Thursday, August 6, 2009

Current babies for sale

I have 2 black/blue Showgirls that are about 3 months old that I THINK are one hen one roo, but they are really too young for me to tell. $15 each

I have a Sizzle black or blue Silkie, 5 toes on one foot, 4 on the other. I think it's a rooster but I'm not sure. EXTREMELY sweet. $15 Will keep this one if it doesn't sell.

White Silkie, I think it's a he, but it's a month old so I am only guessing.
$15

I don't know why I think they are all roosters. I'm just guessing. I'm starting to write down what I THINK are roos and we'll see when they get older if I'm right. So they may be all hens, who knows!

Breakfast

My breakfast: Frosted Mini Wheats. My chickens' breakfast: fresh feed, Ice water, slices of wheat bread and a frozen watermelon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lunch

Hubby found this on the web:
In other news, been thinking about creating a website for Shared Acres. Sharedacres.com has, of course, already been taken. So I've been thinking about other names and if I should or not. So many things to do, so little time.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer is here

It's hot, it's muggy, and the blackberries are in bloom. I LOVE, absolutely LOVE walking in the evenings picking blackberries along our property line. Not because of the thorns that stick me, or the mosquitos that thick my bug spray is barbeque sauce on the blood buffet that I am to them, but because of the scenery, and the simpleness of it all.

It's so quiet and serene. And it feels so nice and satisfying to pick big fat blackberries and pop them in your mouth knowing their are no chemicals on them or illegal workers out picking them so you can pay an exorbinant fee at the grocery store. Nope, they are fresh picked and shoved whole in my mouth. Yum!

On the chicken front, got rid of all the Cochins except Coach (the big roo who desperately needs some girls of his own aka a new home) and my inlaws roo next door that hasn't started crowing yet.

I still have tons of little mutt chickies of my inlaws that could use a new home. 5 for $10, anyone want them? They are Rotisserie's children if you have seen pics of her on here.

I have been throwing those blocks of blue ice things in the coops to help cool things down a bit. Then switch them out halfway through the day for fresh ones. Not sure if the chickens have realized what they are for.

Oprah is broody again. I locked her out of the chicken house today and she's not too happy about it. She keeps looking up at the house door dreaming of the eggs in there she doesn't have!

Some of my babies are starting to sweeten up to me. I've noticed when they are first hatched, they tend to be antisocial to me unless they are singled out for several days on their own (in own cage). But when they hit about 1.5 months or so, they start to figure out that I'm not such a bad person--I mean, look at all the goodies I bring!

Pork Chop, the blue Partridge colored Bow-tied Showgirl that my husband named (because of the hair on her face) will jump on my lap and sleep. She doesn't mind her body being rubbed either.

My little splash, Bobbi, is starting to figure out the lap thing. And she watches the coop door. She wants to run and eat grass. I'm scared though, after the whole hawk situation. She's bigger then the other baby, but I'm pretty sure that ballsy hawk would try to take off with her!

And today, I sat on the coop floor, which I don't normally do and Pork Chop jumped in my lap and everyone started coming over to see what was going on and what was so cool about my lap. The little buff colored Showgirls are starting not to flinch when I pet them, which is good. And the blue sibling to Bobbi, stopped flinching and just crawled up on my legs and put her head down and made sweet little sounds as I stroked her feathers.

I think I'm going to have to go back out there with strawberries and relax a bit more before we go to the movies.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm feeling quite guilty and sad.

After work I like to go sit by the coop and let the chickens run for a bit. Their pens are filled with sand, so it gives them a chance to run and eat grass and catch bugs. We have a baby coop next to the big coop that we currently keep all the little babies in.

So a couple of days ago I let out EVERYONE all 45 of them. (The 6 Cochins stay out most of the day.) Everything went fine and everyone was happily chirping. Sold two and then was down to 43.

Second time I let them out, Coach our large rooster, killed one of my inlaws mutt chickies. So we now have to lock him up when we let out the little ones. I think he's mad that this is Helmet's flock and not his.

So today we are down to 42, well until about 10 minutes ago. I had everyone out. The teenage Silkies & Showgirls were trying to sit on my lap and watching my every move and I was watching and checking on everyone to make sure all were healthy and happy. (Even had a fan going to try and cool them off!) Then I hear Helmet scream and everyone drop. A small hawk flew out from behind me and picked up a chick and took off. By the looks of it and counting heads, I think it was a little black showgirl. The hawk grabbed it and flew back over the house as I screamed at it.

The teenagers were in shock, hiding under my table and looking at me. The babies, most laying flat against the ground, soon jumped up and ran for their coop. Everyone's freaked out. I'm freaked out. Actually, I'm upset. I feel guilty.

