Wednesday, May 8, 2013

tiny flock

Our girls are growing up! 
They are true teenagers......eating and sleeping the day away while their awkward bodies grow grow grow.

With the exception of making my house smell like a barn, these girls have been pretty easy to keep.
The first two weeks they lived in one of our over sized moving boxes. Just chick food, water, a heat lamp, and five fuzzy chicks in a box. We changed their bedding (pine shavings) every few days and listened to their peeping (alllll night long). 
(oh ps. they are in my house because it's cold outside and we don't have a garage.....please don't keep them in your house if you don't have to)
By week 2 they were testing out their wings and getting too close to the box top.....time to move into a bigger place. 
We took Charly's large dog crate (it's huge) and made a new home, with a door that latched and a roof overhead. As they've continued to grow and their fluff has magically transformed into feathers, they haven't needed anything more--just extra food (they never stop eating) and we have someone on vacuum duty 24 hours a day(seriously though, almost). They scratch and flap and flutter and spew their bedding out of their cozy home. And have I mentioned they stink? Because they do. We now change their bed daily--and let them roam around the yard as we do so. And they LOVE it. Pecking at bugs and stretching their wings. Being toted around by my little animal loving country girl. 

They have their feathers now and will be out in their coop this weekend.....I can have my house back!
To see them as chicks (cuteness overload) and for breed info click HERE

Question for any chicken owners out there:
Our Pebbles is still really small. (3rd photo from the bottom) She eats and drinks just fine, and doesn't act sick in anyway.....she's just so far behind her sisters. Her beak is curved down and seemed long--and after talking with a helpful gent at the feed store I clipped her beak back a bit last weekend, to see if that would maybe help her get more food. (Never thought I'd be trimming a chicken's beak, that's for sure.) I've been reading up and learning that sometimes they just grow slower.....but I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this? Thanks!

If you are interested in getting chicks, I'm here to tell you that you can do it! It really is pretty easy so far. Your local feed store will have everything you need to get set-up....including the chicks themselves.  It's still a while before we will be feasting on their beautiful eggs, but for now they really are quite the little entertainers.


Meg said...

It isn't fair how quickly they get to the awkward stage! Why don't they stay little chicks longer!

My garage was too cold and they lived in my master bathroom for a few weeks. It was SO smelly in there! Nast.

Pebbles might be a bantam. If so, she won't get very big. Her eggs will be tiny and adorable, too.
DOn't clip her beak too much...the others will see her as unprotected and pick on her and peck her...especially if she's smaller. She will need her beak to protect her from her sisters!

One thing thats fun is to stick a piece of 2x4 into their box and watch them all fight over who gets to roost on top. if there are holes in the crate, poke a dowel or yard stick or broom handle or something through the holes so you have a pole/roost that goes all the way across. They will LOVE it and it is fascinating to watch their natural animal instincts settle in so early!

You'll be clipping wings soon too. That was fun. eek!

I love that you finally have chickens! I love the crap out of ours. They're spoiled rotten.

Meg said...

OH also, can you BELIEVE that the chickens that you buy in the grocery store were only 7 weeks old? When you see how small your hens are at that age still (they'll seem big compared to when they were chicks, but really...they are SOOO not even close to full grown) you'll never want to buy chicken from the grocery store again! You know those chickens were fed a bunch of crap to fatten them up quickly and they had lights on them 24/7 so they'd eat more and sleep less. They can hardly walk before they're culled because they're too fat for their own little 7 week old legs.

Melissa said...

You have some pretty chickens and it makes me miss our chickens terribly... :(

kassidi bridge said...

I love this, thank you!! I'm living vicariously through you until we're outta here!

Hayley said...

yes yes yes.

missing my hens bad through you.

Jackie said...

we had pet geese once upon a time...I know that smell. yeesh! ;)

Amy Maires said...

Clipping her beak will totally help. She is also the "runt" of your group. Usually you will have 1 dominate chick and the pecking order follows. She is at the end, poor girl!! Speaking of the beak clipping, you may have to cut their feathers too if they start flying out of your yard!!! It's all fun! Some of my favorite pictures are my kids holding our chickens!!

gram said...

Wow! They've really grown in the past week or so... love the pics of Lu & her chick!

Kasey said...

Ours lived in the laundry room (in a giant rubbermaid tote) for the first 4 weeks while I was building a coop in the garage. I could not BELIEVE the dander! Wow. You will be SO happy to move them outside when the weather permits.

It is pretty cool to watch them contest each other for the highest spot in the coop.

One problem we had when ours were about 12-15 weeks was one was getting pecked A LOT by the others. This is a natural part of settling into a pecking order, but it was really hard to watch. Her entire face/head was bloody and pecked, so we treated it with an ointment that tasted bad, so they'd stop. It seemed to work. Once they got to 18-20 weeks the fighting stopped and they all seem to get along just fine a year later.

I assume you're building a coop/chicken run? My advice is to make sure it's really assessable for cleaning. I'm wishing I'd built a big huge door on both sides of our 8 ft run, rather than one down at one end. It's only 4 feet tall and it's tricky to get it shoveled out every few months.

The best thing I ever did was make a waterer that hangs from the top of the run (a hole in the plywood top). It's a 5 gallon bucket with 3 metal nipples on the bottom. It never gets pooped in (it's impossible to keep them from pooping in any open dish) and is easy to clean and refill. Also easy to drop a fish tank heater in the bucket over the winter so it never freezes. It's good for an entire week untouched!

kylie said...

we had our own chickens growing up and it was the best. ours were named the dixie chicks. good luck with yours!!!! yumyum!