Posts tagged ‘Ameraucana’

Carnage in the Coop

Well it’s never what you want to see checking on the chickens in the morning…feathers…dead bodies strewn about…I guess we made out pretty well losing only three of our girls.  Unfortunately they were some of the prettiest, and one was my favorite.  It looks like raccoons and my husband is picking up a no-kill trap from his parents house today after he gets off work, so we can get that all set up.  I do have to say I hate daylight savings time, because now, having to let them out of the coop in the morning is an early rise…and I’m lazy.  My uncle is going to donate a few more girls to our flock (they were set for the slaughter, so happy day for them).  So long cute little chickens…

Mrs. Dr. Beardface

Dinner

Dinner and Mrs. Dr. Beardface were the top of the food chain. I like to think they saved the rest of the flock from the raccoons. You were good girls.  Beardface would run over and want to be pet, she also loved to be held.  She was my favoite.

 

And Finally Aretha Franklin joined her friends Annie Oakley and Rainbow.

I guess it’s all a part of the circle of life…the cats did leave two dead rats in the front yard yesterday, maybe some little rat community is just as bummed as our five year old.

 

 

Shamelessly posting photos of my chickens…

Miss. Dr. Beard Face (a la Scrubs) and one of the RIRs

After eating two of our silkies we decided to give teeny weenie to my uncle. She didn’t roost up with the other girls, and we felt bad having her sleep on the ground all alone. She’s getting along well with her new flock. We’re now down to 3 RIR, 2 Barred Rock, 1 SLW, and 1 Welsumer

I’ve never seen a chicken with a beard before…weirdo

Baby loves the chickens, and they all follow him around…though considering the last time he tried to gie him a leaf he got his finger bitten I don’t foresee him trying that again any time soon…then again he is a baby. I don’t think his memory is too well-developed at this point.

It’s been hot this week.

…oh…and these finally bloomed. LOVE IT!
Enjoy the week. And if you get clear skies make sure you check out the meteor shower. My husband and I saw quite a few of them last night. Good times.

Well…I guess I’ll have to learn to cook black chicken…

Most chickens look like the ones we find in grocery stores, but not Silkies.  They’ve got black skin…and guess who is practicing his pathetic crow on a daily basis?

This Guy

He had always been the biggest of our three Silkies so I can’t say that I’m surprised.  What I’m still trying to figure out is if he is the only one.  One of our Barred Rocks is a bit bigger than the other and (s)he has a slightly bigger comb than the other one.  The rest of the girls(?) are doing really well.  Here are some shots I took yesterday.  Sorry for the lull in posting but it’s summer and I have three kids.

The chickens enjoy a giant handful of weeds every day, along with table scraps as they’ve already stripped the ground to dirt in their current side of the run.

Dinner (who may not end up getting eaten after all) and our Easter Egger behind her. (Notice the weird funny beard on the Easter Egger)

You talkin’ ta me!?
(SLW, Easter Egger, BR butt)

I wish I could tell you which RIR this is…but they all look so similar now. Polly is still a bit smaller than the other two. I hope that doesn’t mean she’ll be a poor layer.

Aurora our beautiful Welsumer going after the greens.

Now I suppose it’s just a waiting game to see if there are more crows before our backyard turns into a mobile slaughter house.

They’re Beginning to look a lot like Chickens

At 5 weeks old our little chicks are really feathering out.  The Barred Rocks are the biggest and I’ll give you one guess who is smallest…

They’re starting to show some real personality and even Dinner is growing on me.

A few of them figured out how to climb up into the apple tree and have been roosting away up there.  It was pretty cute, one of the Rhode Island Reds did it first and then it was the hot thing for about five minutes, all but the silkies were trying there little clawed foot at it.  My husband wonders if they’ll fly the coop climbing up so high into the tree…what do you think?

Now if they will just figure out how to get back into the coop by themselves I’ll be happy.

Dinner and Goldilocks enjoy the warm day from the bough of our teeny Apple tree.

Dinner, our SLW, is turning into one of the more beautiful birds.

Dinner snoozing.