I know I shouldn't. I was trying to let them have some fun as they love running and eating grass and grabbing bugs, but I feel horrible that this happens on my watch. I think we are going to have to start moving them inside the run (taking the house off of it) to the grassy areas. It's not as big, but it's the only thing I can do at the moment. Maybe eventually we'll buy a covered gazebo we'll let them play in in the evenings.

So now I'm down to 41 chickens.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Waiting for the sun to go down

Well Coach (big Cochin roo) has come in to his own and he REALLY wants the ladies and if he catches one, well he won't give her a break.

My FIL, who lives next door is going to take him and all the lil cochins over to his house and let them live there.

I found an egg on the coop floor yesterday. Noone lays eggs on our coop floor unless they are a newbie, so I'm wondering if one of the white ones did it. Of course, Oprah layed her egg outside the box this week, but it was still in the house.

Pulled the new Silkies & Showgirls poofs up into pony tails so they could see better. They acted like their was a whole new world out there. They are def. moving faster now.

I have two Cochin Roo chicks I need to sell, one is about 2-3 months old and the other is about 4 months old. One is black and the other grey.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

To the one who left me a message: Rhonda69/Jack

If you are in the Jacksonville, Fla area you are welcome to come by.

You'd be suprised the number of people nowadays who actually keep chickens in their home. If you had 1-2 Silkie/Showgirls you could probably do it pretty easy. There are people nowadays who sell chicken diapers so that you can keep them inside. If you go on www.backyardchickens.com there are all kinds of amazing people.

One couple said they have a rooster that lives in their house and doesn't crow unless they tell him to. He even crawls in bed with them at night!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tons of new ones

Well the white Silkies & Showgirls are doing good they are getting used to the spoiled life. For the most part they can't even see what's right in front of them. One of the Showgirls is a little more boisterous than the others. If my hand comes in the cage she's a running to see what I have.

I gave them a bowl of yogurt the other day and the white ones have gotten so used to the treats they didn't even hesitate they just dipped their heads-fro and all-right into the bowl to grab some. Oh they loved it.

Monday night I heard some chirping and some flop, flop, flop in the incubator. A little Showgirl hatched, like 3 days early! I have it's sibling egg still in there waiting to hatch.

I have about 15 chicks in the brooder in the frontroom. ($10-$15 for a Showgirl chick if you want one!)

And in other news our big Cochin is a rooster. He has started crowing and is quite upset that he is not the dominant roo. So much so that he doesn't want us to hold him anymore. He needs a new home!

Monday, May 25, 2009

New chickies!

So I have been gone quite a bit lately, hubby has been freaking out as it seems we've had babies hatching out nearly every week.

My inlaws Muscovy hatched out 15 ducklings, have about 5 left, if anyone wants them, $5 each.
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Was in Oklahoma last week. Brought 5 little Showgirls with me. Sold them to a lady in Texas. Also picked up 5 Showgirls and 1 Silkie.

The Silkie:
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The two white Showgirls after playing in the water.
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Also got 2 buff Showgirl babies as well as one Splash baby.

Have a couple of black Showgirls that hatched out last weekend, $15 each if anyone wants them. Have some more that are supposed to be hatching today or tommorow. Also have some mutt chicks (game cock & RIR) for $3 that are hatching now.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby chicks go to the studio!

Took SOME of the chickies to the studio last Friday for a little impromptu photo session.

This is the Silver laced Polish. Still not sure if I'm going to keep him or not.
Close up of her.

We have 5 Giant Cochin chicks. Three of them look like little penguins. I love how this one is laying.

This is one of the silver Cochins, calling for the others!
And one of the Partridge Showgirls--really close up! My husband has named this one "Pork Chop" because of the feathering around the face. The smaller Partridge chick has the same thing and hubby calls him "PorkY Chop.)


Monday, April 27, 2009

The mutt neighbor rooster & Helmet with his women

I got a new camera in this last week and the lighting was so beautiful last night that I pulled it out with my 70-200 lense and tried to photograph the chickens.

This is our irresponsible neighbor's rooster. From what people at BYC say it is apparantally just a gorgeous mutt. A mutt who is now a daddy roo to a couple of our chicks. Spent this weekend helping our inlaws next door build their own coop so that they can house this guy, Rotisserie (mutt chick that we hatched) and her chicks plus one Giant Cochin chick she adopted.

This is our giant Cochin, she is as big as Silky right now and isn't quite 3 months old. She should get to be about 9 lbs at full grown. She runs after me, quite cute.
Helmet and his girls.
Helmet and his girls and the Cochin.

Us in the news

Want to know more about us:
Florida Times Union story from Saturday

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NEW HATCHINGS!

