Thursday, December 6, 2012


Rex who was one of Blue Eyes's sons passed away today. I buried him next to his mom.
Rex is the one to the left, Carmel is the one on the right

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Well I had a suspicion very early on that one of the eggs wasn't developing and sense there had been no sign of progress from the last remaining egg I cracked the end open to see if there was an internal pip (into the air cell, which is how they get their first breath) , instead I found an egg that might have developed a few days but had then stopped. So I buried it next to the chick that died and removed the nest box from the cage.

With the removal of the nestingbox from the cage mom and her one chick are getting use to a little more space so baby can learn how to stick around mom for warmth and to learn how to follow her. They have a chick waterer to drink from and chick food will be here this afternoon. But the lack of food really isn't a problem for new chicks, they absorb the yoke which can feed them for 2 or 3 days until all the eggs are hatched and mom is ready to lead them to food. So far they are doing well and in a few days I'll let them out of the cage, but leave them shut in the coop with the other two cochin hens so that they can get use to the other birds and even more space. Then after that when the chick is a little sturdier and they have gotten the sticking together down I'll open the door to the run and let them be. I've added some smaller size wire to part of the fence that has bigger holes so that the chick can't get out into the yard where mom can't reach it. So hopefully this little one is a pullet (female) or I'm going to be heart broken in a few weeks.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Baby and sad news

First off a happy healthy (hopefully female) baby, who is showing her 3/4 EE and so far none of her BA. Now the bad news, when I went out to check for babies I found two egg shells, one egg (still not pipped), and one chick. Now to those of you how did the math you realize the problem 2 egg shells doesn't equal  only one chick, so I freak out and start looking around and found behind the garbage can where I store feed another little chipmunk chick dead. I think it fell out of the nest and then was scared by the other two cochin hens or it just felt more secure back there and then got too cold and died. It's body showed no signs of injury and from what I could tell it's neck wasn't broken in the fall. So now he or she is buried behind Blue Eyes's grave.

But the other chick is healthy and happy and hopefully the other egg will hatch so it has company. But to prevent this from happening again they have been transferred to a nest, in a cage, on the floor.

Friday, September 28, 2012

2 Pips!

Here is a very bad picture taken less then an hour ago, as you can see the first pip has made progress and you can't see very well in this picture but the other egg I'm holding has pipped but so far no progress on the 3rd egg.

A Pip!

Just checked on the eggs and one is pipped (broken through the shell) and chirping! Mom isn't happy about me checking on them so I'll give her a few hours before I check again and maybe take some pictures.

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Babies

 This should have posted on Sunday and I thought it had until I checked today. So I've added an update at the bottom.

This starts with my suspicions the last couple days that my BA/EE hen had started hiding eggs from me and I had been debating looking them up for a few days to get her laying in the coop again. But yesterday I went to lock up and she wasn't in the coop, so I went looking around for her thinking she had gone broody some where and could not find her. In the middle of the night I had a thought of a place I hadn't checked and I knew they had dug some dust bathing holes and some times hung around.

So I go and check this morning a sure enough there she was with a nice nest where blended into the surrounding dirt pretty well (she is a black hen). I reach under her and she freaks and runs off to the coop screaming her head off, so I begin collecting eggs in my shirt and counting them. She had 15 eggs, all hers because she is my only green layer. So I go inside with the news of her eggs and after spending all summer asking to be aloud to let one of the hens hatch eggs (over the course of the summer all 5 hens have been broody at least once, two of them twice) and after seeing the dedication it was decided that I would be aloud to give 3 eggs to her and 3 eggs to my 2nd time this summer broody buff bantam cochin.

So I candle the eggs and no one is showing signs of growth yet (if any had they would have been set before the others). Go out to the coop and catch and then recatch the BA/EE and put her in the cochin's side of the coop where she gets into a fight with the white cochin. So I close the pop door leaving the black mottled and white cochin outside so she can have a chance to calm down and settle on to a nest.

But she hasn't calmed down yet so all six eggs are under the buff cochin (which is a tight squeeze) and if the BA/EE does calm down today/tonight I'll give her three of the eggs and in about 20-21 days we should have babies!

The bantam buff cochin:

The BA/EE hen, who is mom to all the eggs:
 and Dad to all the eggs, my EE rooster Red:

Now an update from today, the BA/EE hen never settled down and the buff cochin couldn't cover 6 eggs so 3 of the eggs where removed. Yesterday I candled and two appear to be developing but the other one one has me worried.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I Don't know of any other way to say it...

Since Tuesday night I've been trying to figure out a good way of saying this but there isn't one, so here it goes: Kernel my blind rooster was killed by a raccoon Tuesday night and Monday night the clean faced White leghorn/easter egger cross was killed. I'm trying to repair my havaheart trap (which some of you may remember was damaged the last time I used it by a raccoon who escaped) so I can take out the culprit.
The WL/EE hen that was killed
Kernel had made it about a year since the raccoon attack that took his vision and had resonantly had a major improvement in  his vision and was having a lot of fun going in and out of the coop and eating grass. He was a sweetheart who new if I started calling that there was treats that he should call to the cochin hens to come get, even if he couldn't find it him self.

