I've updated pics on the crew page.
|Life Love and Chickens in the Blue Ridge Mountains|
The chicks are entering into thier awkward teenage phase of life. I wonder if they are thinking, "Why is our box shrinking?" They are really running out of room in the once spacious luxury lawnmower box brooder. In another week they'll be ready for the coop, but will the coop be ready for them?
I've updated pics on the crew page.
The chicks had their first day out today!
I took them into the garden to let them stretch thier legs and enjoy the sunshine.
They were pretty timid most of the time, not wanting to stray from their familiar carboard environment. It was really fun to watch them get excited and chase ants and watch butterflies. Every now and then one would suddenly decide to get adventerous and try its wings out, flying and landing suddenly to find out they were in foriegn territory.
We also made some addition to the new shed/coop! here are some updated pics!
Thank you to the Holy Spirit for Its direction and guidance and thanks to my hubby for being receptive and creative.
Today chicken coop building
has commenced! My brilliant husband had the idea to retrofit the back half of our shed into a coop and then add a run to the back portion. This way we can fix the shed which needs a new roof and several of the wall boards were rotting. Also we are cleaning it out and making the shed usable again which is something we’ve been wanting to get done. Our ladies will have a sweet little pad, my hubby can have a nice work space and I will enjoy being able walk into the shed.
I am thoroughly enjoying working with Mark. I especially like demoing the wall
out! There’s an itch that only busting stuff up can scratch. That or shooting. I got to use a circular saw for the
first time. Mark said I cut the straightest line he’d ever seen!
It has been an extremely productive and fun day!
The chicks now have a
training roost that I built and they love it. The Leghorn was first to jump right on
and take it for a test drive. I
still haven’t seen the Faverolle use it, but that bird is definitely different
from the rest. It seems to be
developing at a slower rate than the others which I’m told is normal for heritage breeds. I added a
supplement to their food and also got them some freeze dried mealworms. They
love it! I’m trying to get them to learn that I am the bringer of food and win
their trust. They will all eat out of my hand except the Faverolle who seems to associate me with a wet butt
The little leghorn scared me
last night. I took her out to feed her some meal worms and she sneezed several
times. I wonder if she has a cold. I added electrolytes to the water today and they all seem to be acting
normally so I’m just going to keep an eye out.
I cleaned my back room today and the chicks now have an upgraded brooder space
and a bigger sand box. I will also hopefully make a training roost for them
today. They are already eyeing the top of the water dish and I have been
placing a box there to prevent them from getting on top. They are definitely
starting to show individual personality. I've been concerned that the 18%
protein chick feed is not enough. Its Manna Pro unmediated. I tried to
supplement them with mashed organic hardboiled egg, but to no avail. They don't
want it no matter how I try to present it to them. Today I will try ground flax
The only excitement in the last few days was two nights ago. I came
home to find the faverolle “pastedup” in the rear. It took four attempts of
slowly rubbing a warm water soaked paper towel
on its vent to get the caked
poop off. I should have just held it and did it all at once, but it would start
to cry so loud I would lose my nerve and put her back.
I also trimmed feathers around her rear. By the time I was completely
finished I put her back in the box and she just stood there making scared peeps
and not moving. The other chicks were pecking at her wet rear. I felt
terrible because there wasn’t anything I could do, but leave her alone to calm
Today I added a little under a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to
their quart water dish. This is supposed to help regulate gut bacteria and help with the
Fluffy really could care less about the chicks, she will not
come in the room and I am extremely grateful she’s not a chicken hunter. Is she
really respectful? Or has she lost her cat instincts living such a pampered life?
This morning I woke up and found the chicks all asleep in their box. I gave them fresh water and then took them out one by one to hold. Ballina (my Buff Orpington named after my favorite chicken character from the movie Return to Oz) was first and she almost immediately fell asleep in the hands against my chest. Then the Salmon Faverolle ..she was skittish at first but also fell asleep. The Barred Rock did not sleep at all she was restless and I put her back. The Longhorn eventually relaxed. I am pretty sure now that the yellow chick is in fact my Longhorn because her comb is a bit bigger than the others which would be right on with the breed’s description.
They pretty much slept all day until I pulled them out again for a photo shoot. I found out that camera flash and chickens don't mix. I literally scared the poop out of her. My BR is Mark's favorite and she is the loner
of the brood. She does what she wants and doesn't follow the rest. I have been monitoring them for pasty butt and if they are clean tomorrow I will feed them some hardboiled eggs. Oh yeah and our cat Fluffy seems to be scared of
the birds either that or she's just trying to make me think that. Mark keeps reminding me that at the end of the day she's still a cat. It's odd that she wouldn't at least want to watch them especially when she attentively watches the
birds outside as if to say, "You guys are lucky there’s a window between us..."
I get the frightened chicks home and place them
in the box I have prepared for them. They have their chick “Gatorade” their food
and the temp is perfect. Once inside the chicks drink and I notice that the
barred rock is wobbling and pitching forward- almost face planting in the water
dish. She would not move away from the dish. There she sat and I was beginning
to get worried about her. Eventually one of her sisters came and the chick get
up and started to eat like nothing was wrong. I was perplexed.
Later however, I saw the other chicks doing the same thing just getting
wobbly and droopy. I realized they were exhausted! They were literally just
dropping off to sleep wherever they stood. Some face down in the aspen.
Before I went to bed I prepared a sand box for the little darlings. At first they ignored it, but
eventually they began hopping in and enjoying little nibble-
I really think they feel comfortable here and I feel very
peaceful knowing they are content.