Ashley’s Babies Have Names 

I’d like to formally introduce you to…

It’s true.  Felicia is growing more and more to look and act like a little roo-ling.  I just can’t bring myself to call him Felix, so Felicia he remains.

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Miracle Maxie

My little Miracle Max… or Maxie. Who looks scarily like a female version of Dots.

The Dalmies… so named because of their Dalmatian-esque color scheme… have been given Dalmatian worth names…  this one is Pongo, named after the father dog in 101 Dalmatians.   Pongo is mostly white,with the black spots on the back, tail and neck,but is growing up to have a slightly smokey grey color in the head and neck.

I am uncertain if Pongo is just in need of a bath or if this is a really cool color variant.  Since none of the others look dirty, I have to hope it’s the latter. 😉

Dalmie #2 is named after the female Dalmation… Perdita, or Perdie.   Like Pongo, she has black splotches on her back, neck and tail.  But rather than the smokey grey, Perdie has gold/red in her neck and chest feathers.   It’s really kind of neat!

The gold/red is the same color as my sexlinks… Abby and the Mystery Bin girls.  If we’re right in thinking that Pongo and Perdie are Pip’s babies, then this is his sexlink heritage coming out in Perdie.

Aren’t barnyard mixes interesting? You really never know what you’re going to get!

 

Really Small Eggs

Fart eggs.   Rooster eggs.  Whatever you want to call them, it’s the term for a teeny tiny egg that sometimes gets laid and often has no yolk.

They can be laid by new layer whose bodies aren’t used to laying eggs yet,or by older hens who may be having reproductive issues.

I found one in the coop last night at bedtime.

Now, we do have two little hens who are just a little over 20+ weeks, and who have started hanging out in the coop more, checking out the nests.  One is our chocolate Orpington, Hershey.  The self-proclaimed Queen of Fluff.

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Hershey, getting cozy in the beds lately.

The other, of course, is her sister, the ever curious little Pavel.  Pavelle.

The only thing keeping me from thinking it’s Pavel’s egg, though, is the fact that this little egg is a nice brown color, and the egg Pavel hatched from was more of a very pale peachy-pink.  Almost white, but not quite.

Now, there is also Abby, who could decide to go back the business of laying eggs any day now.  Just because it’s winter is no reason to think she won’t.  She went right back to it last winter, with Pip sitting in the empty nest beside her because he had no clue what his Momma was doing.  (and the proceeded to sit in the nest with her newly laid egg afterwards, because apparently she’d left it alone and it needed baby sat.  Ah, Pip!  A big brother, even then!)

We also have all the Rhode Islands Red who’ve been in and out of various stages of molting this winter.

So… anyone could have laid the teeny tiny egg, really.

A few more pics for size comparison.  We had a normal-sized tiny egg (which I assume is Hersehy’s new egg?) the day before, in the same nest.  So it could be Hershey’s tiny fart egg.

As you can see, it didn’t have a yolk, just incredibly thick whites.  And the shell was hard to crack.  Like really.  It was thinker than I imagined it would be.

 

The Flock Update

Well, I promised an actual flock update, because I haven’t given one in a while.

There’s not much to say about the old ones.  They hate the nasty Cold White and some of them are still in various stages of molt.

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Like Amy,who waited until the week of Christmas to drop all her feathers at once.  You can’t see it from this picture,but her entire underside is BARE NAKED.  It happened over night.  She is currently in the prickly ‘porcupine’ stage.

Is this normal molting?  I envisioned them losing their feathers in October/November…not January! And yet, aside from Amy, I know I have at least four more hens who are in the midst of a slow molt.  Does it always take this long?  I’m so glad we haven’t have negative temperatures, because they would freeze!  Especially Amy!  I mean, look at her!

I’ve been feeding them Feather Fixer  mixed in with their regular food, because I heard it helps them molt quicker/get over it faster.  Whatever.  I don’t think its working. Or else it is working and they would be molting until June without it???  Again, is this normal for it so long???

Seriously,because I feel so bad for the poor cranky things!

