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.