Tag Archive | 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.

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Killer Skunk!

and an ugly one at that!

 

The skunk has been caught and dealt with.  We will put out the trail cam again tonight and see if anything else is lurking about.

All the flock is doing well, hopefully egg production will now go back up.  Nothing like being terrorized to make egg production drop.

We thought we lost Goldie yesterday, we went to close up the flock for the night and usually the flock is in the coop on the roost ready, but last night, they weren’t, what was worse, they we’re acting out of the norm.  They weren’t acting like they were spooked or anything, they were extremely quite and still,  just hanging around together.  My hubby counted them (as we always do, especially after coming in from free range, Lillie sometimes lags behind) and noticed their were only 11, he counted again, as did I and then I did a quick scan of the flock and realized Goldie wasn’t there.   We checked the hen house, no Goldie, panic started to set it.

I was worried, I never got to check her over, knowing she lost some feathers trying to save her chick and was going to give her a good going over when they went in to roost.  We had seen her through out the day, in the morning she hung in the hen house mourning, then in the afternoon she hung with the flock.  When we let them out to free range she was right there with the flock every time we checked.  So, knowing she might have an injury or worse maybe died from an injury/stress/heart break or I thought, possibly she found a small nest of eggs somewhere(when they free range sometimes they get lazy about running back to the coop to lay and create a nest somewhere) and decided to sit on them.  We searched and searched and searched, no Goldie.  Every time we searched we went back to the chicken yard and counted, went into the hen house and looked, it was cloudy yesterday and the hen house isn’t lit so at dinner time it was a tad dark in there, but we checked every nest, looked high and low and no Goldie.

Well, we didn’t find her.

This morning when we went out to see if we caught our predator, my hubby let the chickens out of the hen house and there was Goldie!  My hubby says “There’s Goldie!” “Do you see her”  I said “Yes!” he said “Good, I thought it was a ghost!” LOL!  We still can’t figure out where she was in that hen house, but we both missed her and we both checked that hen house at least 3 times each.

Anyway, she’s here, she’s my best hen, so I’d hate to loose her.

HELP! This is What KILLED Our Chicks!

WHAT IS THIS????

Hopefully someone out there knows what this is and how to get rid of it NOW!  Whatever this is, it has killed all our baby chicks.  These are the best photos from the trail cam last night about 2 AM.  My chickens are terrorized and the chicks are no more 😦  Took our last chick last  night and if your read my post yesterday it took 4 the night before.

I hope someone out there knows what this is and how to get rid of it.  If you don’t know please ask your hunter and farm friends.  We live in Southern New Jersey if that helps.

Here is a picture of the scat that we found yesterday this might help someone with identification of the beast

scat

Sad day in the Chicken Yard

Prince Charming with Goldie and her 5 chicks.  This is his 1st ever babies.

Prince Charming with Goldie and her 5 chicks. This is his 1st ever babies.

Well, this morning I went out to open up the chickens and let them into the chicken yard, first out always is any mama hen with chicks, so that would be Goldie and crew.  As I’m waiting for the morning chicken march, out comes Goldie and 1 chick!  I waited, looked around and nothing.  4 chicks MISSING!  Oh no!

I looked around the hen house and there was an opening under the coop which the chickens had made by scratching and I failed to fill it in and generally in the morning before the chickens are let out any babies will run in an out on their own if any holes are not filled in at night.  Now mind you, the hen house is fenced in and our chicken yard is covered, some of the netting was in need of repair but we haven’t had any hawk sitings lately due to the increase of crows so it wasn’t on our do right now list.  As I was searching for evidence I noticed a row of fresh grey downy feathers outside the coop in the area of the hole.  The feathers were not the coloring of any of my hens and being fresh would not have been any of my hens since they were inside.  That was my only clue.  So I went in the house and told my hubby the horrible disturbing news and and back outside we went to investigate more.  If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’d know that my soon to be 90 year old dad lives above our garage and can see the chickens anytime he looks out his window or goes out on his deck.  His window was open so I yelled up to him the bad news.

