Monday, November 16, 2020

End of the Season, Time to plan!

 The end of the season is here, and spring planning has begun! If I have any availability, it will be listed on my website on the available page, or on my facebook page:

But for now, my girls and boys are settling in for the winter. And I've got my graph paper out, making plans! This spring will be exciting - the first possible frizzle BLUE mille fleur d'Uccle babies! I actually started breeding d'Uccles because I wanted a blue mille fleur frizzle. Then I found out that they don't seem to exist yet. So I got frizzles, but I wasn't happy with the quality. So I worked on those. And I got golden necks and decided they needed work too. So now, for the first time, I may FINALLY get my blue mille fleur frizzle d'Uccle!

Just for fun and dreaming, here is what I hope to produce this spring:

Mille fleur d'Uccle, smooth and frizzle, pet and show quality

Golden neck d'Uccle, smooth and frizzle, pet and show quality

Blue mille fleur d'Uccle, smooth and frizzle

Lavender bantam Ameraucana

Silkies, showgirls (sizzle, satin, and silkie), Satins, Sizzles (mostly white, though there is a chance of grey/partridge). Plus I may add some blue and buff in for fun, so if I get eggs, I will have some of those available if they hatch well.

What about lemon mille fleur booted bantams? Well, I still have a pair. Hope laid one egg and has stopped... so I'm hoping she will start again soon. But it's bad timing - she could have stopped for the winter. If she gets laying, I will hatch everything she gives me, but I will be building up my own stock first, and working on a second line. And maybe adding in blue for blue lemon mille fleur.... We shall see what happens over the winter - no counting the chicks until Hope lays the fertile eggs!

I do have a few eggs in the incubator right now - a few customers were dying for lavender bantam Ameraucana chicks, so I'm trying to get them some. And I may have stuck in a couple of silkie eggs to see how my new sizzle boy Mopster is doing with his ladies :) Again, if any are looking for homes, you'll see them on my website and maybe Facebook.

Have a great evening!

Monday, October 12, 2020



This creature is a thestral, an imaginary creature from the world of Harry Potter.

So you can see where this little one got her name!

She was an unusual little creature from day one. So ugly that she was darling. She's a little naked neck silkie, a variety called a stripper since she lacks a bow tie of fluff on the front of her neck.

She grew more interesting everyday, developing a curious personality, always happy to interact and discover new things.

Every new day was a new adventure with Thestral.

She went through her various phases, some a bit uglier than others!

But even the darling frizzle d'Uccles were not super dazzling at this point lol. And this girl was certainly original looking!

She quickly entered what I termed the Dr Seuss phase.
That girl was never afraid to let you know how she was feeling!

But each day my strange little girl became more dear to me.
She became a lovely little hen, faithfully laying eggs and enjoying life.
And she was still always ready to hop right into my lap for some snuggle time.
Of course her interactive nature got her into trouble at times. When I repainted her coop, she attempted to help me!
No chicken ever made me laugh as often as Thestral did.

Last week Thestral was injured. I believe she fell out of her coop and broke something around her pelvis. She was in with a rooster so there's a possibility that he hurt her even more. We moved her as soon as possible into a safe isolation cage, but it was just too late. I took her out everyday and loved on her. Told her how much I love her. But her internal injuries were obviously just too bad for her to recover. She would still interact, but she quit eating. She could still walk slowly, but it was obvious she was in tremendous pain.

Yesterday I put my darling girl down. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

I love you baby girl. I will always love you baby girl. You are a good good creation, a gift from God. An awkward, ugly, beautiful, irreplaceable piece of my heart. Fly high sweetheart, fly high and wait for me. Because a creation as wonderful as you can never really die.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

End of the Season Sale

 Well I am getting down to the last boys. And the last ones are always the best! Take a look at our available page to find some real winners!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

My Crooked Girl

This is how I always remember Crookshanks. Trying to curl up under her mother's wing, even though she was every bit as big as her mom.

