snowdrops look gorgeous.....real evidence of spring and boy do we need it! The runs are looking muddy and soon we will move them all to fresh pasture, luckily we have had a casualty free winter to date, sadly though we lost Houdini a lovely Ermine faverolles boy, he did well at the Federation too, such a shame....
A very great loss recently was Boddington, one of our siamese boys who was diagnosed with abdominal cancer early last year. Despite that he lived a full and happy life until recently, Boddy was just too tired to carry on. Rest in peace my beautiful boy.
Boddy....My beautiful and brave siamese, you will be sadly missed...
|Posted by Kate Hart on February 6, 2011 at 4:41 AM||comments (0)|
It's that time of year again, where although we are very much in the depths of winter, our thoughts turn to hatching again.
There are tiny signs of life in the garden, daffidols, pushng their way up and at long last the snowdrops have arrived!
As usual I end up in such a dilema over the breeding pens, constantly changing my mind, leaving my birds quite confused, particulary the cockerels who may end up in 2 different runs before I make my mind up!
This year so far we have managed to get a few already in the incubator of the large salmons, and am hoping to get some more started ideally by the end of the month. The cold weather may thwart my plans again of an early hatch, as my preferred breeding hens are
Hatching wise we are aiming for large and bantam salmons, ermine bantams plus bantam blue salmons this year, the blue bantams still a work in progress started last year.
Below left is a photo of Magnus and his hens exploring the veggie plot, note the wonky bean frame which suffered a bit with our recent high winds! Remy of course decided to come along and investigate too!
On the right you is one of my black bantam faverolles, and a close up far right. Despite this time of year her condtion is very good, she has also come into lay, you can see this by her lovely red comb!