Monday, March 23, 2015

Brahmas and Harriers

Last week was a long week.  My daughter had her thirteenth birthday and spent it in bed with a nasty virus.  She spent the entire week with a nasty virus.  Yesterday, however, she only felt unwell when I asked her to set the table and take a shower, sounds pretty normal to me.  She went to school this morning.

The chicklets are doing well, the seem to visibly grow in between my visits to the garage to check on them.  They are twice the size they were last week.  There are also seven of them now.  My daughter had been planning on the chicks for months, she would name a Cochin "Bob" despite it being a female.  We were unable to find a Cochin, so we found Brahmas which were bred from the same stock.  They are both big round chickens with feathered feet.  My husband drove into VA to get them, only to find out that he needed to buy six at one time.  He called me from the store and we debated what to do, and decided to get all six, but try to give the extras away.  I started making calls and messaging people on Facebook, before he arrived home the extra chunky chicks had a new home waiting for them.

We ended up with three Brahmas, two buff and one light, they are Bubbles, Bob and BB.

Meet the big baby girls:

Chickie Cam

Now for the stills:
Bubbles is the yellow chick on the left.

Circe the camera hog, Bob or BB, and Freya

This is either Bob or BB, to tell them apart I need to see the spots on the top of their heads.

Other birds sighted, a harrier hunting the voles that plague my yard. He got one in this video.

The garden is going in!!  The fence is up and a fifty-six foot row of peas is planted.  Pictures coming soon!

Friday, March 13, 2015


We had everything ready, luckily, because we received the call to pick up chicks a day earlier than expected.

We arrived at the store the find that Brahmas weren't going to be available until mid-April and cochins had a waiting list.  We decided to go with other breeds and try for the others next year or the year after, depending on how the flock flourishes and lays.

The little girls peeped all night, and since the bedroom was a sauna, my daughter did not sleep well and stumbled through her morning onto the school bus.  I hope there are no tests waiting for her at school today.  

Now what you have been waiting for: Baby Picture Overload!!!

Circe, a Golden Sex Link

L-R Diana Freya, Circe

L-R Diana Freya and Effie

Circe the camera hog

Circe, Freya, Effie and Diana

My daughter wanted to name Circe Curiosity, she may have been right!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ten Days to Chicks!!

The chicks are due on March 13th!!  They will be Devi, Diana, Freya and Bob.

For their first few days they will live in a large Sterlite container in my daughter's bedroom, with lights, water and food.  She needs to bond with them, so that they will look to her as "Mom" and follow her about.  It makes them easier to catch, and more friendly to people.  When it starts to smell like a barn in her bedroom (2-3 days), they will move to the garage.

We are constructing an indoor enclosure for their first few weeks, so construction needs to be sped up a little. So far, we've taken an old pallet and covered it with vinyl flooring.  Now we are making a fence to nail to the pallet, that will hold up the poultry netting, to keep the little girls inside.  Within the fenced in pallet will be a kiddie pool filled with bedding, where they will live their lives for a few weeks.  The pool is key to making it easier to clean.  When it starts getting a little stinky, my daughter will take the pool and dump it on my garden, fill it with more clean bedding and place it back inside the fence.  Above all this there will be a light for heat, suspended on a crossbar, so that it can be raised as the girls' heat needs decline.

When the girls no longer need heat and they are a little too big to be snake food, they will go outside in the covered, enclosed and fenced run to scratch to their heart's content.  Because they do not have a mom chicken to defend them, they need the protection of the fence, adult chickens will often kill young that are not their own. Athena and Ursula, the big girls, will be within the big fenced area and we'll put up some tarps for shade.  They will be able to see the little girls, but not be able to touch them.  They need to get to know each other for a while and when the little ones start getting close to full sized chickens, we can let them out to scratch in the whole fenced area. We hope the transition will be smooth for them as they join the big girls.

Less than two weeks to baby pictures!!