Saturday, March 30, 2013

Enjoying some fresh spring air

Today the chickies got to experience the backyard sounds of spring through the open window.  Kids playing, dogs barking, & studio jams.

Chick Photo Progression - White Crested Black Polish Bantam

Week 1
Week 2

Friday, March 29, 2013

Chick Photo Progression - Cochin Bantam 1

Week 1

Week 2

Updated Chick Guesses

Now that the chicks are showing a little feather, I'm updating my guesses.

Left #2 Silver Penciled Cochin?, Right #4 Partridge or Gold Laced?
#3 Buff Columbian d'Uccle?

  1. Black cochin --> Still black cochin, but the wing feathers are starting to look a tiny bit brown?
  2. Silver penciled cochin --> No change.
  3. Blue mille fleur Belgian bearded d'Uccle --> Looking more like a buff columbian d'uccle instead.
  4. Partridge cochin --> Torn between partridge and gold-laced
  5. Buff cochin --> totally wrong...looks more like a sultan with the silver gene
  6. Golden neck d'Uccle --> No change.
    #1 Wing feathers have brown speckles

    Pretty sure #5 in the foreground is also a Sultan, like the one in the background

    chubby cheeks!

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    Our Current Hens

    Tiny Dancer, our only standard. A Columbian Wyandotte.

    A black Ameraucana bantam

    A lavender Ameraucana bantam

    A bantam mix

    Another bantam mix
    Another bantam mix that I don't see as often because it's always broody. It looks like the one directly above but whiter with more lacing and less penciling.

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Another Sultan?

    I'm thinking that the one yellow chick that I first guessed was a buff cochin (the large one in the center pictured above) in my earlier post is another Sultan chick. Maybe they gave me another in the assortment. I didn't think it was a Sultan because of a slight grey stripe on its back that the other Sultan chick does not have, but I learned through my Googling that while all Sultans will eventually be all white, some with a silver gene will look like this one. Some may have just a little gray, some may be mostly gray, appearing blue. It has a crest not as puffy as the other, and a tiny extra toe. The other one's toe is more pronounced and separated from the other toe. But it's just as fat and fluffy!

    This video from Cackle Hatchery shows the variety of colors in Sultan chicks and explains the silver gene as the reason:

    All these ones at Murray McMurray Hatchery appear to be the silver kind:

    Sultan 1 and possible Sultan 2, with d'Uccle and cochin chicks
    L-R -- Golden Neck d'Uccle, all-yellow Sultan chick, silver gene Sultan chick.

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Movin' on Up

     Last night I moved the chicks from their newborn bin to the rabbit hutch thing we got on Craigslist a while back. I turned it upside down so it could sit on the cabinet, and because we couldn't figure out what to do with the heat lamp when it was right side up (it has a solid wood top and a wire floor). The heat lamp is attached to my grow light stand that I use for seed starting. I kinda still need it for seed starting...maybe I'll put a flat up there, too! From experience I know that bantam chicks can pop through chicken wire, so I covered it with plastic garden netting, using ugly green reindeer duct tape. But it will be easy to take off when it's no longer necessary.

     The chicks seem to like their new home. I like that they are off the floor and much easier to maintain at that level. And I can see them (barely) from the house at night. Tonight it's going to be colder. Lee thinks they may need an additional lamp. There's plenty of room in there to get away from the heat if they need to.

    All of them look very healthy. Every time I check on them I try to handle each one to get them used to it. I've never done a good job before in taming chicks. I hope to do better this time. I left the classical radio station 91.5 WFSQ on for a few hours last night, and turned it on this morning. Can't hurt, and it's got to be better than silence. And it's a more soothing atmosphere while cleaning up chick poop.

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    Another One Bites the Dust

    Can't get that song out of my head now since Lee sang that line this morning when I told him about the Polish chick that didn't survive the night. It was the smallest out of all the chicks and wasn't thriving like the others. I had noticed it was sleepy when I checked on them yesterday at lunch, but otherwise it looked ok, with no pasty butt. Last night it was very lethargic and I got it to drink, but it wouldn't eat.
     Bye little chickie!

    This one was the sultan chick that arrived with the deformed legs that were sticking out so it couldn't stand. The other sultan is the one in standing in the feed dish.

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    A Long Overdue Update

    Sooo... Fast forward to 2013, and we're now living on an acre inside city limits. Our property came with a chain-link dog kennel which we converted to our coop. Lost the flock we moved from the country due to coop vulnerabilities, and a second flock also due to coop this day we have no idea how whatever got in and beheaded all our hens. I was sad and down about the whole chicken-keeping thing for a while.

    In May 2011 I ordered the All Pullet Rainbow Assortment from Meyer Hatchery, but my chicks were delayed in the mail due to the Joplin Missouri tornado, and only one chick survived the trip - Tiny Dancer, a Columbian Wyandotte. Today she's our only standard hen.  She shares the coop with 2 easter-egger and 3 mixed bantams hens that we got from Shari in Crawfordville.

    Yesterday morning, our order of 10 bantam chicks from Ideal Poultry arrived.

    2 sultan, 2 white-crested black Polish, and 6 of their feather-legged bantam assortment. One of the sultan chicks could not stand. It's legs were neither splayed nor spraddled, but sticking straight up. Even though we babied the poor thing, it was gone by evening. The other ones are doing great, in a bin under lights inside my backyard candlemaking studio.

    Here's my guesses of the 6 assorted chicks:
    1. Black cochin
    2. Silver penciled cochin
    3. Blue mille fleur Belgian bearded d'Uccle
    4. Partridge cochin
    5. Buff cochin
    6. Golden neck d'Uccle
    Let's see how my predictions turn out!