Our Barred Rocks and Teeny Weenie, the partridge silkie, taking a nap.

Pretty Polly pecking for prizes.

Apparently the chickens aren’t the only ones who like Apple Trees.

The poor chickens were all huddled in the corner trying to stay away from the monster after their feed. The poor squirrel didn’t know how to get out, and about had a heart attack when my husband went in to chase it out of there.

And as a side question…doesn’t anybody know when we should harvest our lettuce?

 May 27, 2012  Side Yard Flock   11 Comments

What in the World are my Chickens Doing?

Our always curious Easter Egger.

Ok all you chicken owners out there, help me out.  What the heck are my chickens doing?  They will plop down onto their side, stick out their little drumstick and raise up one wing.  Are they just sunbathing?  My uncle says he’s never seen his chickens do this?  I spent a while outside hoping to catch a few with the camera.  What do you think?

Beanie also wanted me to take some shots with her in the chicken yard.  That girl loves to hang out with the chickies, but doesn’t want to pet them (only b/c she doesn’t want to have to go inside and wash with soap and water afterwards).  Her brother on the other hand would pet them for hours and hours if I let him.

You have to love how she works the camera. She just skipped around the coop saying, ooh, take one here…and here…and here…very adorable.

Beanie and Pretty Polly, my favorite little chicken. Several of them will tolerate being held, but I think she may actually enjoy it.

What are these crazy chickens doing? Barred Rock, Silkie, Silkie, Rhode Island Red…in some sort of crazy raise-the-wing line.

One of our blue silkies out enjoying the weeds.

Beanie snapped a pic of me over by the coop.

 May 20, 2012  Side Yard Flock   11 Comments

Venturing into the great wide somewhere

It only took a few minutes for the little girls to begin exploring their new home.

I think the is the most adorable photo of Teeny Weenie!

Monty watches the SLW and RIR hungrily.

Shiloh walks the perimeter of the chicken yard looking for a chink in the armor. Thankfully my hubby put up a mighty fine fence!We put them all up into the coop for the night, with their heat lamp and food and water.  The locks are all on and the only thing left to do is put in some roosts and paint the door (my daughter and father-in-law painted it for me, but I had them paint the wrong side so the chickens are enjoying a beautiful blue door while we, out here, are not)

 May 15, 2012  Side Yard Flock   Leave a comment
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So we named her dinner.

Another week has passed and our little chickies are 3 weeks old.  My husband is so ready to reclaim his garage and get the birds outside, but we’re only halfway there.  He’s been beside himself without the use of his home gym.  We’ve made big strides in the coop department, well in the fencing department anyway.  All we have left to do are build and install the gates, and line the bottom section with chicken wire.  We should have time to get this done over the weekend, as my hubby is off Friday-Monday.

3 week old chicks chowing down

 

 

Most of the Chickens are doing well.  Teeny Weennie is still…well…teeny weenie, just look at her next to the Rhode Island Red and across from our SLW.  I don’t think she’s getting picked on, I often see the other chickens picking pieces of sawdust out of her feathers, but they don’t seem to be pecking HER and she doesn’t seem to mind so no need to intervene just yet, but the size difference is so pronounced, that I am keeping a close eye on things.

Dinner

 

 

The only other development in the chick department is the attitude problem of our Silver Laced Wyandotte.  She is rude.  She flys at the other chickens, and she bit me yesterday.  Not just the poke poke with the beak that some of them do, but she hauled off and open beak bit my thumb.  Let’s just say we picked the perfect name for her: Dinner.  Beanie hopes that Dinner turns out to be a boy, but she also said Dinner should eat a lot so will be nice and fat for when we eat her.  My daughter cracks me up.  I don’t know if I would have been as laissez-faire about eating a chicken out of my garage when I was 4yrs old.

Beanie took a picture of Polly and me.

 

Polly is still my favorite girl, she climbs up onto my hand when I visit them, and is so sweet.

