Thursday, June 11, 2020

Chickam Chicks Two Months Old!

Just before they got the old heave-ho out into the cold outside world, this year's Chickam chicks reluctantly posed for pictures.

In order of hatch, here is Carrie, mom is one of our black bantam Cochin mix hens, dad is either Milton or Rafe. Carrie was being a butt during picture time so only one usable photo. Carrie started crowing the day the chicks went outside...so yeah, rooster.

Bobbie, a buff Brahma from eggs a neighbor kindly gifted us with. We're on the fence about Bobbie...hoping for a hen, but more than likely a rooboy. Here is Bobbie posing as a fluffy stick.

Rapunzel, a chick from our flock and I'm betting a hen, mom might be Paprika, not sure yet who dad is!

And lastly Boombox, another chick hatched from the neighbor's egg. Boombox is something of a mystery, possibly a white Leghorn. Pretty sure another rooster, with big ol' orange feet.

Next to the word 'Glum' in the dictionary is this picture.

So there we go! Uptown Bus is still working on raising her two chicks, Caramel and Downtown Taxi. These two chicks are now three weeks old, Bus is still being a good mom but is very restless in the brooder box. I figure she'll give up motherhood by the time they reach 6 weeks of age.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Pretty Things All In A Row

Another month, another afghan...
This one is made using a starburst granny square pattern, with red chenille yarn I'd had around for years, plus leftover pink yarn from another project, put together with a white yard with a sparkly thread running through it.
Basically it looks like a giant red and white peppermint candy.

This one's more of a throw than an afghan.
I do like the sparkle, though!

Another recent project was cleaning and rewiring this vintage orange spaghetti ball lamp!

 It's marvelously tacky, I love it. I have one more vintage lamp to go, it's a 5 globe affair.

Meanwhile, my husband got me a giant metal terror chicken, house size.

I busted out laughing when I realized it looked *just* like my Russian Orloff rooboy, Rafe.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Unexpected Chickam, Phase Two Chicks!

Uptown Bus' eggs are hatching! So far she has two chicks. This afternoon, she abandoned her eggs, but we had the ReptiPro incubator fired up and ready, so I relocated the last three bantam eggs to the incubator. Tonight I'll candle the remaining eggs to see if they are viable.

Meanwhile, we took the chicks away from mom for a few seconds for some quick pictures, despite how mind-bendingly ANGRY it made her. Here is the first to hatch, Caramel. Screamed like  banshee when taken away from mommy, I'm calling 'rooster' on this one right now.

Next is Downtown Taxi, a very chill large, black chick.

The little family is doing well, more pics as mama hen permits!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Chickens: 1, Humans: 0


Welp, it looks like y'all will be getting a bonus Chickam WITH at least one broody mama in about 14 days.
Look who successfully managed to hide a damned nest:

That's Uptown Bus, a one year old bantam buff Orpington hen. The weather warmed to the point where we didn't have to coop the chickens every night any more, and the little snot immediately snuck back behind one of the propped-open (we do this so our Nevada winds don't slam them around) coop doors, went broody and made a nest.
We didn't notice.
Mother of God, she had NINETEEN EGGS under her.

Here is the traitorous little bitch with her pre-spawn

Horrified, I tried to remember when the last time we KNEW there was no nest back there. About two weeks, we decided...
I just now candled the eggs.

Seven embryos. All roughly 10-12 days along.
Are they all at the same stage of development, so they'll hatch together? Of course not. Can I really look into my kid's pleading eyes and tell her I'm just gonna toss these eggs? OF COURSE FUCKING NOT.

Okay. So the four chicks in the brooder box will be 5 weeks old this weekend, they will go out into the flock for good at 8 weeks. If things work out right, there will be no overlap and we can smoothly transition from older chicks going out to Bus coming in and hatching her brood...

Who am I kidding?! Bus will hatch her demon spawn before the older chicks are okay to go outside, we'll have to section off the brooder box, madly dash to and fro bringing hatching chicks + one VERY pissy broody banty hen into the house the moment hatch begins so the other hens don't try to steal the chicks, and the babies die in the unsuing henfight...

