Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow Day

Yesterday morning, the coop awoke to quite a strange sight- everything had turned white! The ground (and everything else) was covered with about two inches of snow. That's just about as much as we ever get at one time down here. When I first let the chickens out, they were very cautious of the fluffy cold stuff, but there were several brave birds who pecked around after a while.

But of course, by the afternoon nearly all of the snow had melted, save for a few shadowy places.

New Birds
A good friend of mine is selling the majority of her chickens, and she offered them to me. So, I am now the proud owner of a white Cochin bantam hen and a Russian Spangled Orloff (Elizabeth Taylor and Anastasia). I'm pretty happy about the Cochin in particular- I think she's the sister of my late Henrietta Marie. Pictures coming soon!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Backyard Birds

Mille Fleurs
The breed that I've wanted for a LONG time is: a Mille Fleur Belgian Bearden D'uccle. But I didn't get one... I got two. We went to the state fair, and these are what I picked out to take home. I paid $10 for one pullet and $5 for the other. After I brought them home, I was beginning to think that one was a rooster.... until she laid an egg!

Here's a little slideshow of the two.
video


Cluck, cluck, quack!
Here are some pictures from around the yard.

Cole, the White Rock rooster, hangs out in the fall leaves

J the Black Sex-link hen, pecks around at some scratch
The yet-to-be-named red rooster hunts around for some grub
Cynthia the Silver Laced Wyandotte
Pearl the crested White Pekin
Butterscotch the Heritage Rhode Island Red debates over whether to stay in or go out... hmm...
Sophia the cat
Sophia decides to try some scraps along with her feathered friends
Java the Americauna pullet
Baby Bella, the Americauna/White Rock mix who looks just like her mom, Bella, for whom she was named
The eggs that we get from our coop
From Left to Right: Mille Fleur bantam egg, brown chicken egg, Americauna egg, and duck egg
We found this egg in the Mille Fleur's cage....
The mini-egg compared to a duck egg

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Bit of a Scare

Today I went out at about 4:30 to feed some scraps to the chickens, and I saw one of the little Silkie chicks floating in the big duck pond!

At first I thought it was dead, with only it's head sticking out of the water, but then I saw it's beak open and close, slowly and silently. I ran into the pen and pulled it from the water. It was soaked through and through, and I hurried it inside. We wrapped the poor half-drowned little chick in a big fluffy towel, then set it in a cardboard box.

Several hours later it's all fluffed back up and was pretty freaked out of being inside the 'big house'! I think the little fuzzball is going to be fine!

~chickengirl~

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Return of the Blogger

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted! There's been a lot of growing-up since my last post.

The 'baby ducklings' are no longer babies or ducklings... We had some raccoon trouble when we went on vacation, and we now only have the two mallards and one Pekin, Emerald, plus good ole' Pearl of course.



But, we also bought a pair of Indian Runner ducks! They're names are Queen Victoria and King Albert. I've wanted Runners for a long time; I just love how they walk!!


Queen Victoria & King Albert

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And those little tiny baby chicks? They are big, fully feathered, and should start laying soon! Oddly, we've only lost one of the four, and none of the Co-op chicks.
"Friendly" the (possible) Red Sex-Link


"Sugar" the Americauna

Some of the chicks are watched by Tiptoes the cat

We have three of these chickens, the breed of which we are not sure... The Co-op folks told us they were Jersey Giants, but they have red breasts and look suspiciously like Black Sex-Links....

Cynthia and her mini-me, Gladys

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Aaaand one of our Silkie setters (after a loooong wait) hatched a little baby Silkie! And then a few days later, Butterscotch the Rhode Island Red hen (who has hatched chicks before) hatched another one! [At one point in time we had about a half a dozen hens setting all at once!]


The Silkie babies, who, if they're girls, shall be named "Paris" and "Nikki", strut around the yard


Some of the big girls


Bethany the Golden Polish


Hangin' in the coop


Whoopi the Golden Polish

















~chickengirl~

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chicks...

Spring is the season for new life.


And here at our coop, we definetely have some new life.

In 4-H, we sometimes go to schools or the local fairgrounds for "farm days". At these farm days, we teach children about chickens. (Of course there are many other animals, like horses, rabbits, sheep, even bees.) About two weeks ago we participated in one of these. Every year someone brings a small brooder full of baby chicks, and then at the end of the day they raffle them away in pairs. So, my sister and I each grabbed a ticket and waited. What happened? You guessed it: we each won two baby chicks. I heard that they were Rhode Island Red/ White Leghorn crosses, so that's what I'll call them.