Crookshanks was hatched in the spring of 2019. She's really the chicken that shouldn't have been. When she was incubating, the incubator turned off twice. Normally I would stop a hatch at that point, since too many temperature fluctuations can cause birth defects. But my little chicken Ping had been patiently sitting on a nest, waiting for chicks, and these were the only eggs that I had available. So I gave them to Ping, and she hatched out Crookshanks.

Ping was a very devoted mother. She took great care of her baby, feeding her and caring for her all day long until Crookshanks was 6 months old! Normally chickens wean their chicks in between 5 and 8 weeks. But Ping must have known that Crookshanks needed help. One side of Crookshank's body was shorter than the other, resulting in a slanted walk, eyes that were not quite even, and a bent crooked beak. Ping devotedly fed her baby and clucked over her for longer than I have ever had a hen do so. And Crookshanks grew and learned to mingle with the whole flock.

When Ping finally weaned Crookshanks, Crookshanks became best friends with our giant blue cochin, Lenore. I don't have any great pictures of the two of them together, since Crookshanks regarded cameras with a large amount of suspicion. The slightest movement that indicated I would take a picture resulted in her fleeing the scene at top speed. But in the photo above, you can see Crookshanks as a chick with Lenore in the background with her own adopted chick.

You can see Lenore's feathers on the left hand side in the photo above. Crookshanks was following behind, and I was able to snap a quick photo. But before I could get them both fully in the frame, Crookshanks saw the camera and and hurried out to the yard. She got along amazingly well with the entire flock, including roosters. She was a busy little hen, always happy to boss everyone around, especially those who were 10 times her size!

I wasn't sure if Crookshanks could even lay an egg with all of her defects, but she started laying at 6 months and laid until last week. She lived a full and happy life for an entire year. But then her little body suddenly gave out. I have no idea what sort of defects were inside of her, but I'm sure there were plenty. I'm just glad that she went downhill very swiftly, without a long drawn-out illness. It was an honor to have this little warrior in my flock. 

Fly high sweet girl. 
Fly high and wait for me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Slim Pickings

Well the majority of what I had available has sold! Right now I just have a lovely little blue mille fleur d'Uccle cockerel and a black bantam Easter Egger pullet. I will probably have just a couple more girls and boys as I pick my breeders. But that's it for the year! Feel free to bookmark my available page, since that is where I will put birds as soon as I make decisions.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

And it begins.... the great baby and breeder sale. As I finish up breeding I begin to sell breeders from certain flocks. And I'm finishing up. Then as pullets mature, I begin to weed out my breeders over time. So, if you are looking, you are going to want to bookmark this page. I will also update my blog as I have availability, so you can subscribe to that to get updates.

Please go to the available page on the website to view birds.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Why do we breed?

Why do we breed? Different breeders have different answers to this question, and their answers will determine what they have available for others to purchase, as well as what their short and long-term goals might be. Here at Green Grables I have several goals, both common goals and  individual breed goals. You might be surprised at how much thought and planning goes into chicken breeding!

Main Common Goals:
1. Breed healthy chickens (parental and chick nutrition, vaccination programs, coop and run cleaning protocols, life expectancy and disease resistance, proper parasite control, population density, incubation techniques and more all go into breeding healthy chickens.)
2. Breed towards the standard of perfection or SOP. The American Poultry Association, or APA, and the American Bantam Association, or ABA, produce books written to guide breeders. The Standard of Perfection (APA) and the Bantam Standard (ABA) give much needed guidelines to breeders, helping us breed chickens towards the physical and mental characteristics that define each particular breed. Each season, breeders are selected in order to maintain lines that adhere closely to the SOP. No bird is perfect, which makes this an ever changing and constantly interesting process.

Then we move on to specific breed and color goals. I will add my specific goals at the bottom for those whose eyes will glaze over at the detail involved! But suffice it to say, the very last goal, one that is not even written down, is to sell friendly, healthy birds. I would love to make enough to break even, but supplements, good breeding stock, maintaining facilities, etc make that a losing battle. I breed for the love of it, pure and simple. I love seeing the faces of new owners - I have a routine for all of my chicks with the end goal being this: to provide my customers with birds who are not only beautiful and healthy, but who are also interactive, happy, playful, and trusting. I breed chickens, but I also breed family members and pets in many cases. And often birds that don't qualify for my breeding program become the best pets in the world.

