Jack

Jack

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Baby Chick Pics, At Two Months Old!

Welp, today was the final day of Chickam for this year, so we took pictures of the chicks, trimmed their wings, and flung the little stinkers outside. They'll stay in the small run today, go into the big run with the adults at dusk (darkness minimizes bullying since chickens can't see squat in the dark) and then tomorrow they'll get let loose in the yard with everyone else. Today is dark and thunderstormy, which my camera HATES--so apologies for the funky focus on some of the pictures.

So here, in the same order as their baby pics two months ago, are the chicks! No roosters yet that we know of...but Orpingtons and Brahmas are slow to mature so it might take a while to know for sure.

Arson, a hen (hopefully) hatched from eggs we got from our neighbor who runs a mixed flock of Dark & Light Brahmas, Salmon Faverolles, Australorp, and Barred Rocks. Time will tell what Arson turns out to be, but so far is looking very much like a dark Brahma--at least in part, she's kinda small. Arson was the only survivor of the chicks we hatched ourselves.


Such a cute face!

Feed store chicks next. All are pullets (hens) except for Mjolnir, who is a straight run (mixed hens/roos) chick.

Apricot, a Welsummer hen, who won the Queen of the Buttheads award during picture time hands-down.


Criminy, you'd think from those pictures that we were gonna eat her. Not that we weren't giving it some serious consideration at this point, because most of her pics look like this:


 Here, Apricot practices her sneak:


Frittata, a Danish Brown Leghorn hen.


 Anchoring herself by standing on her own feet.


Mjolnir (straight run, which means an unsexed batch of chicks, so time will tell if hen or roo!), a buff Orpington chick.


 

 

Bu Lu, a black Jersey Giant hen.


 

Bu Lu stayed true to form and kept trying to escape during picture time, so I got four or five pics of her like this:


These are two Smokey Pearl hens--a new breed for us. Don't know much about them, but they sure are pretty! Their first suit of real feathers came in white with a gray tinge, the random black streaks really came in. They keep the black as adults but their feathers will be a pretty gray-blue.

Sesame, who has lovely slatey-grey legs (and skin!) and dark beak. Sesame apparently rolled in her food this morning, topping off her look with an alfalfa leaf stuck to the top of her beak.


 


Beautiful chick...with a green leaf stuck to her beak. *sigh...*

Yep, another picture that looks like it should come attached to a ransom note.

Lastly, here is Enkidu, our other Smokey Pearl hen. Interesting that her legs aren't dark like Sesame's are. The best behaved of the bunch today!


 

Enkidu was the chick with the cute 'lil black heart-shaped spot on her left thigh...sadly, it's grow out. But as this is just her first suit of feathers, we'll wait and see what her first REAL suit of adult feathers looks like, when those blue-gray feathers come in!


This was a rambunctious batch!

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Is That REALLY How You Sleep?

Yes. Yes it is. All seven of them, ignoring the perfectly good roost across the top of the brooder box, or even the edge of the box itself.

Oh, no. Instead, everyone cram onto the top of the too-small wire cage we placed because they kept walking across the laptop and changing the settings. The final straw was when we went out and discovered a pop-up asking if we were sure we wanted to reformat something or other. Once they started roosting here at night, we placed an old towel to protect the laptop from being pooped to death.


And yes, this IS how Bu Lu sleeps.

Tomorrow will be the final day of Chickam for this year. The kid and I will get fresh chick pics to post here, then they get booted out into the flock. No overt roosters so far...

Then I've got my work cut out for me digging into my equipment to figure out what went wrong with our hatch so it doesn't happen again.



Friday, April 22, 2022

Chickam Chicks 2022!

 Welp, after another rough start with a low hatch rate and several chicks that didn't make it, here are our Chickam chicks for this year. Only two of the six chicks we hatched made it, so we supplemented them with six chicks from the feed store--chickens are flock animals and suffer without company. So here they are in order of hatch and purchased feed store chicks!


Arson, a chick hatched from eggs we got from our neighbor who runs a mixed flock of Dark & Light Brahmas, Salmon Faverolles, Australorp, and Barred Rocks. Time will tell what Arson turns out to be!



Next is Mr. Boombastic Call Me Fantastic. YES, this is her full legal name, but she only uses it for formal affairs such as state dinners at the White House. We've been calling her Boombastic or Boomer for short. Boombastic is from our flock, likely has Bobbie our buff Brahma roo for dad, maybe Chonk the light Brahma or Jonesy the Buff Orpington for mom. Again, time will tell. Boomer preferred to sleep through picture time.



Feed store chicks next. All are pullets (hens) except for  Mjolnir, who is a straight run (mixed hens/roos) chick. The next two are a bit older than our hatch, about a week old.

Apricot, a Welsummer hen, who in this picture desires for you to admire her foot.



Frittata, a Danish Brown Leghorn hen who looks like she is posing for the definition of 'Glum'.



The next four feed store chicks are closer in age to our hatch.

Mjolnir (straight run, which means an unsexed batch of chicks, so time will tell if hen or roo!), a buff Orpington chick.