Now…since it is cold and windy today, and the flock all opted to stay inside and bug me while I attempted to clean their beds and fill the feeding tubes, I did manage to get pictures of Ashley’s Babies.  They are eleven weeks old. as of yesterday.

The tricky part is that all the white ones – Max and the Dalmies – kind of remind me of Eugenie at that age.  She was big,had a slightly pink face, which stood because she is white, and I wasn’t sure at first if she was a henny or a slow-developing roo.  Keep that in mind as you look at the white chicks.  Feel free to click the pics to make them bigger.

Miracle Max

Max looked like a boy when he/she was little,but now I see inklings of a little hen.

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Max on the right.  Dalmie # 1 on the left. A behind view.

Dalmie #1

I think this is the same one I named Dalmie #1 in previous pics. Not sure.

Dalmie #2

Dalmie #2.

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Dalmie #2 (center) with Felicia and Pip

A gentle reminder that as per Twiglet’s comments on prior posts, we think Pip is the father of the Dalmies.

Felicia 

So… I’m betting anything that Felicia is really Felix.  If this chick starts laying eggs in the spring, I will be so surprised.

Well, that’s the scoop on Ashley’s Babies.   If you’re up for a game of “Henny or Roo?”  Feel free to take your best guesses in the comments.

ETA:  If anyone is interested in comparing these chicks to Dani and Eugenie at roughly the same age…

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Eugenie,of course, is the white one!

 

And now… here’s a special treat… Abby’s baby Easter Eggers.  The will be 8 weeks on Thursday.

These chicks don’t have names.  I’m trying not to name them until I know what they are.  That, and Little Dude wants to name them after Sith Lords.  And I don’t want an Easter Egger named Darth Maul.  *sigh*

The darker chick is smaller, really skittish and mouthy. Based on behavior alone, I think she’s a hen.  She is curious about me, but afraid to come close.  She likes treats and will eat out of my hand and then yell at me for more when I walk away.

The yellow/buff-ish one is bigger and less skittish, but standoffish.  Like a little rooster-in-training.  He also likes treats but doesn’t demand them, like his sibling.

Now… these chicks are staying.  When the other 2 vanished without a trace, I told DH that under no circumstances were we sending either of these to Freezer Camp if they were roosters.   Why?  Because he told me I could keep Esther if I really, really wanted, but I flip flopped, and then he said “well, you do have Abby’s 6 eggs.”  So I aired on the side of Abby having potentially 6 new EE chicks.

This is why you don’t count your chicks before they hatch, people.  Pavel hasn’t forgiven me for sending her favorite brother to Freezer Camp… and Abby only has two chicks.

So…unless the little yellow/buff one has major dominance issues with Dots and Pip, these chicks are here to stay.  No matter what.

I’ll end this post by pointing out anew section of the blog I’ve just started working on.  Meet The Chickens, a series of bio pages for my flock so that when I say  Dots, Abby, Jolene, Wilda… you know who I mean.  I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but for various reasons, I just haven’t.  Mostly because I have over 30 birds at any given time and it’s hard to pinpoint their personalities at a glance.  Look for me to do a page or two a month, highlight each bird. Hopefully by the end of 2017, I’ll have gotten them all on there.   Right now, it’s just Dots.  🙂

Snow Birds

I’m needing to post pictures of chickens doing Chicken Things today, and since the temperature decided to warm up and the wind isn’t blowing, they decided to oblige me.

I give you…the snow birds.

Father and Sons

I just wanted to share this post, because I have the best roosters in the world.  


Double Dots, my Golden Comet (aka sexlink) rooster.  He’s a year and a half old and the ‘papa’ of the coop.  

Pip, his oldest son, who is now 10 and a half months old.  Pip is his father’s right hand man, a protective big brother and learning to be a good boyfriend to the hens.  

Dani, (I should call him Danny now but he’s been Dani so long and it sounds the same so he doesn’t know he has a girl name.) who is just trying to earn a place.  He’ll probably wind up in Freezer Camp, sadly, but he’s starting to grow into himself.   

Do you see the family resemblance between father and sons?  

Do you have roosters you think are ‘the best in the world’?  

