Meet the Newcomers

We had new baby chicks hatched this week, from Monday – Wednesday, but I haven’t posted pictures yet. Why not? Because there was a mix up at My Pet Chicken in the labeling of the eggs and until this afternoon, we didn’t know what kind of chicks we actually had! And there are still two unaccounted-for chicks. The good people at My Pet Chicken have reached out to the breeder to discover what they might be… with help from pictures I provided of the chicks and their eggs.

Chipmunk, a Partridge Welsummer
Un-named Columbian Wyandotte
They don’t know what I am yet, but I’m cute!
Un-Named Light Brahma
Little Goth Chick, a Svart Hona
Rocky, the only Barred Rock. We were supposed to have four of them!
They don’t know what I am either, so I’m grumpy ūüė°
The proud adopted momma with her chicks ūüź•

I have that lovely maternity box we made for the broodies out of a repurposed cabinet. ¬†I put her in it. ¬†She and the chicks spent one night in there and then Rapunzel decided to move them outside, into a corner on the floor. ¬†After fighting with her for two days, I gave up and have decided that she’s going to raise them her way, whether I like it or not.

Pavelle also rejected the cat carrier, btw, and has  her babies sleeping in one of the laying boxes at night.

This kind of ‘immersion rearing’ kind of baffles me because Abby, Claire and Ashley ALL wanted to hide their chicks away from everyone, so they welcomed the special areas I made for them.

These two broody mommas?  Want nothing to do with it.

So instead… I put out a bigger feeder for the chick feeder, a second waterer and put some straw down so Rapunzel could make a nicer nest of her own design… and took this video of Pavelle’s little Feather Butt meeting his/her little ‘cousins’ for the first time.

Rainy Tuesday Update

So, it’s raining today, with little patches of sunshine here and there. ¬†The weekend was pretty much the same, but the week was pretty exciting around the barnyard and pasture.

First off… we’ve had visitors of the nasty variety. ¬† Two fat brown woodchucks who think they own the place. ¬† Dad shot one sneaking around the garden and caught the other in a trap he placed by their hole.

A couple of days later, we caught this opossum in the same trap.  Which means they are sharing the holes under the barn.

Dad wasn’t targeting the possum, because he read somewhere that they eat ticks. I don’t know if that’s true, but the DO eat eggs and young chicks, and can also kill adult chickens. I’m glad we are one possum less this week.

The neighbor’s white turkeys also paid a visit (which I didn’t get a picture of), but the chickens are getting used to them being around.

Ashley decided to go broody, and spent most of the weekend in Broody Jail.

Now, I know I have said in the past that I wasn’t going to use the Broody Breaker method anymore and just give my hens eggs. ¬†But this hen is a special case. ¬†This is Ashley – she who lost her babies 2 times in the fist week of their lives, kept leaving nest and getting too confused to go back to it, and then raised them to be neurotic weird freaks. ¬†(example, Felix… and Perdie who STILL doesn’t trust me.) ¬† So… no eggs for Ashley.

Besides which, Pavelle’s babies are two weeks old today and Rapunzel’s hatch/incubator babies are due to be hatching today. ¬†Remember? ¬†The 4-H project? ¬† So yeah… I don’t need more babies just yet. ¬†Especially not from a hen I don’t trust.

And while Ashley cooled out in Broody Jail, DH and Little Dude made another attempt to dry out the swampy areas in the middle of the chicken pasture. ¬†Last year, DH made a pond. ¬†This year, he’s spent days (and days and days) digging trenches trying to find where the underground springs run.

The chickens LOVE it because trenches mean mud, dirt, worms, bugs… stuff for them to do and see and EAT. ¬†So they really love helping DH with his trench project.

And lastly what post would be complete without something about Pavelle and her babies?

