Sunday, November 13, 2011
In my second back of chicks I have 3 7 week old chicks (White Crested Blue Polish, Welsummer, and Partridge Cochin) and i have 3 6 week old chicks (2 Buff Laced Polish, and an Easter Egger) They went into the coop last night with the others! When I went to check on them this morning they were all doing wonderful! A lot of people say its hard to merge different flocks, but I have been introducing them from a very young age when they range in their outdoor pen. There was very minimal pecking, but pecking is needed in order for them to establish a pecking order, and is just their way of communicating with each other. I think my dad is happier then I am that the baby chicks are out of our basement then I am!
Friday, November 4, 2011
Free Ranging is when you allow your chickens to roam freely without being enclosed of any sort. Today for 30 minutes I watched and observed my 8 1/2 week olds free ranging for the first time in a bush right near their coop. They LOVE scratching around looking for bugs and seeds in the leaves. I will not let my birds free range when I am not home, because what ended their little free range session today was a giant red tailed hawk flying into the tree right above them. I read somewhere that "it is better for your chickens to live a happy shorter life free ranging, then live a long life in confinement." I'm not sure how I feel about this yet because these chickens are my pets! I think the dangers of them free ranging when I'm not home are too much for me to handle. I don't want to lose them, but they enjoy it so much! Decisions, decisions.
Last night i gave my 2 white silkies their last bath before winter really sets in, it was a much need bath, look how pretty and white they look! They're beginning a molt so their getting new crest feathers (feather on the top of their head) so thats why it looks like their feathers are globbed together in places!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
For 8th grade graduation my present was 2 chicks my little brother had hatched out for school! As they grew up we learned one was a rooster so we soon gave it away (dropped it off at the Stew Leanords petting zoo, and pretended like nothing happened.) However the other chick ended up being a girl and was named Lamar (thought it was a boy when i names it) who was a Bantam Red Frizzle Cochin and was my favorite chicken! Then we acquired a Rhode Island Red hen from one of our relatives, but at this point we still hadn't had a coop, they were living in a dog cage in my basement. I ordered a 4 x 6 chicken coop kit from cottagekits.com and it cam on halloween weekend of 2010. My mom and I worked on it both days to get it set up and i devoted Sunday to painting it the traditional red and white barn colors. The Chickens moved out on Sunday night! It was soo exciting to have them finally out of the basement and have them in the coop! Weeks later i got my first egg brown egg from the Rhode Island Red (now named Monique). I blew it out and I keep it in a little bowl for all the 1st eggs I get. Later lamar laid her 1st little bantam egg which was also a light brown color. They survived the winter very well and i realized after letting them free range everyday that it was time they needed an enclosed pen. My dad and I built a wonderful chicken run for them over spring break. We had not yet gotten to doing the top of the run yet so it was still open. On April 20th of 2011 I received 11 chicks of various breeds from mypetchicken.com. They were wonderful and I spent all of my free time playing with them and just making sure they were living a good life. There brooder was in my basement in a dog crate They were my first batch of chickens that I received in the mail. At 6 weeks it was time to move them outside. Monique was very vicious and would peck them to show she was on top of the pecking order so I was scared the they wouldn't make it. I ended up just putting their dog cade outside in the run. I covered the dog cage with a tarp and they made it the 1st night. However, I go out the morning after the 2nd night and they are all dead. All cut open and everything, half of them are missing and there were little chicken feet everywhere. I was devastated and in shock.. My mom cleaned up the mess for me while I was at school. I have a feeling it was a weasel because the dog crates openings were so small l nothing else would have been able to get in there. Thank god Lamar and Monique were fine..... 2 nights later i forgot to close the chicken door to the coop and a raccoon got Lamar and Monique. That was it. I was chicken-less. The last year of my life with the chickens was done. (not to be dramatic or anything) Well it took about a week for me to get over it and order a new batch for September of 2011. Over the summer I go up to Rhode Island to go sailing in Watch Hill. On August 17th there was a Washington County fair and I was sooo siked because i remembered from last year that there were chickens for sale and not only just chickens....but silkies. May aunt bought me a pair of white silkies (rooster and hen) I WAS BACK! it felt soo good to have chickens again. I gave them baths and blow dried them out because they had poop in their feathers. Then on September 9th I received my 12 chicks from mypetchicken. They were late because of hurricane Irene and right away I notice two of the chicks were lethargic. They passed before i got home from school that day (blue silkie and buff laced polish) . They 2 other died (Speckled Sussex, and Partridge Cochin within the next day). I was very upset because the chickens i had lost were sold out for the year and the president of mypetchicken was very nice and tacked on a couple of chickens from her order so I could replace the chickens that i had lost. I had also made another order to replace the chickens that she could not replace. So two weeks after i got the 1st batch which was now of 8 chicks (1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Golden Laced Wyandotte, 1 Buff Orpington, 1 Welsummer, 1 White Leghorn, 2 Easter Eggers, and 1 Barred Rock), I received my 2nd batch which consisted of a Welsummer, White Crested Blue Polish, and Partridge Cochin. Then the week after that i received the order from Tracie (president of mypetchicken) which was and Easter Egger, and 2 Buff Laced Polishes. My order was now complete! I had 3 batches of chicks that are 4 weeks apart from youngest to oldest. Watch them grow with me!
|Me and Lamar|