Kernel with the cochins
 Here is a video I took of him earlier this month, enjoying the great outdoors:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring News

I'm afraid life as gotten ahead of me, and I've had no chance to post. I probably will have a little bit more time after next week. But here is an update on what is going on around here.  First off the two young bantam cochins (the Mottled and the white) started laying. Right after they started laying the buff cochin went broody and then the little white one started a week or so after her. Unfortunately I can't allow them to hatch anything because my mom doesn't want me adding to the flock.

The big flock is doing well and seems to like having only one rooster since the BR/EE roosters went to a new home.

As for the garden I got new fencing up around it (I had stolen some for the cochin's run) and my peas are planted and coming up. Haven't gotten it dug up yet for this year and I've done some moving around so the compost  bins (old sand box and one I'm trying to build) and the tires I've grown potatoes in in the past are inside the fence. This year I plan to try growing carrots in the tires due to our soil being so rocky and filled with clay and because I haven't had huge luck growing potatoes in them.
Also the apple trees which are all over the place are blooming (out of the ones I can see from the yard only one isn't and it's old and barely produces). Unfortunately we are to get snow some time this weekend which will kill them and leave them with little to no fruit this year.

And then we have this tree, I have no idea what it is and it has never had fruit but it is also blooming.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Girl

The last of my orginal order, a Cuckoo Maran hen, turns 4 years old today and in two days I will have had chickens for 4 years.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kind of Sad

This afternoon the two Easter Egger/Barred Rock roosters went to a new home, where they will be have 20 hens, 1 rooster, and some other birds for company. I'm happy to have the flock down to a good number of roosters (only Red and Kernel) but I kind of wanted to cry as we drove away. Those two had been hatched by my broodys and would have been turning 3 years old this summer so even though they had never been named and I tried not to become attached to them, I'm still going to miss them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hidden Nest

Yesterday I headed out to the chicken coop with two gallons of water, some stale bread, and a rotting pumpkin for the compost pile. Dumped the pumpkin and went to the coop and started dumping waters and refilling them, filling feeders, and throwing bread to both flocks, when I noticed that one of my WL/EE hens wasn't with the rest of the flock. So I checked the nesting boxes thinking maybe she was laying, but she wasn't there. And then I had a thought, the big flock had given my mom trouble over the weekend by roosting in the old coop which I had opened up to return Kernel and the cochin's cage to its owner.

So I headed out to the old coop and peeked inside, to find her sitting in the second nesting box from the door. So I went in and picked her up to discover that she was sitting on 4 unfrozen green and and one unfrozen brown. So I kicked her off the nest, gathered the eggs, and attempted to shut the door. The problem with the old coops door even when it was used everyday, is that that it swells and dirt builds up around the bottom so it doesn't want to shut.  So after months of no real use it wanted nothing to do with closing, so it's currently open a couple inches until it's a little bit warmer.

One of the frozen eggs was past the point me even wanting to feed it to the animals the other three I let thaw and feed to the dog and cats. The pretty warm brown one shows that my CM is back in production and there was two green eggs layed in the coop when I kick out the WL/EE who then added her green egg to the mix. Meaning all the hens except for the bantam cochin are laying! The bantam cochin are also currently in lock down because the have figured out how to fly the fence, which hopefully I'll be able to improve shortly. But they (the cochins) probably won't be laying until spring. So happy valentines to me, 8 eggs out of 7 hens!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Tonight as I locked up the chickens I discovered that the smaller of the two EE/BR roosters is missing. He was here this morning, so either he roosted in a tree and I just missed seeing him or something got him. Hopefully he shows up in the morning.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Buff Cochin.... going to give me a heart attack! The other day I went out to feed the flock some over ripe bananas and discovered that the little buff cochin was out running around outside the cochins little fenced area. Luckily I only had to left the fence up and she ran back in with a little bit of herding. So I fixed the fence, which was a little too far off the ground. Then yesterday I had let all the birds out and started to head back to the house, when I heard a noise behind me. I spun around to see the buff cochin standing next to the pen, which she must have flown out of . I manged to grab her before she could get any where and put her back in.

The reason this worries me so much is A: the cochins aren't the smartest and I wouldn't trust them to run from a predator B: they could be harmed by the big hens who have no problem trying to scare them through the fence and C: the roosters, who could possibly harm them while trying to breed with them. So I'm going to have to work on their fencing, either by raising it (possibly tearing apart the run on the old coop) or put a top on the run or what ever else I can think of. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kernel, you make my life intresting

This morning I went out to the chicken coop with warm water I found that Kernel had slept on the water dish and now his tail was full of ice chunks.
Since he has been sleeping on the water a lot (I'm going to have to work something up to stop this) I decided not just to bring him inside and melt the ice, but to cut of the feathers covered in ice. Hopefully cutting them off will stop him from getting soaked again.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Laying again!

These morning when I hauled water out to the chickens guess what was in the nesting box? An egg! Unfortunately something had chipped the shell exposing the membrane (and no it wasn't caused by freezing), so this afternoon I run out to find my clean faced White Leghorn/Easter Egger cross in the the center nest of the bottom row of nesting boxes.

After a little straining on her part out pops this beauty!
So we are back in business!