...and I can practically guarantee, because it's US, that Bus will abandon any unhatched eggs once she has some chicks, and since I DON'T KNOW exactly what stage the eggs are at so can't reliably use the ReptiPro, I'll have to take the close-to-hatch eggs she's left and place them under ANOTHER broody hen so THEY can hatch. Since we have 8 broody hens right now, at least there's that. The kid has been told to keep an eagle eye on Bus, remove any fresh eggs the other treasonous hens lay with her, and watch for peeping/pipping. Once pipping starts it's game on.

That sound you hear is me screaming in mouth-frothing frustration. DAMNED SNEAKY BANTIES, ANYWAY!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Chicks In Lockdown!

So we ended up with four chicks...so far 2020 has the dubious distinction of being our worst hatch year, ever. We went around to our local feed stores, thinking to pick up a chick or two...but they were all sold out--people seem to be hoarding chickens, now, I dunno...
We may end up running another hatch in a month, we'll see.

But--! The chicks we DID get are all healthy and happy. In order of hatch, here they are.

First up is Carrie, a chick from our flock who has one of our black bantam Cochin mixes for a mom, dad is likely Milton, our bantam Belgian d'Uccle/Cochin mix roo. She earned her name when she caught a wingtip on the corner of the rack, started bleeding...and before we noticed it ten minutes later, had absolutely painted blood on the inside of the incubator...the other eggs...herself...the hygrometer...everything.
So when someone suggested we name her 'Carrie', it really couldn't be avoided. I applied some chicken leak-stop to her and she was fine, but left me a gruesome clean-up job and we apologize to everyone for that.

Next is Bobbie, a chick from one of our neighbor's eggs. Bobbie looks to be a full buff Brahma or a Brahma/white Leghorn mix, she is very tall and something of a chunk. Time will tell. Hard to see, but Bobbie has a bit of a malformed outer toe on her left foot--it's a bit shorter. She gets around just dandy, tho.

Rapunzel, a very pretty chick from our flock who likely has Cheese, our Americaunas hen for a mom. Daddy *might* by Rafiki, our Russian Orloff roo.

 ^^^ Stubby lil' tail alert! ^^^

Last is Boombox, from another one of our neighbor's eggs. Boombox was somewhat a surprise, hatching a full 24 hours after Rapunzel--very unusual! Boombox required a little help in unzipping, but seems healthy. She is likely a full white Leghorn...but is very chunky for a Leghorn, so *may* be 1/2 buff Brahma...but she doesn't have feathered feet, which is a VERY strong Brahma trait. Boombox closely resembles a meatball on stilts.

Boombox was confusing right out of the gate, and continues to be. She YELLS when the people are out of her sight, and right after I took this one, poor-quality pic of her, my camera died.


Thursday, April 9, 2020


Because *all* the cool kids are doing it!

We ended up with 7 eggs with chicks inside, with another 4 I'm not sure about but *may* have chicks. I removed 5 other eggs that had quit.

So our hatch this year should be between 7 and 11 chicks!
I've stopped turning the eggs in the incubator and moved them to the bottom of the ReptiPro, and upped the humidity to 65%--all of this signals to the eggs that it's hatchin' time!

Two eggs have pipped already, #32 (you can see the crack across the number in the picture) and #10--but haven't started unzipping yet. Right now they are in the 'venting and drawing down' stage, where the chick is getting fresh air through the pip it made in it's shell, and the blood supply to the veins lining the inside of the eggshell are drying out as the chick draws the blood into it's body.

Since our high-altitude chicks always hatch a day or two early, I'd guess that the hatch will begin sometime around 11PM (PST) tonight and into tomorrow, April 10th.

Hit me up in the YouTube chat during the hatch with your chicken name suggestions, the goofier the better! If your name suggestion has been used already I'll let you know ('Dinner' and such are taken). I'll make a list and as each chick hatches, we'll draw a name out of a hat--one name to a person, use your imagination and make it a good one!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

More Eggs!

Today's egg donation to our local food closet, 14 dozen!

Hey, it's spring and the hens are going NUTS.