Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Richard is making the coop this week. Thanks Dave and Aileen for the scrap wood!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meet the new chicks. Some are distinguishing themselves quite early by picking fights, trying to fly out of the cage, or by just looking beautiful. Since we can only keep a few hens, the question is who will make it to the final four?

Penguin 1 and Penguin 2: These two stay under the radar and my guess is that they're both hens.

Little Big Men: These guys have too much attitude for their own good! The smallest of the group, they enjoy flying and picking fights with bigger chicks. My guess would be that they are bantam roosters.

Prettyboys? Roadrunner and Fancypants Johnson. These are the two that caught my eye when I was looking in the various boxes of chicks at the auction. From what I've read, they may be "Easter Eggers", chickens who lay blue, green or pink eggs! If they're hens that is.

The Bosses: Vulture and Mohawk. These two are older and twice the size of the others, but have been quite mellow and never peck at the younger chicks. I've tried to figure out their breeds, but the jury is still out.

The Dark Horses: We have two medium-sized black chicks, and now one is starting to assert himself in the group like a rooster would. The blackest one (in the foreground) seems to stay out of trouble.

Two brothers: These two are always squaring off in chest-bumping contests, a favorite pasttime of young roosters. The one on the left used to dominate and finish off fights by pecking the other guy on the back. However the smaller one now seems to be the aggressor now and is starting to chase the other one, tackle him and pull out his feathers. This can't go on for too long...

It's amazing how quickly the chicks are changing. I'm posting a picture of Stinky fluffing out all his/her new feathers. We moved them into a larger home yesterday (this is our deck storage box temporarily moved indoors).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The chicks are settling in this week and it's been a lot of fun to watch them. The kids get to handle them a lot so that they are used to people. Richard has started building a coop for the backyard.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

When I got home from the auction, I put the new chicks in a "brooder" that I set up on the hearth in the playroom. Right away they started eating and drinking. Here's a picture of Stinky (in the foreground) who doesn't know what to make of all of the new chicks. Once he started assimilating he went around pecking at them...

Since we were down to one chick again, I called the woman who sold me the eggs, Dyanna, to see if she had any chicks for sale. She didn't have any but recommended that I go to the Saturday morning poultry auction. I went and found among the many boxes of chicks (most of them containing 20+) this box of " 13 Mixed Chicks". I was excited about this particular box since 13 is a manageable number and they were such a beautiful assortment of colors. So I was quite nervous when it came time to bid, but then nobody bid against me and I got them for $1 each.

Photography wasn't allowed inside the auction or I would have taken lots of pictures of the many cages of birds and rabbits that were up for sale. Anyhow I took a picture of my box of chicks in the parking lot. I'm thinking I'll come back to this auction in a couple of months to sell off the roosters or extra hens I end up with. We only plan to keep three hens.

It's been a rough couple of days -- three more chicks hatched (all very late) and didn't survive. I don't know if it was poor development, temperatures in the incubator, or what. The first chick that hatched, now named "Stinky" :-( is still alone in the brooder box.