Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sad Silkie News... But Nice Pics to Make Me Feel Better

Well, the last small silkie died the other day... I was so sad. The breeder has offered to replace the three babies that died. The remaining silkie (who is a week or two old) and the cochin are thriving and mixing well with the other babies.

On to happier things! Since the new babies from the hatchery will be shipped out on June 2nd and I had the plexiglass panel in place on the brooder for a while I thought it was time to integrate the hen with the babies.

WELL... she wasn't that bad. She pecked at them a little bit but didn't chase them. The problem was that the chicks were so afraid of her that they wouldn't go near the feeders and stayed in the corner. Whenever they came out of the corner she would herd them back and sit there watching them. When she lived at the farm she was in a chain link dog kennel with a dog house to roost in at night... So she is now out in the run with a dog kennel to sleep in, at least until the babies get a little bigger.

(The dog crate is now up on stilts and covered with a tarp... she likes that better!)

Meanwhile the babies are LOVING all the room! They are pecking everywhere, "sparring" (figuring out the pecking order) and digging through the chips. They are having a blast.

I added plastic strips around the chicken and people doors to keep the drafts out and have hung a solar night light in the coop. Chickens are attracted to the light and will make them more likely to come home to roost once they are allowed outside.

They have even figured out the "big kids" feeder and waterer! They are so smart!

Naptime :)

I have been working hard putting in a veggie garden... it's definitely got to be bigger next year! We've even put in 2 grape vines! One concord and one seedless green. We also have a small windmill that was made by my BFs father... Don't FARMS have windmills?

Right now we have a dwarf macintosh and a plum tree. We are planning on getting another apple and maybe a peach or a pear (probably both :)

The flowers are still blooming like crazy around here!! I was talking to my MIL and have her 3/4 of the way convinced that we should get some Guinea Fowl to keep the ticks, Japanese beetles and other insect populations down... *evil grin*

That's all for now. The new chickies are being shipped on Monday! I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope I have a loud box when I get to the post office this time... Cross your fingers for me!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The chicks are growing FAST!

Look what I got for my birthday!! Eggcellent!! (sorry, couldn't help it!)

Well anyway, I haven't posted in a few days... I've been super busy around here... and had some sad things happen... 2 of the tiny silkie babies died over the last week. The little black one and one of the white ones. The bigger white silkie and the tiny splash silkie are doing fine. So is the cochin. I think because they are/were so much younger than the other chicks they needed it warmer. When I saw the older chicks sitting far away from the heat lamp I adjusted it to make it cooler... forgetting that I had those tinies in there. *sigh* I have the last tiny silkie chick in a sort of hospital brooder to keep him quiet (aka not getting stepped on by the bigger chicks!) and warmer. He has Dum-Dum (the Australorp runt) for company...

The chicks are really growing! They are exactly 2 weeks old today! Can you believe the wing and tail feathers?? The first picture is of the same chick I am holding in the first chick pictures post... That was less than 2 weeks ago!! They grow SO FAST!

We call the one with the white eyebrows "Penguin"... she walks VERY upright!

I made a few changes to the brooder this week too... Since I have this hen in the coop and plan on mixing her with the babies in about 2 weeks (when the new babies come) I decided to add a plexiglass window to the brooder. Panya PECKED AND PECKED at those babies when she first saw them... I was alarmed! What if she does that when they're in the same "room"? But, after the first day the novelty must have worm off... Now she is more likely to be sitting next to the window just watching "Chick TV". Hopefully in 2 weeks she'll be completely bored with them. This window also helps them from being as scared of me as they have been. Now they can see my legs approaching and I'm less like a giant hawk swooping down on them.

The babies had been perching on their waterer and trying to get onto the heat lamps so I decided they would like a mini-roost in there... I was right! They LOVE it!

It was really warm out today so I made Panya go outside. (I am still trying to figure out her name!). She ran around, ate grass... and stalked bugs! She had a lot of fun catching those ants!

