Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Flock

This will introduce you to most of my flock.
The two white ones are my Delawares; Daisy and Dot. (Dot has the darker spots around her neck)
The red ones are my Rhode Island Reds; Ruby and Red. (Ruby is the darker one)
The black and white speckled ones are my Barred Rocks; Betty and Babs (Betty is the darker one)
The black and white lacy pattern is my Silver Laced Wyanotte; Wanda
The large brown speckled hen is my Americauna; Cinnamon.
The small brown speckled hen is my little, or should I say Brennan's little Mille Fleur Bantam; Frizzee.
The big black rooster with the wild feathers on his head is Crazy Pat.
I do not think my Buff Orpington; Buffy, is in the picture.
Luna is not in the picture, she is my White Leghorn.
They have laid eggs all winter.

Too Cute!

I moved the little ones out to the main pen on Thurs. because I was leaving for my grandsons house for the weekend and I thought it would be safer.
Besides they are quite big now, their wing feathers have fully filled in and they are taking little flights.
When I moved them to the new area and they went crazy. They were taking little flights here and there. That night I went out to check on them and could not find them.
My heart sank!
Then I looked up... there they were, all of them!
Luna's back side was towards me, but peeking out from under all of her tail feathers were five little heads. I would never have guessed that they could fly so high!
It was just too cute!
I called my husband today, just to check up on them. he said everyone was ok, but the rooster had started to charge him, Pat is not too crazy about my husband, that is another story. Jay Jay, my gander charged Pat grabbed him by the neck and shook him. My husband says the rooster is okay, he is just missing some neck feathers.
Jay Jay has never liked the rooster by me or for that matter he has never liked any of the chickens to get too close to me, but I never thought he would try to protect my husband.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Flights of Fancy

At the time I composed this, Mar. 5, the little chicks were getting quite adept at flying. When I put them it the box to transport them from place to place I need to quickly cover the top. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly they grow.
They were a little over a week on the 5th they had their wing feathers and about 1/2" long tail feathers.
It is still too early to determine whether they will be hens or roosters.
I candled the eggs and it looks like none of them are developing. I was afraid of that. The first day the thermometer got up to 104. The book says it should only get up to 102. I think that might be what killed the other 7 eggs that Luna had been sitting on.
I am still going to incubate them the full 21 days as I am far from an expert on candling. I do it just to see if I am right or not. I candled Brennan's and I think 1 is growing, 1 is not and the 3rd I had trouble seeing through the shell so I am not sure about.
Frizzee has laid an egg for the past 2 days so I placed each one in the incubator. I have never seen her mate with Pat, but since it is Brennan's chicken I thought I would give it a try.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Little Ones are doing Great!

I found this Draft in my posts. I do not know why I never posted it.

Luna was outside the pen this morning and did not seem to be able to figure out how to get back in. I walked outside to she her pacing the perimeter desperately trying to find a way back in. Evidently it was easier to fly out than to fly back in.
All five little chicks seem to be doing quite well.The first four already have wing feathers emerging.
The picture is a little blurry. The chicks do not stay still for long.
If you look closely you can see all the new wing feathers. They all have cute little tail feathers emerging as well.
Eve is the little yellow chick to the right. The yellow chick on the left is the first hatchling. I do not have any names chosen for the others.
I am still keeping the other 7 eggs under a light. One of them rocks occasionally, although I did not see any movement today.
Last night we came home and the wind had blown so hard the pen had collapsed! Mama Luna had it all under control though. She had all the little babies safely tucked under her. Gary helped me move the pen into the shed and I gathered everyone up and put them where they would be safe. This morning the wind had died down and I put them back on the porch. Everyone seems happy and no worse for the wear.
The first 4 chicks are one week old today. Eve will be 1 week old tomorrow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The New Family

This is my very first attempt at You Tube. This has been such a gratifying experience I just wanted to share it.