Yesterday we had 2 Giant Cochins pip. One pipped at the wrong end and died a couple of hours later. Not quite sure why. I had laid both on a moist rag in the incubator, don't think that had anything to do with it, but you never know. The other one is now out dried off and in with the 2 week olds. He is almost as large as they are. When I opened the bator this morning he flung himself from one end to the other (where I was) and chirped non stop at me.

We have 5 more that are supposed to hatch. Will probably sell them for $10 each. These are supposed to be the Giant Cochins, had to have them specialty shipped in as not many people around here have them. In fact, at the Clay County Fair I only saw one giant Cochin. They are pretty docile like the Silkies though. We'll probably keep 1-2 of these chicks and sell the rest.

Two of Nuggets eggs are hatching this morning as well as 3 of the Cochin eggs.

I need to take the big chickens in for pictures with their ribbons, but I accidentally dropped my main lense at the fair last week and screwed it royaly. So I have a new lense coming in and then they'll go to the studio.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New eggs

Ordered 2 dozen eggs (splashes & blues I believe) from one of the most well known Silkie breeders in the country. They came in today, 3 cracked. Were supposed to be delivered Friday but they were temporarily lost--so I was basically hunting for the eggs over Easter weekend. Kind of ironic!

Brought them home and put them in the incubator. Readjusted all the eggs, numbered the new ones, etc. and one of my eggs in the bator started chirping at me. Can't figure out who, but I am expecting a batch of babies to hatch in the next two days. Probably one of the giant Cochin eggs.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

FAIR winnings & sold chickens update

So we brought our 3 Showgirl roos and 2 Silkie Hens to the fair. We were the ONLY ones with Silkies & Showgirls. And let's just say the Showgirls were especially showstoppers. People would walk by looking and you could just see it in there head: "chicken, nother chicken, chicken, what in the heck is that?!" They def. stopped traffic and we got tons of questions and tons of calls.

Apparantally, everyone loved Star, our blue Showgirl roo as we have had several calls on him. I haven't seen many non white Showgirls, so I don't blame them for looking. I wouldn't have minded keeping him, but hubby says no.

So far, everything listed in the last post has been spoken for. All should be gone tonight.

After the judging last week we had 4 Bs and 1 R written on our birds' tags, so I asked to clarify what each meant. The guy said that B stands for blue ribbon which is the best, R stands for red ribbon which is like second place and W is white which are all they birds they were eating after 1:30. He was joking of course about the last part, lol. And luckily we didn't get any white ones!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My current litter


I know technically it's "brood" but I liked the sound of "litter" better. I took these last week. I actually have more chicks then this now. But the ones I have for sale are in the above photo scattered. Above I have (from left to right) Partridge Showgirl, Blue Showgirl, one white and one splash Silkie, One Cochin, one mutt chicky (my inlaws grand chick), Splash Silkie, Polish, Blue Showgirl.
For sale: 2 Splash Silkies $10 each), 2 blue Showgirls ($15 each)
I also have 2 two month old white Silkies that I want $20 each for or $35 for the pair. I'm debating about keeping one of them though. They come from show winning stock.
I'm also selling two of my roosters, Star (blue splash, which is basically greys and blacks) and Lola (white). Both are bow tied and I want $25 each for them. They are show winning roosters. I would actually keep Star, but hubby says no. I'm thinking (although I'm not certain on the genetics thing) that if he bred with another Silkie or Showgirl with the blue gene, you should get some splash chicks.
NOTE: Star and the two splash chicks have been spoken for, but not paid for. If you are interested, let me know and I'll put you on the list to call if they aren't bought on Sat. night.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sucky week to be raining

I went camping this weekend. The plan was to come home and start washing the Silkies & Showgirls and then take them up to the Clay County Fair. It has been raining cats and dogs.

I managed to wash 3 of them the first night I got home. My aunt thought I wanted them to be let out of the house yesterday morning and opened the coop door. Luckily they didn't roll in the mud, only got a little damp. So brought everyone in, blow dried everyone dry, washed some feet, etc. Took them to the fair yesterday. We had all ours tested for disease a couple of months ago (forgot to post pics of that!) and so we didn't have to wait in line, which was nice.

Found all of our cages and loaded everyone up. The poor girls have been so over sexed their top knots and even their rear plummage isn't looking to great because the boys have been pulling them out. We got 4 cages, so we put the boys each in their own cage and the girls together. I gave everyone strawberries and grapes in an effort to calm them down.

Of course, the girls, the piglets they are immediately started scarfing down the food bowl. I raised the water bowl a bit, hopefully Oprah won't stick her fro in there and look like a crazy woman as she likes to do. Of course, just saying that makes me paranoid that it might be too high.

