Tag Archive | baby chicks

Goliaths Flock

Hello Again! Yes, it’s been a while, someone please tell me where all the time has gone!!!!  Well, I’m thinking, it went into raising baby chicks! Here they come!!!!

Free Range Time

Free Range Time

Once again, meet Goliath’s Flock!  They are now 17 weeks old!  I must say, this is the most docile group of chicks I’ve ever had!  Granted, I’ve only had to be mama hen to my first group of chicks, Buddy’s Flock and that was of course where I learned how to raise back yard chickens.  Even though I grew up on a chicken farm, my dad raised chickens for eggs and that was before cages came in, he ended his business, opting out of caged.

Well, like I said, my babies are now 17 weeks old, their ‘voices’ are changing, the girls are now sounding more like hens.  Still a little early for egg laying, but we’re getting anxious! Goliath is still a little young to be crowing, but can’t wait for that early crowing.

Way back on Sept. 9th I introduced you to the chicks: Meet Goliath & His Flock, they look a tad different now then those early fluffy butt baby pics, so I’m going to introduce you again and add some goings on and updates.

First update, we did loose 1 chick a couple weeks ago to a Sharp Shin Hawk.  We have a completely closed in run for the chicks, but there was a hole, which the hawk found and got into the run and killed poor Itsie one of our 2 Speckled Sussex, which left Bitsie an only child.  The hole was fixed, there isn’t even the slightest peek hole now.  It’s always a learning experience.

Like I said they are now 17 weeks old, I picked these chicks from My Pet Chicken, breeds we have never had before and ended up ordering 6 different breeds. I did want white jersey giants but none were available anywhere, so I got the black.  2 …. 3 reasons I wanted to add Jersey Giants to my flock, 1-they’re a big breed, so hoping this will help in deterring hawks, 2-I’m a Jersey Girl and Jersey Giants originated in New Jersey so wanted to be true to New Jersey, 3-Getting the Jersey Giant rooster I’m hoping that all chicks will be on the larger side, again to help them survive.  Hawks are our number 1 predator here, we did loose 1 a couple years ago to a fox and we did loose chicks to a skunk, that was tragic.

So now, meet Goliath’s Flock

The Jersey Giants, Goliath, Millie & Tillie

Goliath is growing like a weed, he will eat out of my hand.  Millie is not as friendly but will eat out of my hand at times, Tillie, I think is pretty low on the pecking order so she doesn’t eat out of my hand, she hangs back.  You can see that Millie has a beautiful tail, Tillie has not much of a tail, that’s how I tell them apart.

Bitsie – Speckled Sussx

Bitsie, is my only Speckled Sussex, her sister, Itsie was killed by a Sharp Shin Hawk.  Bitsie was named because she was the runt of the flock, took her a while to catch up. Thats why the names Itsie and Bitsie.  She is a doll baby, one of my favorites.  She will let you hold her and talk your ears off.

Hope & Grace – White Plymouth Rocks

Hope is allot friendlier than Grace.  I think that’s because she had pasty butt her first week of life.  I never had a chick with pasty butt(pasting up) before, but thank goodness My Pet Chicken, where I got them from, tells you to look for it and how to treat it.  Not hard to treat, but the chick will die if not treated.  So, I think from all the handling she got, she became so friendly.  These two were name by my grandson Tyler.  If I stoop down to long when I’m out with the flock, Hope will jump up on my shoulder.

Lavern & Shirley – Easter Eggers

Yes, named for the TV show.  My 91 year old dad, named these 2, Lavern is the lighter (blonde) one and Shirley is the darker (brunette) one.  These 2 are not so friendly and are generally last to come out to free range.

Sweetie Pie & Honey Bun – Partridge Plymouth Rocks

Sweetie Pie was named first, as a chick, she constantly sat with me and I kept saying such a sweetie pie, so I named her Sweetie Pie, looking for a ‘friendly’ name for her sister, who also sat with me, not as much in the beginning, but now she’s the friendlier one, seeing her coloring was lighter than Sweetie’s, more of a honey color, I named her Honey Bun.  Honey Bun, will also jump up on my shoulder, she is my favorite.

