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Tip of the Week

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Introducing New Birds

When adding birds to your flock a new pecking order needs to be established. Hens can be very territorial and see any addition as intruders (unless, of course, you have a rooster who usually is happy to welcome new members to his harem).

It is prudent to keep the new birds separately for a fortnight. Ideally they should be able to see each other during this time.

Keeping new birds away from the resident hens serves two purposes: quarantine and a higher likelihood for a positive integration.

Quarantine is not only recommended to protect the resident birds. The new birds may not be immune to diseases your birds are immune to. A slow integration prevents the birds from suddenly being exposed to large quantities of infective material and they are more likely to be able to develop their own immunity without ever showing symptoms.

It is good practice to dust new birds with a lice powder like Diatomaceous Earth (DE) or a dog flea powder which is available from supermarkets and outlets that sell animal health products.

Canterbury Rare Breeds Auction

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On Sunday March 12th, 2017, the Canterbury group of the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand will hold its 28th annual Rare Breeds Auction and Heritage Lifestyle Day at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Bishopdale, Christchurch.

Entries close on February 23rd. If you would like to sell purebred poultry or heritage  livestock please download a vendor entry form from

http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz

This always is a fun day out for the whole family with reduced entry fees to Willowbank ($10 per adult between 10am and 1pm) and an excellent opportunity to buy heritage breeds of poultry and rare breeds of livestock.

January Tip #3

A certain sign – apart from crowing – that a chick is male are shiny pointy saddle feathers. They can appear from 12 weeks of age onwards but in some breeds they may take up to 20 weeks to appear.

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These pointy feathers become very obvious when using a piece of paper.

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Pullets (see picture below) only have rounded feathers.

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In henny feathered breeds like the Sebright the males don’t grow shiny pointy feathers.

The presence of these shiny pointy feathers is a sure sign it is a male but their absence doesn’t guarantee it’s a female.

January Tip #2

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One of the most likely pitfalls when buying heritage breed pullets is that the buyer ends up with males and not females.

The image above shows a pair of young Buff Cochins. They are about 6 weeks old. Only the male on the right shows quite a bit of comb growth. The wattles are often a better indicator of the gender, especially in breeds with rose, pea or walnut combs. The wattles are the red dangly bits under the beak. The pullet on the left has much smaller wattles than the male on the right. It is important that only chicks from the same breed at the same age are compared.

 

January Tip #1

Now in mid to late summer is the best time to get spring hatched heritage breed pullets. Breeders are sorting through their stock, deciding what to keep for breeding and showing – and what to move on as backyard layers. Spring hatched pullets of good laying strains will start to lay in late autumn or early winter supplying you with eggs when older birds moult and don’t lay.

Adding spring hatched pullets to your flock every year, preferably in late summer, is the best way to guarantee a year-round supply of homegrown eggs.

A Happy and Successful New Year to all our members, exhibitors and friends from the committee of the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club!

2017 will be a BIG year for us and we hope that our 150th Anniversary Show which we will celebrate by hosting the New Zealand National Show will be an event to be remembered.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Monday, March 13th, at 8pm at 294 Blenheim Road.

Everyone Welcome!

Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club

P O Box 8436

Riccarton

Christchurch 8440

Impressions from our 2016 Show

 

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The results from our colouring-in competition with the prizes – a chocolate egg in an egg cup made by our secretary Karena. Congratulations to all our winners!

 

Best in Show 2016

A beautiful Barred Plymouth Rock pullet, bred and exhibited by Brian Glassey, won Best in Show at the 2016 Annual Show hosted by the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club. Congratulations, Brian – a very well deserved Best in Show!

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