Friday, July 12, 2013

Poor Penguin

Lee found our birchen cochin chick Penguin keeled-over dead in the coop the morning after July 4th. I had just checked on them right before sunset on the 4th and gave them some scratch. I thought it was odd that this chick, who was always the first to scramble for treats, for the first time did not partake. She just sat there, roosting on the ledge of the sand bin. She was growing so nice and fat, like a cochin should. And her birchen feathers were really pretty. I'll miss her. Everyone else is just fine.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Chicks Update

2 months have gone by without an update. I've taken lots of progression photos, but have been lax in posting them here. I'll get them linked at some point. In the meantime the chicks have moved into the coop with the older hens. It was a pretty easy transition, and nobody really got picked on. For a while they separated themselves into two cliques, but the hens seem to like the new company, and they all hang out together now. The chicks loved all the new space and immediately enjoyed pecking, dust bathing, and the spacious roosts.

On June 19, when the chicks were about 13 weeks old, we heard the first crow from one of the sultans. We have since heard Ponyboy (previously Goldie), the golden neck d'Uccle, crow as well. So far their bantam shrieks are not very loud and don't happen constantly, although I've heard some long strings of cock-a-doodle-doo's. 4 houses down is another coop with standard-size chickens and we can clearly hear their rooster, but I'm pretty sure our crows don't carry that far.

Still not sure if the other sultan is a roo, too...I have not seen it crow and is always sitting quietly when I visit. Penguin, the black cochin I thought for sure was a roo, looks now like a very pretty birchen cochin hen...she just took a longer while to feather than the others. Her comb is also bigger than the other pullets but not as big as it would be if she were a roo. She and my favorite chick Squirrel, the silver-laced cochin, are just the friendliest of the bunch. I consider us pretty lucky that only 2-3 of the 8 chicks are roos.