Tag Archive | chickens

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!

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.

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.

 

Mama Reds is Broody! & Meet the New Chicks!

Well, last you heard one of my young hens went broody, she did really well at sitting, but sometimes was off the nest too long for my liking, well over an hour a few times, more like close to 2 hrs.  So, I was nervous that nothing was going to hatch, I tried to candle them but couldn’t see anything, and 1 egg did break which took her to 4 eggs.  On the day that they we’re due to hatch nothing happened, uggg, so I texted (is that a word??) a friend, Christine, who has allot of chickens and hatches some in an incubator at times, to see if she if she had any very young chicks.  She said yes, I asked her how young, she said just hatching!  WOW!  I asked her if she had any to spare she said yes!  So, that evening we went out to her house and got 2 newly hatched chicks and brought them home.  I stuck them under my mama with no problems.  Next morning I went out to check on her and offer her a little feed and water and the 2 new kids on the block came out to her calling them.  Curiosity got me and I had to look under her to see if there were any new chicks, No. 😦  So I pulled out an egg to look at it, no pip, listened, no peeping, put it back, pulled out another, no pip, but peeping!  So I put that back and left the other 2 alone.  I really don’t like to mess with the eggs when their that close to hatching.  Later that day I went back to check on her and couldn’t bear it any longer, lifted her check to have a little look and there were 3 new chicks!  Yeah!  The one egg never hatched.  So mama has 3 hatched chicks and 2 adopted chicks, 5 in all! And here they are!

As you can see, poor Goldie has taken on the role of Great Auntie Goldie who has come to help the new mom rear her chicks.  If you remember, Goldie lost all her chicks in June to a killer skunk (see Sad Day In the Chicken Yard and Help This Is What Killed Our Chicks), Goldie has been back with the flock, but just not acting right, I’m sure she’s probably going to go broody again, but maybe now with these new chicks maybe she’ll just help with the rearing and be okay.

2 broodies

In the meantime the day before these chicks hatched Mama Reds decided to go broody, her eggs are due to hatch July 30/31 and she is sitting comfortably on 10 egg.  She’s an old pro so 10 eggs should be no problem for her.

In the meantime, I want to give you a quick update on the additions to the flock we made on June 18th (see New Additions to Buddy’s Flock)   I’ve finally named them, mama is Fannie, the chicks are Lucy & Ethel, I think you can tell by the pictures which one is Lucy (the that has more red).  Last night they moved up to the big girl roost.  Mama is getting ready to let them grow up, she is already back to laying.  I find that sad when the mom leaves the chicks, the chicks are so confused.  How do you feel when your chicks are left by the mom??

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!

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.