Walked over to Helmet, poor boy was so freaked out he jumped in the cage like he was trying to fly out. I had to open it and lure him to calm down with a grape. It took him a second and then he scarfed it down. I showed him the food bowl and he seemed a little better.

Star was originally placed next to a cage with a big ole rooster and they were trying to attack each other through the wire. Silly boys. Moved Star so that wouldn't be as much of a problem.

I felt like a parent leaving their kids at summer camp or something--they all have anxieties and are scared and I'm worried something's going to happen to them. Doesn't help that someone on Backyard Chickens said they had their show winning Silkie stolen from a show. This will be our first show. Clay County is really small, figured it was perfect timing and it would give us a little practice before any bigger shows.

The one thing that was slightly off putting was the director asked us what a Showgirl was and where we got that name (meaning Showgirl). I told him that was a pretty standard name and that's what everyone on Backyard Chickens refers to them as. He said he had never been on the Backyard Chickens website. He said he hopes that they won't be considered mutts, and they might just consider them Silkies, but he's not sure.

Wanna hear something sad? I made sure all mine were blow dried and babied, etc. We walked around and one chicken was soaked to the bone, a couple had some really screwed up tail feathers, like they had been in a small cage.

I'm going to go up there tonight and check on everyone, little worried! Judging is Sat. wish us well!

ON TO FURTHER NEWS:
I wrote down the hatch date wrong in my calendar. Tuesday I went to roll all the eggs for the last day before the 3 days they aren't rolled and then hatch, well the Polish egg had pipped! I asked Andy if he had dropped an egg, he said no, and then I realized my mistake!

This morning I have: one Cochin, one White Silkie (JUST hatched), one splash Silkie (who was a talking all night in the incubator next to my bed), one mutt chicken (from Rotisserree), and the first hatching a black and white Polish.

Pics I found on the web, this one's of a Cochin:
And of a Polish:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Been bad

I've been soooo bad about updating.

Soooo, Rotisserie has started laying, she laid her 4th or 5th egg today. She is laying one every other day. She is smaller than the Silkies but her eggs are larger than theirs. As she started laying she immediately went broody which is totally odd. So she was sitting on 6 eggs, but I candled them yesterday and one had the blood ring of death, so she has 5 of them.

Helmet and the boys are crowing like crazy and each trying to assert his own dominance. Poor girls are being plucked bald. Each boy should have his own set of 3-5 girls. I have 3 roos and only 2 girls not being broody---poor girls!

Star has had some issues and is having difficulty mounting right. Which results in him grabbing (usually Nugget's hair) and pulling it while he's facing her and trying to jump on her. Nugget starts pulling his hair back and chasing him if she can get ahold of him.

The little cochin chick has become quite the sweety. She (HOPEFULLY!) follows us around and LOVES to roost on our arm. The white silkie chicks are doing ok, not quite as friendly. They are following the Cochin everywhere.

We have A batch of eggs due to hatch late next week, with one crested Pekin duck egg to hatch the next week! I also added 14 Cochin eggs (they were mailed to me) and about 6 of my chicken eggs to the bator yesterday. Ohhh boy are we going to have a bunch of babies!

The Button Quail hatched about 2-3 weeks ago--friggin tiny. They remind me of baby hamsters when they are first born, fuzzy and squirmy. They are starting to feather out, I need to get rid of them, not to interested in keeping jumpy birds that I have to ground up their food for. My mom says she wants them.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Need to update

Ugh, I have pics and I need to load some up here, but I just don't have time.

First off--ALL of our showgirls are roosters. Kind of dissapointed about that. The only good news is Star is a rooster, which would mean we'll have one white and one blue/splash roo so we'll have some variety. I'm thinking after the Clay County Fair we'll probably sell Lola the Showboy, as we really don't need 3 roos.

Star started acting funny today, sounds a little off. Had to lock him in our shower (he jumped out of the bathtub). Will have to go by Tractor Supply tommorow and get him some meds.

Currently we have 2 white showgirls that are 1 month old. I'm debating on selling them or keeping one of them. If anyone is interested, let me know.

We also still have the Cochin baby that is a month old. The last couple of days she has started getting in her wattles and comb, HOPING she's not a boy. If it's a boy, he'll have to go to a new home. If it's a girl we'll keep her around and she'll be our egg (for food) layer and broody momma (hopefully) for any eggs we have in the future.

OOOoh, we have quail eggs set to hatch tommorow. We originally got about 14 eggs in a trade of sorts and when I candled them all but 7 had cracks in them. So the bad ones were thrown out and the remaining 7 appear to be forming just fine. They are set to hatch tommorow from the incubator.

They are Button Quail and I had no clue that they apparantally jump about 3 feet when scared. Mind you, these things are the size of a quarter when first born! Not used to the jumping.