Bu Lu, a black Jersey Giant hen. Bu Lu decided to channel her inner ninja during picture time and practice her Sneak.


Bu Lu's bilateral face spots are like those hand-held airport traffic wands...a guidance system for FOOD GOES IN BEAK.

 

Next are two Smokey Pearl chicks--a new breed for us. Don't know much about them, but they sure are pretty! Yellow chicks with random black streaks, they keep the black as adults but their feathers are a pretty gray-blue.

Sesame, who has lovely slatey-grey legs (and skin!) and dark beak. Here, Sesame upholds Chickam tradition by being a Leaning Tower of Chicken.



Lastly, here is Enkidu, our other Smokey Pearl hen. Interesting that her legs aren't dark like Sesame's are. My daughter always picks out any chicks we get from feed stores, but we didn't notice Enkidu's special birthmark until we got her home.

Enkidu posing like an 'action shot' from a catalog from 1975 for men's polyester slacks:



...and Enkidu's cute lil' black heart mark on her left thigh! I really hope she keeps it.




Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Chickam Is Almost Here!

 WE HAVE EMBRYOS! Here's the break down:

I set 29 eggs in the ReptiPro incubator ten days ago, 17 were our eggs, 12 were eggs from neighbors (marked with an 'N' on the large end).The neighbors run a mixed flock of Dark & Light Brahmas, Salmon Faverolles, Australorp, and Barred Rocks. The eggs numbered 18 and above are the neighbor's eggs.
 

 
When I candled tonite: 18 eggs have embryos (10 ours, 8 neighbors), 2 not sure of (both ours), & 9 duds that never developed (5 ours, 4 neighbors)  

Sadly, the eggs from Strychnine were duds. Hers were a long shot anyway, as she'd been away from the roosters for so long recovering from an injury. But the eggs from Rapunzel (#7), Nyx (the dark brown eggs #1-2), Peanut (blue/green #5-6) and Slick Charlie (medium brown #8) all have embryos!

Only a couple of banty hens are broody right now--too small to cover that many chicks. Hoping one of the big girls will go over to the Dark Side and volunteer to raise the chicks in time!
 
Chickam in 10 days! The hatch *should* be Sat. April 16th-Sun. April 17th. But start checking the following link 2 days ahead of time as they LOVE to hatch early. It'll be webcast here, if you tune in and see EGGS, the hatch has begun!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5iMWhoO42w

Hatch updates on our Twitter Chickam account: https://twitter.com/chickam2008

Monday, December 27, 2021

In Which We Get The Entirety Of Winter, In Three Days

The day before Christmas we got a pretty fair snowstorm, it laid down around four to six inches of snow.

Most of it on our cars, of course...

Later on that day, things took a turn for the weird as the wind kicked back up again, blowing shrieking gusts that blew the snow around like a scene striaght out of National Geographic show on Antarctica.

I stuck my head out just long enough to snap a couple of pictures, hollering, 'Ow, ow, OW!' as tiny ice pellets peppered my face. So ridiculously painful that I couldn't help but laugh.

The neighbor's house had a cool, wavy drift on the right hand side of the roof...

Before the entire house almost disappeared under a windy onslaught.


But how are things in the chicken yard, I hear you ask--how do the chickens feel about this weaponized snow?

I dunno, 'cause I ain't goin' out there!

We know when Mother Nature has won, and wisely decide to stay in the house and admire the sparkly tree.



The kid put her snowbound time to good use by constructing the gingerbread house kit we'd gotten her.

 

Don't all gingerbread houses feature a crime scene?

 

She says the other penguin committed the murder, but that house is looking awfully angry...

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house...

Came the sound of two parents hauling a truly gigantic Yamaha keyboard out to the living room!

Pardon the murky pics, I took these in the dark.

 

But at last, Christmas came!

I got the husband these two pins from Roamin Bison Workshop on Etsy, and they are GORGEOUS.

 

He got me two novels by John Scalzi--although 'The Kaiju Preservation Society' is a preorder, gonna have to wait on that one...and I'm gonna have to wait on 'Redshirts' as well, since I'm 1/3 of the way through 'Going Postal' by Terry Pratchett right now. Bonus pic of the Effin Birds coffee cup I got last year.


I also got some nifty pins and stickers! A geometric dragonfly (which fits in nicely with the origami I make) by Mary Capaldi, along with a cute cicada sticker. The 'Chaotic Good' pin is from Look Human and I can't wait to wear it.

And then there's this wonderful brass spider hair fork from Bronze Smith on Etsy.

All the way from Wales, the kid got this jaw-droppingly cool Mari Lwyd coloring book from Skulls And Sheets.

 

Bonus envelope art, yay!

A can't decide which page I like best!



And lastly, I forgot to get a pic, but I got the kid this great, 'Be Crow Do Crimes' patch, also from Roamin Bison...because everyone needs a patch depicting a knife-wielding corvid, don't they?

So now, three days later, we've got another snowstorm moving in, which is supposed to dump anywhere from three to seven inches of fresh snow on top of the stuff that is still layin' around from the other day.

Looks like an excellent time to stay inside, make cookies and remark, 'Isn't that pretty!'