I have been taking other short videos. I will try to get them up as well. Upon checking on the new family I was pleasantly surprised to see two new faces.
A couple of hours after I took this video I checked on the new mom and her new family to find all of them out of the planter and running around the little pen I had set up for them. I counted not three but four; one yellow with black spots, one golden brown, two black!
I had not thought they leave the nest so quickly. Eight eggs were left without a mom. I scooped them up and ran into the house. I am not sure when I last moved so quickly. I covered them with a towel, ran out to my toy store and grabbed a small box, brought it inside, lined it with aluminum foil, ran upstairs,, grabbed a lamp, ran into the toy room, grabbed some books, then set up the whole affair on top of the dryer. Now the nest is empty except for the remains of the eggshells.
Within 2 hours following this mad dash, one of the eggs had a little hole pecked out.
I spent most of the rest of the night checking on my new little hatchling. I finally went to bed at midnight with not much progress made in the hatching process. Around 6 am I woke up to the sound of very excited chirping!
What a glow to my heart.
Footnote: while I made all those checks two other eggs showed movement. Who knows they may hatch as well. It all depends.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hatch Day!!

Today was supposed to be the day the eggs hatched.
I was a little less than optimistic at the chance of hatchlings, but as I walked by Luna today a little yellow head was poking out from under her wing. Judging by the dryness of its feathers and how active it was it may have hatched yesterday.
Here is mama and her new baby.

There was one point that Luna stood for a couple of seconds and I saw another chick! This one was a fresh hatchling, still quite wet. I have not seen it since. Until tomorrow I will just have to be happy with these pics.
It is hard to see in the pic but the egg tooth is right on the tip of the little chicks beak. If you click on the picture you can see it better.
This sweetie hatched from one of Luna's eggs, but she bears the markings of not being a pure White Leghorn chick, she has little black speckles on her back.
I bought a little incubator in case Luna leaves the nest before all the eggs hatch. She is sitting on the last eggs that Lady laid before she died and I would like to see if they will hatch.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Loss!

We have been having torrential rain the past few days so when I put the chickens up last night and only counted 12 I thought it was my mistake. Between the rain and their moving around it must have been my fault on the count. Today, sadly, I find my count was accurate. Lady is nowhere to be found.

Lady is the white chicken on the left in front of the two white Delawares. Lady was a White Leghorn and a very good egg layer!

After a thorough search of the property I extended the boundaries of my search to the outside perimeter of the property, there I found my first clues as to what had happened. There strewn along the edge of a large rain puddle were white feathers of all shapes and sizes, usually indicative of a struggle. Further searching turned up more feathers along the fence line.
I continued my investigation and found dog droppings that were not Sterling's, I know what he eats and what his droppings look like. Might sound gross, but by checking droppings occasionally I keep a heads up on the health of my animals.
In the chicken pen itself I found a large quantity of red feathers, as if one of the Rhode Island Reds had been spooked and banged themselves against the fencing.
I asked my husband to keep an eye out for a stray dog. If one enters the property I requested it be terminated with extreme prejudice!
Two good layers in one week is hard for me to deal with.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Luna is stoic!

The other day Lady decided she needed to lay an egg where Luna is sitting. I did not actually see her do it, but I walked by and there was a white egg on top of Luna. At first I was puzzled as to how one of her eggs got there, but when I picked it up to tuck it back under her I noticed there were no markings.
She left the nest a little later for a drink and a quick bite to eat. If you look at the picture you will notice that her tail feathers are quite fanned. she has only done that since she started sitting. They are fanned and she walks around scolding everyone until she gets back on the nest.While she was gone I took the opportunity to check the eggs, now there are nine. I think Lady must have laid another egg between the last time I was able to check the eggs and now.
Luna has steadfastly stayed on the nest throughout all the rain and wind we have been having. Poor thing she looked so pathetic, wet cold. I have her protected the best I could, but she chose a really odd place to lay and there isn't a lot I can do with it that wouldn't disturb her.