Supposed to be building a second coop this week for sick and injured birds as well as broody mamma hens. I'm going to make sure at least part of it has porch screening on it so the buttons can go in there. They apparantally get to breeding age in about 6 weeks, unlike the chickens that take about 5 months. So that should be interesting.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Helmet's sexual advances...

I just went out to bring the chickadees some fruits and veggies. I then went around back and opened up the chicken house door to turn off the heat lamps. My little rooster Helmet came running up into the chicken house, like he always does.

I typically give Helmet extra love and treats when he runs up in there. Since he has vision issues he has grown up knowing that if he sits on my lap or watches for me I'll help him by giving him a big bowl of food just for him. (I think he aims funny so if it's just one piece of food he goes down to bite and his beak goes to low. But in a big bowl he is sure to grab something.)

Yesterday when I went to open the chicken house door to turn on the heat lamps he grabbed a hold of my hand and really bit into it. My chickens are not violent in any way and typically don't bite. I held it there to see what he'd do and he just bit me, nothing more. He has also started lifting one of his legs funny, like he's starting to do the rooster dance at us. My husband Andy, swears that Helmet bit into him a couple of nights ago and started humping the air.

This morning Helmet ran into the chicken house and immediately started doing a mini rooster dance around me, claiming me as one of his hens. Didn't bite me this morning though and no air humping.

I THINK he may have tried to breed with Nugget the other day. I had them free ranging and I heard a commotion. I looked over and saw what looked to be Helmet biting Nugget in the neck area, almost as if he were trying to dominate over her and Nugget throwing a fit. Typically, all the Showgirls leave Nugget alone as she is older and has established herself as higher in the pecking order. However, Nugget just keeps to herself and doesn't really harass anyone. So I'm thinking Nugget was experimenting with his new found libido on Nugget and didn't quite know what he's doing. Looks to me like he's still trying to master the biting then jumping on the back maneuver.

About a week ago he started crowing as well. Which is quite cute. But if you've ever heard a Silkie/Showgirl crow, it's not near as loud as a regular rooster's and is almost pathetic, lol.

Now Rotisserie, aka Crazy, is also having some sexual feelings of her own. They say a rooster knows when a hen is ready and when we let her out to free range a bit the neighbor rooster tries to claim her but not Star, who is the same age. Rotisserie immediately runs away--I mean come on, we raised her better then that to just give it up to any old rooster!

However, she will give it up for Andy!

Rotisserie has started running from me in the last month or so (unless I have food) but if she's in the chicken house with Andy, she drops to the ground and gets all flat for him as if to say, "take me big boy." Andy finds this quite amusing and will pet her and "rub her wattles." (For non chicken people, that's the red things that hang under her beak.) And she just seems to love it. She even jumped on his back the other day and when he put his hand back there she nestled close and did the same thing.

Good lord, we currently have a rooster that only wants to do people and a hen that thinks my husband is her rooster.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Teeny Weenie

I'm exhausted. Been a long day. I hosted a chicken swap meet today with a bunch of people from BackYardChickens.com I'll make a post about that later, until then, here's pics of our new babies.

Out of our 3 hatches, only one survived. One of the Cochin babies was smaller than the rest and cried alot and died at a couple of days old. The one white Silkie chick was dead one morning, so we have one full size Cochin with momma Oprah.

Occasionally, I'll walk into my bathroom and find this:
She seems to like to ride on Oprah's back, lol. Silly chicken.

Today we got two little white Silkie chicks. Hubby, of course heard me carrying the babies and assumed the position to love on them. (We sold Red and the Sizzle Sisters after much debate. Well at least me debating it in my head!)
On a slightly crazy note, we got Button Quail eggs today at the swap. Never had them before. Takes 16 days to hatch. Look how TINY!
Did I say tiny, I meant tiny!

Soooo, if anyone wants Button Quail, I MIGHT have some in about 2 weeks, lol. Not going to count my chickens before they hatch. Learned my lesson the hard way.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Updates, Full Moon & New Peeps

Let's do this in chronological order instead of the most exciting news.

Went to lock up the chickens last night and found a gorgeous full moon. This shot is from the chicken coop (see roof of coop on left).
The Sizzle Sisters, looking very, well, sizzly. Still debating on whether I'm going to keep them or sell them. One has a poofier butt, the other a poofier head, lol. Very sweet though. They were following me around tonight because they were scared of the dark.
And Helmet, looking at the camera and saying: "Momma, I know you got some food in there."