Today we went to the local Co-op for some feed, and what would we find but two huge troughs of chicks. I couldn't resist. We bought 12 chicks of these breeds: 2 Silver-laced Wyandottes, 3 Black Astralorps, 4 Americaunas, and 3 Golden Sex Links.
I've made a very short movie-slideshow to hopefully show all of the breeds.

video

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Old and New

Old
I am sad to report that we've had two losses: the white Cochin hen, Queen Elizabeth (Lizzie), died a couple weeks ago of natural causes. Also, my sweet little white Cochin bantam hen, Queen Henrietta Maria, was (probably) killed by a dog.

New

But, I do have some good news: about a week after the first chick hatched, we found another! I think that it is Lizzie's baby; a white Cochin/Ameracauna & white Rock mix. The next day, we found yet another baby! This one came from a green Ameracauna egg.






And, one day while at the local Co-op, we saw....you guessed it, chicks and ducks. But these were Easter chicks and ducks: there were yellow, red, blue, green, orange, and purple, and also Mallard ducks. We left with two little Mallards, a blue duckling, and a green duckling. They are growing fast, but their colors are still vibrant.



The blue one's name is Saphire, and the green Emerald :]
~chickengirl~

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hope and Chickens

It's finally happened: I went out to the garage today to check on Momma Fluff, and found a little, still-wet Silkie chick underneath her! We were about to give up hope for the eggs, and I'm thinking about naming the little baby 'Hope'. Here are some pics of the adorable baby!







Here are some other pics of chicken from around the yard. I took them with our new camera, a Nikon D90, a very nice camera.





~chickengirl~

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eggs

Well, the eggs that our setting Silkie were setting on have not hatched. Most of them have broken to reveal rotten contents (though one broken egg had a dead baby chick inside).

But, there is some good news: I put some newly gathered eggs under her a couple of weeks ago, and after holding a crank-up flashlight to the egg and borrowing a friends candler, we can see a little chick moving around in at least one of the three eggs! The egg is white, and I think that it may be a Polish egg, but not certain! The other two are Ameracauna and a brown egg.

Even more, yet another Silkie has gone broody, around the same time (or a little later) when I put in the new eggs. And the three Silkie eggs that she has been setting on also show signs of moving chick life!! They could be pure Silkie chicks or even mixes with the mixed breed! One of the eggs has a little dent in it, and it's unknown how it got there, but we can still see the chick moving...

Here is a description of the eggs: There are blood veins showing. The shadows of the chick are a little bit lighter, and there are dark spots moving around (possibly eye, beak?). There are also some sqiggly lines that seems to be moving, maybe part of the chick. If anybody knows how old fertile eggs are at this age, please tell me, because I don't remember when I put them in/ when the hen started setting!

Please pray for the best of luck and possibly some chickies soon!!

~chickengirl~

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 15

As of now, our Silkie hen is at about day 15. I've been trying to candle the eggs every now and then. The other day, I found two with blood rings (not good) and threw them out. Last night, I found another two with blood rings (Silkie eggs, sadly enough) and also threw them out. I have numbered the eggs from 1-14. The hen got off of her nest for a little while several days ago, but we gently placed her back and she re-accepted them. I have seen dark shadows in several of the eggs, and that gets me so excited! But I can't get my hopes too high; after all, I am using a flashlight for the candling =)

~chickengirl~

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Setting!

I got my wish- one of our Silkies is setting! She currently has about 16 eggs from all our different hens. It will be interesting to see what turns out! As of now, we're at about day 4. I'll keep posting! Here are some pics:





~chickengirl~


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow Day!!

We got our first snow of the year on Monday, January 20!! Where I live, snow is as rare as a... well, I can't think of anything that it's as rare as, but it's rare! Even just this much. Of course, me with my digital camera went out and took pictures of the chickens enjoying (and not enjoying) the thin layer of snow! The video in the background was done with a Nikon (not sure what kind- I just know that it was expensive). So, without further ado, here is my Snow Day with the Chickens video!




video



As you may be able to see, this video is a little different than my older slideshows. I got a new video-making software! It's called MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 14. It took a little figuring-out, but it's a really nice, pretty basic-but-with-some-cool-effects editting software. Please tell me what you think!



~chickengirl~