My hubby and I had a previous engagement for today, so off we went leaving my dad to keep vigilant watch over the chicken yard.  So, while we were out my dad decided to do some investigating on his own.  He did find a hole going under the fence, which he filled in without showing us (oh well) but he did find some unusual scat.  I’m going to have to do some investigating on scat, if any of you know anything about scat, I’m putting a picture here let me know what you think.  It’s like whatever did it, backed into the milk crate as if to mark the area.

scat

So, now poor Goldie has only 1 baby, and it looks to be a little roo.  We are so heart broken,  We have fixed the netting and filled in all holes and set up the trail cam for tonight.   I think I need to see if anyone in the area has any baby chicks we can get and put under poor Goldie.

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.

Goldie is Broody Again! and Some Updates on the Flock

It’s always so exciting when a hen goes broody isn’t it??  Maybe its my maternal side, but I can never get enough of broody hens and baby chicks!  We moved Goldie from the nest box to the broody box with 9 eggs on May 10 and the eggs are due to hatch on May 31! I can’t wait!  Goldie went broody last July and sat on 8 eggs of which 5 hatched.  Prince Charming who is now our head rooster (more on that in a minute) was one of Goldie’s hatchlings.  Goldie is the best mama hen we’ve had thus far.  In October she was still with her brood, you can see the photo of her with them here.  She actually never left the chicks, they finally just grew apart.  I can’t wait to see if thats how she is again.

Okay, I said I give you some updates, I’m a tad behind of that and I apologize.  On March 20th, Buddy and Prince Charming had a battle for the hierarchy of the flock.  Buddy lost.  If you remember back to May 4 of last year I posted ‘I Just Can’t Believe It!‘ Buddy and Reds had the same sort of battle and Reds won, Buddy got badly hurt but I nursed him back and we re-home Reds.  We shouldn’t have re-homed Reds because he won, we really should have re-homed Buddy, but I couldn’t bear to do that, I loved my Buddy, he was our first rooster and man is he good at what a rooster does.  Well, this time, we were home when this happened and my hubby separated the 2 guys.  My hubby said I had to decide what I was going to do with the roosters because they were out to kill each other.  I decided to re-home Buddy this time, he had never been the same since the last battle and I need to have a more alert rooster around here.  So, I sent out a plea to my girlfriend Sandy who has 3 chickens to take him.  She spoke with her hubby and he said yes!  Buddy is now the proud rooster of 3 hens and everyone is happy.

After that Prince Charming settled into being the head honcho and is very good at it, almost as good as his dad.  Prince Charming being a very young head rooster, he’s not a year yet, is taking very good care of his flock, so much so that ALL the hens are bald or nearly bald!  Buddy never did that, he’s very gentle with his girls.  They say a good number of hens per rooster is 9, we have 12 at this point, we re-home a few and my Lucy was one of them, she hadn’t been laying and my hubby said she had to go.  She was my girl, she would sit in my lap and just snuggle, I do miss her, none of my other hens are nearly that friendly, they all do eat out of my hand and right now only Mama (my RIR) and Saltie are the only ones I can pet.  Then there’s Fluffy.  Fluffy is now about 6 months old, she is the only survivor of 3, the other 2 were taken by hawks see my post on Terror in the Chicken Yard! Fluffy must have some sort of birth defect, she’s perfectly fine, except she does have a slight limp and she’s downy instead of feathers, she currently is sporting pin feathers on her head, we’ll see what happens there.  She is laying, so no problems there.  So, we just watch her try to fit in.  I don’t know if she knows she’s different, and of course she’s the youngest of the flock and the lowest in the pecking order and the others let her know that.  But she’s determined and she’s right there with them all and all that fluff makes her look big, which is a plus.

So, currently we have 12 hens (11 laying & 1 broody) and Prince Charming.  I hope that Goldie’s eggs hatch to be hens.  I need a few more.  If you check back on my post on Finally, We Have a Broody Hen where I tried to select the eggs that should produce hens, that didn’t work.  So, I’ll just let nature take its course.