The coop. We put a load of dirt in it last night, to help cover up the mesh bottom more. I made the greenish door cover for the chicken house door. It was just one long vertical opening and rain easily got in and with how cold it's been, I was trying to keep the warmth in. It's a vinyl covering that is tacked on with flat tacks, so I can remove it in the summer when I need some air flowing in there.
And the newest addition, isn't she gorgeous! Our first little Cochin. Another Cochin egg is pipping and I see a beak sticking out, just waiting for more eggs to hatch.
She's not too interested in the food. I put my hand in and she ran for that. She just wants to be held and kept warm. She's in my jacket sleeping right now.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lesson of the day

Don't walk to the chicken coop with a sandwhich and expect to be able to eat it peacefully--you will get robbed by some feathered bandits.

Oprah is getting a little too attached to her golfballs

Ok, so it looks like we will have baby chicks today or tomorrow. I don't see any of them pipping the shell, but I heard a faint cry from one of them, which is always a good sign.

We want Oprah to raise at least some of the babies, so Andy mentioned that this might be a good time to move some of the eggs to her. So I made Oprah get off her golf balls, like I do every morning and brought her her own special food bowl and made her eat (otherwise she might not, and she's gotten deathly thin lately waiting for those golfballs to hatch!). She loves some strawberry yogurt. She went out into the coop and got some water and terrorized the other chickens (as if to say, "I'm about to be a momma, the rest of you need to back up!") while I went inside to grab her 3 eggs.

I put them in my bra (to regulate their temperature until Oprah came back, can't let them get too cold) and went to the coop and waited for her to go back into the chicken house. When I saw her heading in, I moved the golf balls into the other nest box and put the 3 little eggs in her favorite little box. She looked at the eggs like "those aren't my kids" and walked over to the big box (which she hates) and was about to get in there. I had to pull all the golf balls out in a hurry and put one with the real eggs. She got upset I pulled the golfballs and then saw one in HER nest and went for it, like "Oh there's my children."

LOL. Funny chickens. As soon as we get babies, I'll post pics, of course!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's freezing!

To say it's freezing outside is an understatement.

I've got 2 heat lamps going in the chicken house. The front of the house has a big opening of about 4 feet tall by 18" that get's closed up at night, but during the day is open. I made a vinyl cover for that with a hole just big enough for the chickens to come through. Figured that will keep some heat in and wind out.

I've been bringing hot water out in the mornings to dump in their coop water bowl as it freezes over night. (The water in the chicken house stays defrosted because of the heat lamps.)

Brought them out some hot oatmeal this morning with baby food mixed in. Figured that would help warm them up and the baby food would give them some extra nutrients.

Oprah is still broody.

Candled the eggs today and I MIGHT have one duck egg that will hatch. Debating on selling it though, if it hatches, as I kind of wouldn't mind a pair of ducks and I don't want to raise them at seperate times.

I don't think any of the Splash Silkie eggs I bought are going to hatch. The one that was forming looks like it has stopped. On the white eggs I bought, looks like about 10 of them are developing just fine. I think I'm going to keep at least one or two for awhile and sell the rest. Hopefully they won't both be roosters like both my white Showgirls ended up being.

I said something to Andy the other day about I think we might need to sell one of the little roosters and he immediately claimed Nugget as his own, which means Nugget is off limits to sell. Nugget's head poof is stereotypical of Showgirls head's kind of thin and meager. However, he is the baby and he is the one most inclined to come to me and jump on my lap. Not to mention he is a FULL naked neck. Lola (boy named Lola, he was a showgirl) has an awesome head poof, but is bowtied on the neck and is not as incline to be held or touched.

The Sizzle sisters are slowly getting integrated with the group. They spent most of yesterday in the big coop, being chased a couple of times. I kept trying to put them in the chicken house so they'll know where it's warm at. I found Helmet in there with them and he didn't seem to be biting them.

I'll post pics soon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Updates

A quick and dirty run down for all those interested...

Oprah is till trying to hatch golfballs. I'm putting food in her nest box as she has lost some weight. She only seems to really eat when I put yogurt in it.

Nugget--She's still doing her typical routine, scared of the ramp into the chicken house and wants to sleep on her stick in the chicken run.

Lola--is def. a boy but we can't bring ourselves to rename him, so he is a boy named Lola!

Helmet--Def a boy. He jumped in my lap today to eat some bread. He has vision issues and bad aim, but knows if he jumps in my lap he can grab at all the food instead of little morsels on the ground. Hope his aim doesn't extend to the ladies!

Andy heard one of the chicks making hen sounds last night in the chicken house. They shouldn't start laying for AT LEAST 4 more weeks, so this is odd. We have a large chicken nest box out in the coop for Nugget and whomever if they don't feel like going in the chicken house and yesterday I found that someone had kicked all the bedding out of it. I put the bedding back in there and today I found little spots where someone had been making a nest in there. And I saw Star picking around in there, very odd.