Thelma & Louise – Gold Laced Wyandotte’s

Yes, named for the movie.  Wasn’t my favorite movie, and when these 2 were babies, they weren’t my favorites either.  These were my renegades, hence the names.  Thelma is the lighter one and Louise is the darker one.  Thelma is currently in the running for top of the pecking order along with Millie.  I’m not sure, whose going to win this battle, but for the time being, my money is on Thelma.  Thelma is even letting the cats know that she is top girl in the chicken yard, not them.  She chases poor grey cat all over, and poor grey cat, just wants to be one of the girls!

Here’s the pecking order challenge that went on yesterday, between Thelma & poor Grey Cat, then Thelma & Millie, then Millie and Goliath, I have no idea what she was thinking, then Goliath breaking up Thelma & Millie.  What a day! LOL!

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I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the story.  Sorry its been a while, hope it won’t be so long till my next post.  Feel free to comment, I love hearing from you.

 

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Meet Goliath & His Flock

Meet Goliath & His Flock

Hello!  I Can’t believe my last post was on May 27th! (Bok Choy Italian Style or Italian Sausage, Gnocchi & Bok Choy) and the last I posted about Buddy’s Flock was on March 9th! (Today is A Bitter Sweet Day….) So, I have allot to catch you up on.  The reason we got rid of Buddy’s Flock was due to me and my hubby traveling for the past 5 months.  We traveled so much it wasn’t going to be fair to the flock with us being away so much.  The last of our travels took us from New Jersey to California, from California to Alaska and from Alaska back home to New Jersey.  Yes, all driving! And my hubby did ALL the driving.  I will get to pictures in another blog, I haven’t even gone through them all yet, we’ve been so busy since we got back home trying to catch up.  We were on the road a few days shy of 8 weeks!

During our travels, driving through allot of farmland, I realized that when we returned home I was again going to get chickens….raise chickens.  When we arrived back home, one of the first things I did in my off time was research chicken breeds.  I knew that I wanted to get Jersey Giants (since being a Jersey Girl and living in Jersey, it can only be right to have some Jersey Giants!), plus I was hoping the size would help deter the hawks???? But I wasn’t sure what colors and if that was the only breed I wanted.  Well, looking into chicks/chicken breeds I found that White Jersey Giants weren’t available, the only available were the black.  No biggie, but I didn’t want a flock of all black chickens (mainly because I like to name them and if they’re all the same kinda hard to tell them apart, that’s just my opinion, but I do like variety and color. When we had all New Hampshire Reds I numbered them because I couldn’t tell them apart)  Anyway, after doing my research, and deciding on breeds, the important traits were size, cold hardy & friendliness, I found the ones that I was interested in and all to be hatched at the same time at My Pet Chicken.  So, I called and spoke to some very friendly folks there, very knowledgeable and ready to help with any questions.  I placed an order, actually on my birthday, for chicks that were going to hatch on August 31 and would be to me by Sept. 2.  That gave me and my hubby time to plan and get ready for them.   So, instead of 1 or 2 breeds, I ordered 6! (Actually 8, my girlfriend, Pam ordered 4 chicks that came in with mine, helps to save on shipping!) LOL!  I couldn’t really make up my mind.  But here’s what I ordered: 1 Black Jersey Giant Rooster- name:Goliath (of course, at this point, we don’t know which one is Goliath), 2 Black Jersey Giant Hens – names: Tillie & Millie 2 Partridge Plymouth Rock hens – names: Sweetie Pie & Honey Bun, 2 Golden Laced Wyandotte hens – not named waiting on feathers, 2 Speckled Sussex hens – Named: Itsy (our little runt) & Bitsy, 2 Easter Egger hens – Not named yet waiting on feathers and 2 White Plymouth Rock hens whom my grandson Tyler named Hope & Grace.  He will also name the 4 that aren’t name yet.

So here’s they’re debut for you!  They were a week old yesterday.

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It’s 2015! Happy New Year!

Where has all the time gone!!!???  Seems like is was only September then we took a hyper jump to Christmas!  It’s been a whirl wind around here, but now things are slowing down and getting back to whatever normal will be for this year.

I’m hoping to do a few posts this week to just get some recipes on here, but no guarantees! I’m trying though.  And do know, your not forgotten.

