Tag Archive | Back yard chickens

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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Today is a Bitter Sweet Day…..

Actually tomorrow will be a bitter sweet day, but todays my last day with my girls.  We have decided that for now we will no longer be raising back yard chickens.  It was a wonderful 4 years and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  We are going though some life changes, nothing serious, but that will be taking allot of our time and won’t be fair to the girls.  Luckily for me, I’m able to rehome most of them to friends.  The older ones are going to have to go to the auction 😦  Please don’t say anything, I’m sad enough.

Fred & his girls

Here are my latest pictures of most of the flock (you can click on them to make them bigger, no need to strain your eyes).  Due to the snow, some of them decided to stay in the hen house, most, did venture out on the path that my hubby made.

Fred and the flock Fred, not happy about walking on the snow Trying to get to the path without walking on the snow Autumn & Sunshine Flying not to touch the snow! Black Cat & Lillie My hubby giving the girls a treat Grey cat  & Lillie Grey Cat hanging with the flock Lilly trying not to walk on the snow The Chicklets

For sure my chickens DO NOT like snow.  My girlfriend Sandy is taking our rooster Fred and 5 of the girls, my girlfriend Pam is taking 2 young hens and little Pokey (Pokey is one of the last hatches and Pam is the one who donated the eggs)  I was hoping that someone would take young Corny, he’s going to be a wonderful friendly rooster, he loves being held, I have an emergency message into another friend with back yard chickens and hoping she can help out.

I will continue to post recipes to my blog and photos of any of our new and upcoming ventures.  So, please 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!

Meet Goldie’s Chicks

 

Well, I was out of town when the chicks hatched, they hatched on May 30 & 31 and there are 5 of them.  They are just so fluffy and cute!  Just look at this little fluffy butts!  Goldie is a very protective and attentive mom, so getting close isn’t an option unless you go in the coop at their bed time.  These are Prince Charming’s first brood of chicks.

So that’s your update for now, mama and babies are doing well.  I’m hoping someone else goes broody soon…..

Update on Goldie

Well, I just came back from the chicken yard.  I just let Prince Charming and the girls out to free range, while I let Goldie out of the broody box for her free time.  A broody needs to be off her nest at least once a day to eat, drink, poop and of course dust.  Goldie heads right towards her dusting spot every day and then to the water bowl and dips her feet while she drinks.  I think she’s multi tasking since she has just a short time off the nest.  Broody’s generally are off the nest no more than an hour, Goldie is usually back on the nest within a half an hour.  I also give her a handful of starter feed to get some vitamins into her.  While she’s off the nest I go in and collect eggs, so when she goes back into the coop, she doesn’t see other eggs and sit on them by mistake.  While I collecting the eggs, I took a look into her box and noticed that one of the eggs was broken open and there was a dead chick, still in the sack with a lot of yolk around it, 😦 so I’m assuming, possibly Goldie broke the egg??  So, I had to clean out the nest, when I did that I inspected the eggs and had to gently clean up a couple, I noticed that another egg was broke, so I got rid of that one and there is another that looks like its pipped but is also cracked, I did put that one back in the nest, not sure if that was the right thing to do or not, when my hubby gets home maybe we’ll make a decision to remove that egg.  So, at this point Goldie now has 6 good eggs.   The chicks are due to hatch on the 31st, I’ll let you know as zoon as that happens.

7 months old and still no feathers, but she is laying.

7 months old and still no feathers, but she is laying.

Also, an update on Fuzzy, Fuzzy is a rooster!  LOL!  His comb is now very big and he crows, that’s how we know he’s a roo the crowing.  He is still downy and limps but getting around just fine and his crow is still developing, but not too bad.