Our little Easter Egger is covered in crazy fluff, but is still the softest chick we have. She enjoyed the sunshine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took our little Ameraucana outside for a little bit of sunshine, but couldn’t let her down.  I know she hasn’t gotten enough feathers yet to stay warm in our sunny 50 deg weather.  (And our cat was winding around my ankles when I took this picture.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news Beanie has been doing well with her homeschooling.  She just finished the systems of the body (it helps that Dad is a Nurse Practitioner) and we’re starting a series on poetry and music.  She has written a few haikus and typed them up on the computer, then we print them out and water-color paint over top of the poem. So far it has been a blast, I’m going to start with other types of poems next week, and we will compile them all into a poetry notebook.  Here is one of them.

Rainbows

they make me smile

orange yellow purple red

shining in the sky

She has also been working on a photo scavenger hunt. Here are a few of the photos that she took.

Something Green

Something shorter than she is.

something alive.

Something that is a circle.

Something red.

 May 10, 2012  Side Yard Flock   7 Comments

I love my son…I do…part 2

I just thought I would update everyone out there on the finale of our day-o-urine.  Bubba was picking up the last of his legos while I changed baby’s diaper and put him to bed.  Well…as I’m backing out of the baby’s room and closing the door for the night, my son comes down the hall with the big bow-legged steps that scream I don’t want these piss-stained pants to touch my legs.  Sure enough I ask him if he went pee pee and he says yes.  So I ask him where he pee’d and he says “In mine pants.”  Obviously.  Obviously you pee’d in your pants, “Yes, but where in the house did you pee pee?”  “In the garage.”  Wonderful.  The garage.  “But it’s okay mama, I cleaned it up.”  Not really knowing what that meant I cleaned Bubba up then went downstairs to investigate.

This is what I found:

...how he got into and out of the garage. Not uncommon...also not allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He did cover his mess with pine shavings...but then I thought...he pee'd right next to the chicks...I hope he didn't throw anything into the tub.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...the chickies didn't seem to mind the giant pile of shavings covered in chicken feed Bubba had given them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least he only fed the cats one scoop of food (into their actual bowls!) and stayed out of the litter box…

 

 

 

 

 April 27, 2012  Side Yard Flock   Leave a comment

Chicks – One week and all is well.

Everybody had that one person they looked up to when they were young.  You know…they were probably ten or so years older and 5,000% cooler than you.  They could do the things you couldn’t (or weren’t allowed to) do, like going to a movie without having to ask permission, drive, jump off a bridge into a freezing river that your Mother said was waaaaay too dangerous, or beat Super Mario Brothers with only one life.  For me this embodiment of cool was my Uncle.  I wanted to be able to find his awesome hiding places when we played Sharks and Minnows, and beat him at spoons.  As a young teenager I was in love with more than one of his friends (who naturally never gave me the time of day).  What does that have to do with chickens?  Well…I would like to say that raising chickens was all our idea…and although my husband had been talking about it for years I think there is a part of me that is pretty pleased I can now officially be a part of my Uncle’s club…at least one of his clubs.  I’ve still never jumped off that bridge, and I can’t even count the lives it would take me to rescue Princess Toadstool, but now I can say, we both have chickens!

Here is our Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 week.

We’ve had our little chickies for a week now and it is amazing to me how much the little guys are growing and changing every day.

What were once tiny stubs on the sides of their puff-ball-bellies are now sprouting feathers, a few even have teeeeeeeeny little rump feathers poking out of their fuzz, like our RIRs and the SLW.

The silkies are the craziest looking, hands down, with their ultra long necks, furry feet, extra toes and beginning fluff.

Here is our largest of the three silkies.

Little "teeny weenie", as my husband affectionately refers to her, is our partridge silkie. Although she is small her fluff feathers seem to be coming in a little faster than the blue silkie. I'm wondering if this one is just destined to be the runt.

You can see Goldilocks and Aurora beak to beak there in the back with our long-neck silkie to their right. The chick closest to the feeder is a Plymouth Barred rock with the SLW nearest and to the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our daughter has already named two of the chickens.  We have Goldilocks, a RIR with a yellow head, and Aurora, our Welsummer, “because she has the eyeliner, and we KNOW she’s a girl and we won’t have to eat her.”  Goldilocks has a backup name…The Big Bad Wolf, just in case she turns out to be a he, our 4 1/2 yr old daughter said it would be okay to eat him if he has a bad-guy name.