My last post was on November 10th! Geez! and was titled New Happenings in Buddy’s Flock, in that post I informed you that mamma Reds was again broody and since I didn’t have a rooster at that point in time, I had 2 friends donate fertile eggs to her on different days, I got 4 eggs from Pam and 5 eggs from Chrissie.  The eggs I received from Pam all hatched, 1 hatched 1 day early and the chick didn’t survive 😦  The other 3 hatched as scheduled on November 25th,  2 days later mamma reds kicked the other 5 eggs out of the nest so there were no chicks there 😦

The 3 chicks that did hatch are doing great!  Even with the cold and right now its bitter cold here in South Jersey.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to Prissy (Priscilla), Cornie (Cornucopia) and Pokie (Pocahontas)

Since this time, we’ve taken all the young roosters to auction, probably at least 9 of them.  So now Fred has settled into being the patriarch of the hen house and the hens are accepting him as the head guy.  He seems to be getting the hang of all his duties as a rooster and at this point in time has a harem of 18 hens.

So stay tuned for more updates on Buddy’s Flock.

New Happenings in Buddy’s Flock

Prince Charming

Well, hello everyone!  I can’t believe it’s November and I haven’t posted since August!  Shame on me!  I’ve been meaning to, I have recipes and pictures, I just don’t know where all the time has gone!  So, to start, I’ll update you all on Buddy’s flock because it needs updating!

First of all, 3 weeks ago we sent Prince Charming, along with Ricky and 2 very young roosters to the auction.  I decided to get rid of Prince Charming to give my girls a rest, because he had them bald and then they were starting to molt.  Since then, Mamma Reds went broody again! LOL!  The chicks she had in the summer are now 3 1/2 months old, she only left them last month!  Doesn’t bother me any, since my hubby said she’s getting old and wanted to get rid of her and I said she’s a good mamma so we’re keeping her….guess she overheard and wanted to prove my point.  Only problem with that is, Prince Charming had been gone for 2 weeks already and there are only upcoming roosters, Fred is going to be the head roo but not quite there yet.  So, I put out the call to my girlfriends and 2 of them graciously donated fertile eggs.  Pam gave me 4 on November 5th and then Chrissie gave me 5 eggs on November 9th, so there’s going to be a 4 day lull, this should prove interesting.  If anyone can handle it Mamma Reds can.

So, that leaves Mamma Saltie still hanging with her chicklets that were hatched on August 24th.  They’re about 2 1/2 months old.  I love it when the moms stay with them for a long time.  I do think she’s getting ready to leave them though, she took them up to the big girl roost last night.  Only problem, we have little Fuzzy and she can’t fly up to the roost, I had to put a milk crate in there so she could hop up on it, then hop up to the lowest and then up the ladder rungs.  I guess one of the hens in the flock has some sort of recessive silkie gene, seems like I get one of the fuzzy chicks often, this is my 3rd like this, Mamma Reds had one in her brood whom I named Phyllis Diller.

So, chicks are due to hatch Thanksgiving week so stay tuned!

Meet Saltie’s 6 Chicks

It’s been a busy summer here with our backyard chickens.  We’ve had a slew of chicks, we’ve had a skunk come in and kill chicks, we’ve had a friend give us a hen and 2 chicks and recently Saltie hatched 6 chicks out of 7 eggs….which during the broody processed ended up to be 10 eggs, 3 of which are in a borrowed incubator.  Also, we had one of Mamma Blackie’s chicks die from an unfortunate freak accident.

So, thats the low down on everything.  And now, meet Saltie’s chicks!

Originally when we started with chickens, we started with baby chicks which we had in the house under a heat lamp, like most folks do when they first start out.  So, our original 10 were the friendliest of all our chickens because they were human raised.  Mamma Reds, Goldie & Saltie are from those original 10.  They make the best moms and being the friendliest they teach the chicks to eat out of my hands, where the others don’t.  So, with Saltie this was a first for me, I actually lucked out and got to see one of her eggs pipped and videoed it.  In the video, the beginning is a little jumpy, sorry for that I was trying to focus my  phone in the dark henhouse, but make sure you have your sound on, the first chirping you hear are the 11 chicks running around outside, then if you listen you’ll hear Saltie in a very low soft cluck, talk to the chick in the egg and the chick responds.  Then you will be able to see the chicks little beak.  I was so excited to be able to see that, close up and personal.  Enjoy!