Tell me about them.  

It’s October, Already?

I’m honestly not sure where August and September when. One minute, I’m helping Little Dude with his 4-H projects and the next minute, school is starting, then both my children had their sport seasons start AND the garden started booming.

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These pictures are from last week.  The green beans are still flowering and still producing.   The carrots are doing well, too.  I’ve been slowly harvesting them, cutting into cubes and freezing for soups and stuff over the winter.

The cabbages did well.  I harvested, and discovered that if I left the plant in the ground rather than did the roots up, they will start growing a new head.  I don’t think any of them will be big enough to harvest before frost, but the chickens might enjoy them?

I had decent luck with the broccoli, too.  I need to check them again, but I suspect they will slow down eventually.

I’m waiting to harvest the potatoes and sweet potato. Also, the brussel sprouts, which I’m not sure what to do with.  I’ll probably Youtube “how to harvest brussells sprouts” soon.

Over all, I’m very proud of my experimental garden.  I’m already planning for next year.

Dad’s tomatoes, though… those things were the best.  So far, we’ve done over 30 quarts of whole tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, home made ketchup (first time ever), salsa, chili and home made tomato soup (also a first time ever).  The soup and ketchup were my idea and I can just say — yum!!!

 

And, of course, since this is my ‘chicken blog’ I have to talk about the chickens.  🙂

I have a lot of videos and kooky pics up on my Instagram.

The older ladies and Dots are all in various stages of molting.  Some of them look rougher than others.  Some of them (Abby, for example) barely looking like they’ve lost any feathers at all.  But the over abundance of feathers everywhere is a testament that they are molting.

When does this end?  Winter is fast approaching and I’m looking at my semi-balding birds and thinking “they will freeze!”  And “I can’t knit so so no chicken sweaters!”  Especially not for 30+ birds.

Actually, I am NOT an advocate of chicken sweaters.  They are bad for our birds.  Cute, but bad.  Just say no. Okay?

All the babies are getting bigger.

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Dani and Eugenie.

 

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Pavel or… Pavelle … or who, I have been assured by someone on Instagram is, in fact, a pretty little girl.  🙂  She’s sweet and intelligent and loves to ride on my shoulder and ‘talk’ to me.

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“Esther” who is NOT a girl, but a handsome little cockerel.  I’m torn between renaming him Eddie or simply shortening Esther to Es.

I’m in the process of negotiating with my DH to let me keep him, along with Dots and Pip.  We have enough hens to justify three roosters and Esther is the low boy on the totem pole.  He might fit in just fine.   Plus,I read somewhere that an Easter Egger + a brown-egg layer will produce Olive egg layers.  IF  Es were to mate and I were to hatch those babies, I could potential have olive green eggs some day?

DH is thinking about it.  He wants Easter Eggers.  Es is our only survivor.  It could happen.

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The Sulmtaler Brothers.  I call them Sumi and Taller.  I shouldn’t name them.  If I can’t sell them, they are off to Freezer Camp by the end of November.  But they’re so cute.  And Sumi crows better than Dani does!

The chocolate orps (whom I have no pictures of because they won’t hold still for me) are boy & girl.  The little roo, I call Snickers.  He’s cocky and I think he’s been trying to establish dominance over Sumi.  They’ve been squabbling.   He also tried to mate with an Australorp yesterday. I wish I’d gotten a video of that because she went off on him, claws up and everything.  All the rest of my hens are pretty docile so I’ve never seen that happen before.

The hen is Hershey.  She is sweet, but standoff-ish.  She likes her privacy.

 

 

As the instagram caption says, Stacey as has been acting weird.  She paces the coop ALL DAY.  Always.  It looks like she’s looking for a nest box, but she never gets in one.  I don’t know what’s actually going on and Google is not my friend.

This is Ashley. Aka Ashe… some of you may remember Ashe was the little Australorp who kept the injured Baby company when they were chicks.   She is going to be a momma in about 2 1/2 weeks.  🙂  It will probably be my last Broody of the year, as winter is approaching.