This past week, Pavelle decided that she didn’t like the cat carrier as a nest, so she moved her babies out of it and up into one of the laying boxes. ¬†They only sleep there at night, because the other thing they REALLY discovered this week was the great outdoors. ¬†She takes them into the tunnels, the run and even into the barnyard. ¬†They have not yet ventured into the greater chicken pasture, but still, the spend a good portion of the day outside, getting whatever yummies nature has to offer. ¬† Whatever it is, they always have full crops when I see them, so it must be good. ¬†ūüôā

This is Feather Butt, aka The One With The Feathered Feet. If you look closely…
… I *think* Feather Butt might also have a mini-crest. It’s not as pronounced as Pavelle’s was, but it sure looks like one to me, there on the top of his/her head.

 

Happy 2nd Week-aVersary, little Pavelle-Babies!

Pavelle’s Babies – Week 1

Yesterday, Pavelle’s wee little chicks celebrated their One Week-aversary. ¬†They are living happily in a cat carrier under the laying beds, with their food in the corner in front of them and a place to go for shelter. ¬† Pavelle being as small as she is, they have room to move around freely in there. ¬†She brings them out in the morning and afternoons, teaches them to dig and scratch in the deep litter bedding and is slowly introducing them to the other chickens.

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Little ‘Feather Butt’ – aka the one with the feathers on his feet. ¬†This one is the biggest of the three chicks. ¬† He/she is friendly and inquisitive, not afraid of the bigger birds or me. ¬†And he/she stood up to Dots when he tried to tidbit with their chick feed. ¬† Ran right up to him and cheeped in Dot’s face. ¬†So he/she has inherited Pavelle’s bravery in the face of birds 50x his size.
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Miini- Pav. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Mini-Pav is the smallest of the three chicks, and does not yet have as pronounced wing feathers as the other two have. ¬†He/she is also the shyest one, preferring to hang back where Feather Butt and Egger Baby will run forward.
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The Egger Baby.   The somewhere in-between middle chick.  Not the biggest, not the smallest.  Curious enough to stick her head out and look at stuff (me, the Bigs) but not brave enough to be the first one out there.

Feather Butt and Mini-Pav do not have the pronounced foreheads that their mother had as a chick. ¬†A reminder that they are cross-breeds and not pure anything. ¬† Pavelle likely has some Polish in with her Pavlovskaya … and Pip, of course, the Rhode Island Red and sexlink genetics. ¬† So maybe they won’t have crests and funny hair-dos like their momma. ¬† Or maybe they will? ¬†Who knows at this point?

I give you – the Babies!

The weather has been up and down, and Pavelle has yet to decide if she wants to take them outside. I’ve seen her bring them to the door and peek out, but has not attempted to lead them any further.

I’ll admit, I am both excited and fearing that day and a little glad that she has not. ¬†The last chicks I watched go outside for the first time .. vanished, and Abby kept the remaining babies hidden for the rest of the winter. ¬†¬† ¬†So caution on Pavelle’s part is not without good reason.

ETA: ¬†Okay, I wrote that part up there *points up* ¬†and then went to the barn to let everyone and THIS happened, just to prove me wrong…

 

Feather Butt was the one balking. ¬†I finally stopped the video and went to put Mini-Pav and Egger Baby back inside because it became so obvious that Pavelle was not able to convince Feather Butt that it was, in fact, safe. ¬† But there you have it… it’s a good bet that she will get them outside sooner rather than later. ¬† To be fair, there is only so much she can teach them inside the coop. ¬†The big wide world awaits!

Today marks Day 14 for Little Dude’s 4-H hatching project.We’ll be candling again tonight and on Saturday. ¬† Sunday-Tuesday are Lockdown Days. ¬† ¬†The incubator has been an interesting experience in frustration and balance. ¬†Finding and KEEPING the right temperature and humidity both. ¬†I personally like giving the eggs to broody hens.

 

Broody/Baby Watch РBreakfast with Momma 

Proof that Pavelle and the Mini-Me look alike. ¬† On the left… Abby, with wee little Pavelle sitting in front. ¬†On the right… Pavelle and Mini-Me.

The two remaining Easter Eggs have not done anything. I tell myself that today is Day 21 and official Hatch Day, so they could still do something, but there aren’t even pips, and Pavelle has pushed them to the back of the nest. I’m thinking these three might be it, but I’m willing to give it another day just in case.