Here are some of my present breed specific goals:
(Note: When I say something like "hatch 2-3 nice hens," that means I will hatch at least 4-10 times that many and pick the best, according to the SOP and according to specific characteristics that I am looking for.)

Self blue (lavender) bantam Ameraucana
1. Personality: I want engaging, intelligent, interactive (watch out for super smart bullies).
2. Body characteristics that I am looking specifically to improve this year: Beard size, large and full. Necks, full. Wing carriage, higher. Maintain wide body stance and chest.
3. Feather quality (The recessive lavender gene can be associated with feather quality issues). Decrease ticking and shredding. Maintain even coloring.
4. Future lavender cuckoo and frizzle lavender cuckoo projects: Grow up lavender cuckoo large fowl Ameraucana girl and frizzle cuckoo large fowl Ameraucana girl. Breed next season with lavender bantam Ameraucana. Work towards smaller birds in these colors.

1. Maintain large crests and well feathered bodies.
2. Breed a sizzle male for next year.

Belgian D'Uccles
1. Maintain a show potential line from my Vaughn Mille Fleur birds.  Hatch 4-8 nicely patterned, well built Vaughn MF girls for breeding next season. Hatch 2-3 nice boys - look for medium spangling, nice beards, wide chests, small stature, friendly personality.
2. Hatch 4-8 smooth Golden Neck girls for next season. Breed them back to Vaughn MF to get a consistent background color. Work towards smaller spangles and maintainence of gold color.
3. Hatch 3-6 frizzle MF Cockerels for use over a nice smooth flock next breeding season to continue increasing the quality of the frizzles as compared to the SOP. Look for nice patterning, small size, large beard and muffs, wing bars, small wattles, short beaks, etc. Pick 2-3 to keep.
4. Hatch 2-4 nice hens from light buff hen x Vaughn rooster - looking for nicely patterned and correctly proportioned light buff hens as a second smooth MF line.
5. Blue MF Project: Hatch a blue baby split to MF from splash x Vaughn MF pairing. Breed back to MF next season, keep blue MF. Watch for incomplete BMF and blue Columbian.
6. Recessive Blue MF d'Uccle Project: Hatch out MF split to recessive BMF babies. Pick 2 boys and 2-4 girls to keep. Breed boy back to recessive BMF hen in the fall. Breed boy back to girls in spring. Keep BMF and verify breeding.
7. Lemon MF d'Uccle Project: Breed Lemon MF Booted Bantam to Vaughn hens. Keep MF split to gold with beards for lemon MF project. Feed non-bearded back into booted bantams for genetic diversity.
8. Future Blue Lemon MF d'Uccle Project: Breed BMF into LMF to obtain BLMF d'Uccles.

Lemon (Citron) Mille Fleur Booted Bantams (Sablepoots)
1. Enlarge flock.
2. Breed in MF to increase flock diversity.
3. Breed towards booted bantam SOP
4. Future Blue Lemon MF BB Project: Breed BMF into LMF to obtain BLMF booted bantams.

Wow, did you make it all the way to the bottom??? You are a trooper! So to reward you, here are two chicks, a blue who will enter the BMF project (came from splash x MF), and a MF split to recessive blue who will enter the recessive BMF project (came from MF x assumed recessive BMF)!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

What's new?

Right now I have one wonderful wonderful boy available: a six week old lavender bantam Ameraucana. I could possibly let two of the lavender boys go if you needed a buddy for one.

Not sure what happened but my messages have exploded today with people wanting chicks. I have very limited amounts right now. Later today I will take a look and update what is coming up on my website.

Right now I only have 3 day olds, straight run, Mareks vaccinated, North Raleigh. And one three week old.
1 white showgirl, 3 days old
1 white showgirl, 3 weeks old
1 white silkie (could be satin or silkie, frizzle or smooth)
1 black silkie
2 lavender bantam Ameraucana
1 smooth mille Fleur d'Uccle
Maybe 1 partridge silkie
Please visit my available page before asking questions. PM or email questions please.