 

She’s also decided that any others who crow are going to be named Chick Hicks “because then Bubba won’t care if we kill it because he doesn’t like Chick Hicks”.  Somehow I don’t think our son is going to have trouble eating the chicken, he’s already decided he’s going to eat the Barred Rocks (the only breed he, as a 2 1/2 yr old, can identify) and I have tried to convince him that we want them to all be girls so we can just get their eggs.  But he has informed me that the black ones are boys and the red ones are girls.  It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic.

Goldilocks, our friendly little Rhode Island Red. I hope she keeps her cute little blond head! (and check out teeny weenie's fluff back there behind her!)

Our little Easter Egger didn't want to pose for the photo but you can see already how her wing feathers are coming in...and a few little fuzz feathers there at her soon to be tail.

We painted the coop the other day and it is looking pretty great.  We have to attach some chicken wire to the cracks and put in the door, ramp, and locks.  We’re still trolling craigslist for cheep posts we can use for fencing a yard for our girls, but considering they have 5 more weeks before they can go outside full-time we’re holding out for a good deal.  It literally pains me to spend money.

 

 

 

 

Here's a photo from last week, when we brought home the little guys. The kids are still very excited about their new pets. I still haven't figured out how to keep our son from crawling into the garage via the cat door just to see them.

 

 

 

 

My uncle has his own, ever-growing, backyard flock and has been a wealth of information for us as we embark on this new journey.  Aside from picking his brain, he literally got us started.  The base for our coop was the old play structure from his yard.  It also didn’t hurt that he loaned us all his power tools so we could build it.  Even though he has a flock of laying hens, we were the first ones to get Barred Rock Chicks (granted he just picked up a couple yesterday…maybe he wants to be more like me?  Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?)

Considering he has been on the bandwagon a little bit longer I guess we can make him President of the chicken club.

 April 25, 2012  Side Yard Flock   4 Comments

Welcome baby chicks!

So I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what I’m doing.  No, I guess that isn’t entirely true.  I don’t know how this whole blogging thing is going to work out.  I am probably like the majority of bloggers out there.  I have 3 kids, 3,000 chores (that are not getting done at the moment b/c on top of everything else going on in my life I have decided, on a whim, to start a blog).  I’m also homeschooling my daughter, and embarking on the journey of raising chickens as well as children.  Considering the child raising is going so well, maybe I have a shot at a successful flock…then again I have already dealt with pee and poop on the carpet, and a biting, kicking toddler and it isn’t even 10am…so maybe it isn’t going as smoothly as I would have hoped.

But lets talk chickens.  Because, let’s be honest, baby chicks are freaking adorable!

day one of our side yard flock

We screened for docile birds who will be good layers, and plan on eating any of them that start to crow.  (By “we” I mean my husband, who knows I have zero desire to assist in the killing but will be more than happy to cook them once they’re cleaned.)

We have 3 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Plymouth Barred Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 3 Silkies (2 partridge and one blue) of which we are keeping one hen and returning the other 2 to my uncle.  I am also headed to the feed store to pick up a Welsummer, and an Ameraucana (Easter Egger) for my husband.

Of course now that we have our chicks we should finish their house…

nest boxes? check.

Window? Check.
Walls? Check.

kids help.

Chicken doors? Check.

We used an old play structure from my uncle as the skeleton for our coop.  Bella and Wesley and been very excited about the process, and yesterday they both helped me sweep out the coop so we could add a laminate floor (before it started to rain).  We got half of it done before baby’s nap was over, so I call that a good day!

And this is where we’re at so far. Yes, I used the old cabinet doors from the downstairs bath.  I am a genius.

Well.  I suppose I should send this inaugural post out into the sea of internet…though i’m sure my readers will be limited to close friends, parents, in-laws and other family that’s okay with me.

Welcome to our side yard flock.

 April 20, 2012  Side Yard Flock   8 Comments