Star--She is coming in the poofiest out of all the Showgirls. Very pretty. I rarely see anyone with non white Showgirls and I'm hoping she'll show really well. I'm kind of hopeful she's about to start laying, since all the signs are there.

Red--the Rhode Island Red that was abandoned and we've taken in. Still antsy around us but will eat out of my hand. She lays EVERY day, guaranteed.

Barbara--Thusly named because we thought she was a Barred Rock. Well BR's typically have a more even patterning to them. We thought she might be a Maran, but they are very rare and expensive so doubt that. After looking through A Pocket Full of Poultry (awesome book filled with pics and info on ducks, chickens and geese) we think she might be a Dominique. Ah well, Barbara suits her fine. She is more inclined to come up to me then Red.

A rooster has showed up in the yard. Our "neighbor" buys them and then takes off for weeks on end so chickens show up at our house. There are two roosters next door and one of them found the chicken coop with the ladies a couple of days ago and he is VERY happy to have found them. I've been letting Barbara and Red free range during the day with him and they come running back to the coop if they need to lay an egg or it's bedtime.

Eggs--I can't see anything in the Pekin eggs, I'm thinking they got scrambled in the mail. I was really looking forward to some poofy headed ducklings! Looks like 2-3 of my Cochin eggs are starting to develop. And a bunch of the Silkie eggs are starting to move around.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Golf ball momma!

Soooo, Oprah is going to be a happy little golf ball momma. She's been broody on some golf balls for nearly 2 weeks now. I purchased eggs and have them in the bator, I'll probably give her the chicks when they hatch. This is the second time she's gone broody (wanting to hatch out babies) in about 3 months.

In about a month, I'm going to have to start selling some babies, cause I can't keep all of them. I'll have: white Silkies (from show stock, hubby doesn't want any more white ones), standard Cochins (feather footed like Silkies, but these are HUGE, I fell in love with them at the poultry show, very sweet and docile birds), and some Pekin ducks (hopefully crested, I only plan to keep 1-2 of them). Price will vary depending on quality when they are born.

Hubby found out yesterday about all the eggs. He was a bit shocked. He also admitted the reasons he doesn't like when we get more: 1-He gets attached to them 2-He hates when chickies get sick or if they die 3-Our pen is made to hold over 30 birds and he fears it's too tight with 10!

He really loathes the buying and selling part and feels it's cruel. I can understand that. But I tried to explain to him it's not likely they are going to slaughter (who wants to eat black meat anyways!) and they are bringing enjoyment to someone else.

In other news the Sizzle Sisters are quite sweet. They come running up to my hand and if they see me feeding the other chickens in the coop get very upset if I'm not feeding them too. They are currently penned off inside the coop (in the bathtub at night) as the others are dreadfully mean to them. Even the teenage showgirls who chase down the Sizzle Sisters and pull out their feathers. Poor girls, they think Nugget is their momma and run to her and she pecks them too!

Everyone is loving free ranging in the evening though. So much so that whenever I try to go in with treats they try to run out the door. Apparantally, the grass really is greener on the other side! (Chickens eat and tear up grass so they have NONE in their coop.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Sizzle Sisters

Whenever I tell someone I'm going to a chicken swap meet they usually get a smirk on their face. It's weird and I probably would do the same if I didn't own chickens! Heck, even other people I know who own chickens think chicken swap meets are funny and odd. But that's where I went today after doing some volunteer work.

Picked up some Sizzle chicks. If you aren't familiar with them they are Silkies but they have been bred with another chicken to get a curly feather. To me chickens who have this sizzled/frizzled gene look like pine cones. It's kind of the hip thing to do right now with chickens.

Here are the Sizzle sisters. Not sure yet if I'm going to keep them or sell them. They don't look like show quality, but I wouldn't mind having them breed with my roos (when they get old enough) to maybe get some sizzle babies. (I don't know how genetics works for these guys, may not work. We'll see.)

Living in the bathtub for right now:

And here's a pic I found on the web to show you what a good Sizzle will likely look like. It came from Knightschicks.com
I also bought some more eggs. Have over 20 in the bator now. The big dirty ones are duck eggs (not supposed to wash fertile eggs if you want to hatch them)The little cream ones are Silkies and the darker ones on the right are standard Cochins.
Cochins are feather footed like Silkies, but the standards are huge! I fell in love with them at the poultry show last weekend. Probably will only be able to keep one or two though and have to sell the rest, if anyone is interested.





Monday, January 12, 2009

Nugget's First Egg

Nugget laid her first egg on Wed or Thursday of last week.

She laid it UNDER the chicken house. She also won't go into the house on her own. I think she doesn't like the ramp. With her big ole poofy head she can't see that great and I think the ramp freaks her out. I don't want to crawl under the chicken house to collect her eggs though. I'm trying to teach her to go up the ramp. Down doesn't seem to be a problem.