Watching a tractor drive by

One last note! I finally finished burying the fence! The run is officially done and ready for the little ones to try it out in a few weeks! I also hung a bunch of old CDs from the overhead netting... Other than adding a wonderful disco atmosphere - it's practical! It confuses the hawks... sort of like a modern scarecrow! Oh and of course I had to plant more flowers!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Silkie Baby Pictures

I took some pictures yesterday afternoon of the new babies... Enjoy!

Splash Silkie (2 days old)

Splash Silkie (2 days old)

Black Silkie (2 days old)

Cochin (1 week old?)

I also finished putting up the chicken wire around the base of the fence and started putting the netting up over the top of the run to keep the hawks out!

I thought this would be funny too... haha!

This is the only picture I have of what Chubs home-made hutch used to look like. He came into my life unexpectedly and all I had was some old pallets, wire and a chainsaw... So his hutch was kinda ugly...

I ripped it apart the other day, replaced a lot of the boards, built a hinged roof (with roofing instead of plastic!) and repainted it to match the coop... It looks a LOT better now!!

That's all for now! I'm sure I'll post more soon!

Monday, May 19, 2008


Let me preface this post with - I have been outside working on the chicken run and my rabbit hutch all day and I'm TIRED!

Yesterday Paul and I drove to Popson Farm to get our silkie babies! It was quite a drive, but we swung through some of the towns we used to visit to do some shopping. It was a fun day!

Anyway! We made it to the farm in the afternoon and got to see all of their chickens, geese, turkeys... and PEAFOWL! Very neat!

Ameracuana (Easter Egg) Rooster


Silkies in their breeding pen.

Silkie Rooster

Leah (Mrs. Popson!) and I pored over the brooders and picked out 5 baby "silkies". I got two whites, one black and one splash (hopefully). Wait, that only adds up to 4... yeah... well when I got home I noticed that one of the babies didn't have the black beak and feet or the extra toe that all silkies have. After emailing Leah it turns out that I also picked up a cochin by mistake! Oh well! "She" (crosses fingers) is really cute anyway (and does have fuzzy feet!). I haven't had the babies out of the brooder yet to take good pictures.. since a few of them were BORN YESTERDAY I didn't want to mess with them too much. I'll try to get pictures tomorrow if it's warm out. :) Until then you'll have to enjoy this... (those infrared heat lamps are not the best for photos!)

As a bonus Leah had a solitary white Sultan hen that she wanted to sell. So I got her too! She's really pretty and is settling in very nicely.. even though she's all alone in the coop (apart from the cheeping box of peeps). Since she is a Polish breed we have named her "Ponyah" which means Lady in Polish. I have no idea how to spell that... so I went with phonetics...

I do have pictures of her!!

Check out the hairdo... On the way home, traveling down the same road we had been on 30 minutes before we came around a corner and saw THIS...

A freaking PENNSYLVANIA REDWOOD! Keep in mind that Paul is about 6'5... so it was no sapling! I had to drive my truck under that beast.. it was scary! (A local came a long before we left and said he would call the authorities to have it removed).

I plan on taking pictures of the babies tomorrow... and Chubs remodeled hutch (which came out really nicely!). I finished running a two foot half buried border of chicken wire around the bottom of the whole chicken run today. I also started on the netting over the top... but it got dark out and I had to stop.

Well, I'm off to check on the babies and slip Chubs some leftover salad :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Rabbit Thinks He's In Heaven

Just a quick (non-chick) related note. I finished putting up the welded wire fence and decided to let Chubs "check the perimeter". He is having a BLAST out there!

Tessa, om the other hand, is NOT HAPPY! She is very jealous!

Before the chicks are let loose in here I will be running a half-buried border of one inch chicken wire to make the openings smaller and to keep anything from digging into the run. I'll also be adding a big net to the top to keep the hawks out!

As a happy mistake the new guy at the feed store sold me "high tensile" welded wire instead of the usual lighter weight stuff! So I saved about $40... It was really hard to put up, but it'll last a LOT longer! It's really thick!!