Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Poor Chickie

So much for being fortunate (see previous post). Looks like a cat got hold of a poor Orpington that escaped from the crate through a hole made possible from a cardboard flap that came loose. Lee found it outside behind the garbage pieces. :(

Flew the Coop

2-21-2009 2-57-10 PM, originally uploaded by KKerfluffle.

Yesterday, Lee found one of the buff Orpington chicks perched on Ava's red lawn chair in the shed. Fortunately, Lee had closed all the doors to keep it warmer in there for them, or that chick would have become a cat toy/snack -- he usually leaves the front door cracked to allow the cats to hide from the cold. I think we'll have to switch to a taller Rubbermaid bin...these girls are too mischievous!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laying Again

Eggs!, originally uploaded by KKerfluffle.

In December and January, we would only find a few eggs a day. Now that it's getting warmer, we're back up to 6 on average, with a high of 8 one day last week.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Swamp Chickens

2-21-2009 4-05-04 PM, originally uploaded by KKerfluffle.

This late winter weekend was beautiful and wonderful for getting ready for spring gardening. The chickens have really taken to the outer yard, where there are plenty of bugs to scratch for in the pine straw. This little area by this palm has become a popular hangout. In no time, this view of the swamp will be lush and green.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Feather Feet & Vulture Hocks

Since there's no way I'm mail-ordering a straight run (males & females), minimum order of 25 batch of fancy bantams from a hatchery, the only way I'll get any is finding a local source. So everyday I search the farm & garden section of Craigslist for some pretty hens. A few hours after we came home on Saturday from the feed store with our baby chicks, year-old Belgian d'Uccles were listed for sale!

The next day, I enjoy a rare Sunday drive by myself to see Shari in Crawfordville, who knows the guy also in Crawfordville from whom I purchased 5 fancies off Craiglist last year, who has also gotten chickens from Red Hawk in Quincy...small world.

Since we already have porcelain colored d'Uccles, I picked out 1 hen each from the other colors available --the only white hen and one of the mille fleurs, which is a pretty brown/peppery spangled beauty.

Miss Pepperpot Miss Pepperpot

No name for the white one, yet. Their feathers are a little ragged from being in a small coop with a dozen other bantams including several roosters. They are skittish from now being at the bottom of a new pecking order and from have never free-ranged before. But the little porcelains are quite assertive, so I figure they'll get over it eventually.

I have to confess that the 2 porcelain d'Uccles we have had since last March have made me fall in love with this breed. These are true bantams, existing only in miniature with no standard counterpart. I love their shape. They are dainty, docile, and can fly quite high. Beard, feathered feet, and vulture hocks. These are vulture hocks, by the way...long stiff feathers at the hock joint that hide the top part of the legs, as you can kind of see in this photo of Moneypenny (or Smurfette, I can't tell them apart) --

2-15-2009 5-58-31 PM

Baby Chicks are Here

2-14-2009 11-30-35 AM

I had called the feed store earlier this week to find out if they had any, and they were getting some on Friday. So on Valentine's Day we headed across town with the girls to pick a few up. The girls love going to the Country Feed Store to see their little mini farm, especially the emu.

2-14-2009 11-16-34 AM 2-14-2009 11-16-50 AM

This is the first time we've purchased chicks so young. Chicks ordered from hatcheries are hatched and usually shipped the same day, since chicks can live on its last bits of yolk for up to 3 days. So the little girls we got were probably only a few days old.

Buff Orpington Buff Orpington & Black Australorp chicks

The 2 blondes are Buff Orpingtons and the 2 black ones are Black Australorps. Both breeds are known for excellent production and large brown eggs...those are usually the types you find at a local feed store.

2-14-2009 2-00-15 PM
Sofie just loves them!