Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

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Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby chicibo » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:55 am

This is Critter:

Image

Now, it's a little hard to tell by this photo, but Critter is special. In a weird and wonderful way. But to understand that weird and wonderful way, you have to know a bit of back story, so here goes.

Critter was hatched on 14/11/11, along with 28 other chickies. His parents are both show quality Belgian Booted Bantams, and according to the nz founder of the breed, as close to the british standard as he has ever seen. I set 14 BBB eggs, but due to several issues, only 2 hatched. Both were very strange, one lacked fluff along it's back, instead appearing to a singed effect to the feathers. The other was Critter, and he was noisy from the start! He squawked constantly, and had trouble standing for several days. I considered putting him down, but he seemed to be managing, so I left him to it. He was smaller than everyone else, but with BBB's being a very small breed to start with, I just put it down to that. Eventually I put him and the other 8 chicks I had allocated to his Foster Mother in the bottom half of my brooder. They were around 4 days old at this point, and every morning I had expected to come out and find him dead. I wasn't sure if he was eating or drinking properly, and he seemed to be just squawking ALL the time! But as time went on, he grew stronger and more determined. Unfortunately, he didn't actually grow all that much. Eventually, he went outside with his "Mum" and Brothers and sisters, and although he was half the size of the others, and despite the fact that they jumped on him all the time, he was doing really well. I noticed he had a wry tail, and his feathers didn't seem to grow properly either.

One day, we had some really rough weather. As always, I covered all my pens after feeding out, and went inside. The weather continued to be rough throughout the night, and as soon as daylight rolled on again, I went outside to check the damage. Some time during the night, my elderly, 13 year old arthritic sheep had knocked the plywood from the top of the chicks pen. I found Critter drenched, and barely alive. I was sad, I thought my worst fears for him had come true. I rushed him inside, where I dried him with a towel, and laid him on top of a warm wheatsack. I left Mum to look after him while I fed the rest of the flock, and when I was done I came inside to check on him. Well I'll be darned if the little begger wasn't bright as a button! Question was, what to do with him. He couldn't go back outside, the same thing would happen again, his siblings had simply gotten too big, and wouldn't let him in the house. Luckily my brooder is divided into three sections, and he could safely take up one area, without interferring with my breeding setup. But he was all alone. So we bought him a soft toy and a fluffy pencilcase to sleep in, and I spent time with him every day. When my next batch of chicks was hatched, He spent three weeks next to them, until I moved them to the bottom half of the brooder, and I decided to see if he could go in with them. Well, talk about hilarity. He decided to be their "Mum" and did everything you would expect a broody hen to do. He even let them try and cuddle underneath him. Problem was, they were almost as big as him!

He's now 3 months old, and he crows.... if you can call it that. Sounds a bit like a sick seagull. I weighed him last night, hence the icecream container in the photo above, and he weighs exactly 8 ounces, or 226 grams. My Araucana eggs weigh 2 ounces each, so he's the equivilent of 4 of my araucana eggs. (For comparison, a D'Uccle cock bird should weigh between 28-32 ounces at 1 year old) Here are photos of him with the chicks he has "adopted":
Image

Image

The chicks he adopted are 2 months old, hatched 18/12/11. 1 pekin, 1 pekin/frizzle and 2 polish.
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby bushpiglets » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:21 am

Awww what a cool story. It always blows me away how sweet my boys can be with the little ones but Critter is extra special :) What a dude, I wonder if he will grow to be as big as he should or will always be smaller. Either way he is a keeper :D
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby Heir » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:33 pm

Cute story! Thanks for sharing :D
He is very much a critter isn't he...
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby Louise » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:42 pm

He sounds like a real little character. Thats a great story, one can't but help love the little chap after his determined go at life.
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby chicibo » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:47 am

Tell me about it! He's so cute, he'll never be of any use to me what-so-ever, but I love him, and he's here to stay! Can't bear the thought of knocking him on the head, he's fought so darn hard to live! :cry:
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby UglyDuckling » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:57 pm

What a tale! Critter certainly seems to be a fighter. Funny how one seems to form attachments with the birds that have character... despite often having others that can be considered a better specimen. I've got some fab Orpingtons and Dorkings.... but my Old English Game bantams have real attitude 8-) They have strong personalities, are real charaters and a're soooooo cute :oops: Special thanks to Peter and Kathy Kettle for introducing my wife and I to the breed
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby AlisonS » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:12 am

Tell me about it! We have a mixed bag of chicks of silkie, araucana and pekin heritage and the kids love playing with them. The cutest (and littlest) they named Calm (looks a little like Critter) and he's so sweet they really want to keep him. But he was the first to get his comb, and though he's the smallest, I really can't believe that he's going to be a girl, so I don't really want to keep him in the "being useful" sense, but how can you resist such a sweetie?
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby nzpouter » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:14 pm

where's his tail...?
the difference between pets and pests is only on which side of the fence they're standing... keep your animals in your own property.

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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby chicibo » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:47 pm

his tail is wry, and only has a couple of feathers in it, not much of a tail...
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby nzpouter » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:08 pm

chicibo wrote:his tail is wry, and only has a couple of feathers in it, not much of a tail...

awww... I'm hoping for a rumpless.....
the difference between pets and pests is only on which side of the fence they're standing... keep your animals in your own property.

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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby GillyJ » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:04 pm

Lovely story.. he sounds very special :)
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby chicibo » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:06 am

Sad news I'm afraid. I found Critter dead in his house Tuesday (25th september) morning. :(

Had a good cry and buried him with a little cross on his grave. He had a bit of fun while he was alive, will never forget him trying to mate with the neighbors Hyline/Leghorn cross last week!

R.I.P Critter!
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby sleepinghorse » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:05 am

That is so sad. At least he had a loving home while he lived and provided you with lots of fun moments.
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby Louise » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:25 am

Awww thats so sad. :( I agree, sounds like he had a great life and was well loved. RIP Critter.
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Re: Introducing.... CRITTER!!!!

Postby 99chooks » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:36 pm

Oh no :o :cry:
His work here must have been done, safe transition little dude xxx
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