This morning she was under the house making herself a little nest to lay her 3rd egg. I crawled under got her and helped her up the ramp. She seemed happy being in the chicken house but couldn't find herself a great place to lay. She wants the small nest, but Oprah is in there trying to hatch nothing. And Nugget doesn't want to be in the box with Oprah. The big chickens don't mind though.

I was a little weirded out about eating her first egg, so we boiled it and gave it back to the chickens as a treat. They friggin love boiled eggs. Scrambled eggs, not so much!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Getting ducks!

After seeing this pic on Backyardchickens.com awhile back I have been wanting some crested ducks. I mean, how friggin adorable, the duck is wearing a barrette!

As adults they look like the following pic. I ordered some eggs from the lady who has the ones below. Oprah, my silkie hen, has gone broody and I told Andy that she could hatch out the eggs. I think Andy thought I was joking. Oh no, it is a done deal, sign, sealed and paid for with Paypal. Woohhaaahaha.

LOL.
So, we went to the Lake City Poultry Show this weekend. Not too many silkies and showgirls for sale that looked that great. Saw all kinds of awesome looking birds. I love the huge Cochins. Andy fell in love with the Lemon Blue Modern Game Birds. I think I might order some eggs and hatch them for him as a suprise. Not like he checks the incubator anyways!
They had some nice birds on display though. I think our Showgirls will def. show well against those next year. Nugget might have a good chance from our Silkies.
Speaking of, Nugget laid her first egg last week. I have a pic, will post it later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time to get dirty!

Probably thought this was a bad post didn't ya?! Dirty mind! Barbara and Red were taking dust baths this weekend. (Oprah, my black Silkie in the background.)

I don't ever see my Silkies and Showgirl's dust bathing, maybe cause they realize that they are little show babies and need baths in the sink!


I couldn't get too close to Barbara and Red (was using zoom lense) when I tried to get close with the camera and the wide angle lense, they jumped up and ran. The babies didn't like the camera either! But, not Oprah, she doesn't mind the camera at all. Isn't that appropriate!
(Excuse her crazy fro, she has bad eye sight and she gets her fro into yogurt and everything else, she always looks like a crazy woman!)

To get more chickens, or not?

We are going to Lake City this weekend for a huge chicken show. May go to a chicken swap meet the weekend after that. Last time we went to the swap meet the only gorgeous silkies I saw were roosters, and well, there's only so many of those you need!

I've had several people ask me if I had any more silkies or showgirls for sale. I've been debating about getting some more eggs and hatching them out. I've been trying to wait until the cold weather is gone for sure though, as that means they can go outside in the coop sooner instead of living in my bathroom when they are more than a month old!

HOPEFULLY, in the next month I'll have another batch of eggs in the incubator. Hopefully, my husband won't read this, he loves the babies, but they scare him since they are so suceptible to illnesses, etc. Plus he doesn't like them living in the bathroom either.

But on to what I was wanting to post about...

If you would like a Showgirl or Silkie, please message me. Let me know which you would prefer and if you have color preferences.

Just in case you aren't sure, here are the colors, I'd likely be getting: black, blue (grey), white, splash (white with black/grey colorings. Those are the colors we are focusing on. We occasionally get a partridge as well which usually ends up being brown, redo, orangeish or black combination. Can't guarantee boys or girls obviously, too hard to sex them.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hen or rooster?

Since we've started selling chickens we always get asked if the babies are girls or boys. The thing with Silkies is you can't really tell until they are about 5 months old and they either crow or lay an egg.

Some however have some obvious traits and adult roosters typically have a couple of different traits then Silky hens.

We currently don't have an adult rooster, our last one was a show winning rooster and we didn't even have him a week when a oposum broke into the coop and killed the poor guy. (Hubby came home from work and IMMEDIATELY started working on the NEW coop which would be a miracle if any animal around here broke into!)

On the left is Oprah, right Bwock.
It's a little hard to tell with these pics being so small, but roosters typically have streamers coming from their top know (fro). It's like they have a poof and then these crazy little pieces that come out much longer.

They also have pointy neck feathers, almost like strands of hair.

You can see the streamers in Bwock's fro on this one.
It was a windy day when I shot these, but you can still see them a bit here. You can also see the neck feathers are very pointy. It's easier to see when you hold a male next to a female and learn the difference. At least it was for me.
The red thing on top of his beak is his "comb." For Silkies, they should, preferable be purplish. And they are kind of flat like, not pointy like other breeds. Bwock's was a little red, but he made up for it. He was a gorgeous splash color (means the black & white or like him black, grey and white, almost like a dalmation with spots).
Decent streamer shot.