Salties egg pipping

Here’s a picture of the 4 eggs in the incubator.  I know I said she hatched 6 out of 7 and that she ended up with 10, but I never marked the 1st 7, so I didn’t know which one didn’t belong in the incubator.  I finally candled the eggs last night, 1 looks close to hatching and 2 look like they have a week or so to go and of course 1 needs to come out.  This is the 1st time I’m using an incubator so from what I’m told the outcome might not be good.  But at least there’s a chance.  The one that should hatch soon, if it does I will take it out and put it in with Saltie, I’m sure she’ll take care of it.  I will most likely do that with the other 2 should they hatch, unless someone goes broody in the meantime.

incubating

So here is how Mamma Reds chicks sleep at night.  Luckily my broody box is a triplex, I have the lid locked open and some of the chicks are roosting there, 1 has taken it upon itself to move to higher ground is is way high up on a little perch above the nest boxes!  If you remember back to my post I do Believe I have a Crazy Flock! Mamma Black was trying to move her very young chicks up to higher ground and they we’re not ready, so she moved herself up and tried sticking the chicks in with broody Mamma Reds. Eventually after Mamma Reds 7 chicks hatched she adopted Mamma Blacks 5 and Mamma Black moved back in with the flock.

 

So our flock count goes like this: 1 Rooster (Prince Charming). 12 hens and 19 chicks!  32 Total!  Wow!  And you know as well as I do, that most of those chicks are going to be roosters!  Take a look at the 2 I named Lucy and Ethel, now I believe its going to be Ricky & Fred… 😦  Look at the photos below (if you click on them you’ll see a bigger picture)  let me know your thoughts, roosters or hens??

By the way, Goldie has not been the same since the skunk incident (Sad Day in the Chicken Yard).  My poor girl.

I hope you enjoy my posts.  Please feel free to comment and tell me your stories with your backyard chickens.

 

Updates on Buddy’s Flock

I just want to give you a quick update on Buddy’s Flock.

 

First of all, we have a new broody!  One of my young hens went broody a few days ago.  She’s not a year yet and I wasn’t sure if she was going to hold tight to the nest.  We moved her to the broody box one night with just a few eggs, then next morning when I went to check on her, she flew out and didn’t go back.  That night she was back sitting on eggs, I left her where she was.   Next day, she was in a different nest but seemed tight to the eggs.  That night, once again, we moved her to the broody box, next morning she showed no interest in leaving.  Yeah!  So, she is on 5 eggs and they are due to hatch around July 11.  So stay tuned.

Also, I just wanted to post these extremely cute pics of our new mama (see New Additions to Buddy’s Flock).  Mama & chicklets are doing fine and dandy.  They are now separated during the day from the flock because Prince Charming keeps trying to ‘woo’ her in a not so nice way.  So for the time being, she and chicks are in the broody yard.

New Additions to Buddy’s Flock

Well, a new friend of ours, Bill, heard what happened to our 5 chicks (see Sad Day in the Chicken Yard) and he offered us one of his broody hens with chicks!  I thought it over for a couple days, tried to entice my gals to go broody by not picking eggs for 3 days, then decided to take Bill up on his offer.  Bill has a small yard and small chicken yard with at least 1 rooster & 12 hens (3 of whom we’re broody, 2 with chicks and 1 sitting on eggs, I wish mine would go broody like that) and he said he was willing to get rid of them because he felt he had to many.  So, late Monday night my hubby went over to Bills, and brought home a mama with 2 chicks.

We put her in the hen house on the floor in the corner where they all raise their chicks.  She settled in with the chicklets with a growl.

Next morning I went out early because I didn’t know how our flock was going to take to her, but really wasn’t worried to much, because you don’t mess with a mama hen.  I opened the door to the coop and my gals and Prince Charming came out, I looked in and mama and chicks were just fine.  I offered them a small bowl of starter feed and water and left them alone.   She kept them in the hen house all day, but walked them around and came close to the door.

New Mama & Chicks

This morning, Wednesday, she brought the chicklets out in the chicken yard!

Later today I went out to check on her & the whole flock was near her and Prince Charming giving her the once over.  You’ll see in the photos, Wuzzy, Prince Charmings favorite, was giving the new mama the stink eye, when she caught Prince Charming looking at her!

She’s a great mom, one of the babies got stuck and I retrieved her and mama was NOT happy that I was handling her chick and came at me.  She didn’t hurt me and all is well, she doesn’t know me yet, so its acceptable right now.  When we let the flock out to free range one of the cats followed my hubby and me into the chicken yard, mama hen was not happy and had the cat move on!

So, that’s the update on Buddy’s flock.  We now have 12 hens, 1 rooster & 2 chicks.  Stay tuned!