Broody Watch 12.2 – the final Abby edition

 

ETA: We lost him, after all.  😦

Well, it happened, against ALL the odds.  The final EE egg hatched!

the last Easter Egger is born

At bedtime, I noticed the first pip.  I was overjoyed because I didn’t think it would hatch.  It was way later than every one else.  Also, one of those two EE eggs was the one that candled fully dark.  I couldn’t see anything and marked it with a ? to watch.  When the first EE pipped, I thought for sure that the remaining one was the dark one.

I suppose one of them was the dark one, but they both hatched anyway.  Thus proving I have a lot to learn about candling eggs.

The total hatched was eight chicks: 3 chocolate Orpingtons, 2 Easter Eggers, 2 Sulmtalers, and 1 Pavlovskaya.

This morning after the last baby hatched, Little Dude and I moved momma and babies to the maternity suite.  They will have more room there, plus privacy and relative safety.

the little Chocolates explore their new home while momma sits in the newest brother

It’s going to harder to get pictures of them all while we’re waiting for the little EE to fluff out.  The maternity suite allows for maximum privacy, even from me.  Really I should have rethought that. ☺️

Ah well!  The hens seem to like it and that’s all that matters.

Broody Watch 11- First Pips 

Finally! The part where I get to share the Good News!!!!!!  We have our first pips!!!!!

Easter Egger on right.
Chocolate Orpington (also on right)

The babies are coming!!  The babies are coming!!!

LOL I have no life.

 (Actually,I have a very busy life right now. I had plans to go see my in-laws today and drop off eggs to them (with other things), take my son to the park, pick up a small bag of chick starter for these little ones, we have company coming on Friday, and I have about 3 weeks to help my son get ready for his first 4-H Roud Up.)

I spent some time this morning reshaping the nests in the maternity suite so Abby had fresh straw and a clean area.  Claire really timed her abandonment of her Littles perfectly so Abby could use either side of the maternity suite.

 

A Good Papa


Just thought I’d share this picture of Double Dots with his and Claire’s 6 week old babies.  

She’s not looking out for them any more, but it looks like papa is!  

I owe everyone a Week-a-versary post for these ones, but I have some clean up to be in prep for Abby’s wee ones to arrive (2 pips this morning! Yay!) so I forgot to take pictures other than this one.  I’ll get them later.  I’m sure I’ll be down to the pasture several times today, anyway! 

Broody 10 – Day 18 

I keep waiting for the story of this broody adventure to be about cute fluffy chicks.  Instead, I keep getting one disaster after another.

I found this when I went to take Abby off her next for the morning.  Today is Day 18. Tomorrow would be ‘lock down’ and I wanted her to have one more day of sunlight and a chance to stretch her legs.

So this? Is not good?

I don’t really know what happened, but I can guess.  Abby didn’t leave the next at all yesterday, but when I was checking eggs in the afternoon, there was a new pullet in the bed next to her. They don’t usually choose the beds next to Abby because Abby likes the higher boxes. Everyone else chooses the lower beds, but I found Lola right next to Abby in the corner box.

If Lola started on the other side and checked other beds, she could havewalked over top of Abby and caused something like this.

Now… to the Good… the baby is still alive in there. I can see the membrane rising and falling. That’s breathing and movement.  I put it back under Abby.  I don’t really know what else to do.

I don’t have an incubator, and I don’t have the money to run out and buy one.  Even if I did, I don’t have time to set up, learn not to screw it up, and put the egg in.  So it’s back under momma for the time being.

I did ask the lady who sold me the eggs what she thought I should do.  I could attempt to help it hatch the rest of the way, or leave it go and see what comes naturally.

Of course, today I’m going to be out of town and not home most of the day.  So whatever advice she has for me will be left unfollowed until later on today or tomorrow.

Today is Day 18.  “Lock down” is tomorrow.  I expect to see chicks Wednesday at the latest,until something else happens.

I’m praying nothing else happens.  I already feel so bad.  :-/

And now… for the cute…

Since I couldn’t take her off the nest for this morning, I decided to give her food and water in bed.  Chickens are so cute when they drink.  🙂