All details are available on my website on the available page.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Frizzle frizzle everywhere!

A very unusual offering! Typically I offer girls only when grown, but I'm making some space. I have several babies that I think are girls. They are right around 4-5 weeks old. Normally they would not be available for 3-8 more weeks, but I'm going to offer these as a special - limited guaranteed girls. What in the world does that mean? My Belgian d'Uccle girls are $20 if they are under 8 weeks old. After that the price bumps up to $30-$45 each. So I will offer these at the $20 price. Or if you buy more than two and you don't want the limited guarantee, $15 each!
The world is so odd right now - I don't want to put my special girls into the USPS.

If you end up with a boy, I will refund $5. You can then keep, sell, give away, or bring back the boy. If you bring him back, he must come back by the time he is 8-9 weeks old.

So, if you'd like a great chance at a gorgeous girl - and believe me, these girls this year are gorgeous - now is the time. I'm not sure I will be hatching out any more frizzles this year - we will see how the pandemic goes. I have a couple who are younger, but I'm only keeping frizzle boys this year, so this is your chance to get a beautiful vaccinated girl.

I also have two showgirls available, all white. $15 each, ready after April 3 (hatched March 29). All chicks are vaccinated for Mareks.  SOLD

Thursday, February 27, 2020

A day for goodbye.

I had a busy day today. NPIP testing, a interview on camera about my farm, a visit with a friend... I didn't really sit down until just now. And now I'm falling apart. Because between my NPIP visit and the interview, I had to let go of my darling Pet. And I work through grief by remembering, by writing.
 So here is Pet's brief wonderful life.

I had kept Pet, a mille fleur frizzle d'Uccle from this past summer's hatches, down with my laying flock since I loved her so dearly. But she missed her fellow d'Uccles and obviously was not happy. So I moved her up into the breeding pen with her friends. In a freak accident, an overfriendly rooster leapt on her at just the wrong angle.  I heard her squawk, and she ran, limping. And over the past week, the limp has gotten worse. Something broke, and broke badly. She could no longer lift her leg, hopping about, dragging her foot behind her. Her body sloped to the side. She couldn't get out of the coop, couldn't get away from bully older hens. She could barely make it to the feeder. I put her in her own cage with food and water close by. She ate well, and looked healthy, except that it became harder for her to move around. Last night I took her out into the yard. She had that set look that an animal in pain gets, and kept dragging herself towards her old coop. She was hurting, on automatic. I knew it was time.

But oh my heart, oh my dear sweet Pet. She was my extra special girl, the one chick from last year's hatching that I truly loved. I enjoyed the rest. I know them, named them. But Pet. Pet was that once in a lifetime girl.

One day when Pet was about four weeks old, I suddenly realized that every time I opened the cage to the young grow outs, one little frizzle would come streaking over. She would peck me ferociously, anywhere she could reach, until I put down my hand. Then she'd run right over and plop down on my hand. Heaven.

For this little chick, my hand was her safety, her favorite place. The other chicks would run around, but not Pet. She'd snuggle her chest onto my palm with her legs between my fingers, close her eyes, and take a pure happiness nap! 

This has continued to be a daily ritual. 

For six months, I have gone into the chicken run and been pecked by Pet until I bend down and put out my hand. Sometimes I would go in and sit - Pet knew her name, and was the only chicken that I've ever had that would always come when called. 
"Pet! Pet! Come here!" 
And Pet would come running, leap up on my lap, peck at me until I put my hand under her chest, and snuggle up with what I'm sure could only be described as a chicken smile of contentment.

 She loved me. And that was that. 

Nothing makes you feel more special than knowing that you are the most important thing in the world. 
Even more important than food. 

And I loved her. So so much. Pet was such a good good girl. Accidents happen, but oh my Pet... my Pet. I will miss you so much. I'm so thankful that I got to have you for your short time here on earth.
 Fly high baby girl. Fly high and wait for me.

And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens. So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. 
And God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1: 20-21

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, 
neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, 
for the former things have passed away.
 And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." 
Revelation 21:4-5