Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Baby Girl is Gone


My beautiful CM girl the last of my original flock was killed today. My sister came home to her hit and dead on the road and moved her body so it wouldn't get hit again. So I came home to her cold, bloody body. She is buried next to Blue Eyes. I've cried until I can't cry anymore, most of the deaths in resent years have hurt but where expected. This was so unexpected and she was my baby, I had raised her since she was two days old. With the new coop and no sign of the fox of late I haven't had to face death in the flock besides the few chicks who died at hatch. One of the chicks is her little girl, but it only helps a little. And it hurts because I threw out the last her eggs when I discovered the hidden nest she had started before molting. She would have been 6 years old March 17, 2014.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Growing Babies

The babies turn 11wks old Wednesday/Thursday so I decided to get some new pictures of them.But first Red came to check if I had food and to defend me from the little roosters.
Mom and babies where out foraging on their own.
And these 3 where following in hopes of food, but I'm kind of pissed off at them, the one has taken for going after people and the other two just follow without doing anything. But they have done some growing since I've posted pictures.(if you are interested in any of them let me know, as I said the other two are fine and don't bother people.)
And to the babies!:




 And Butterscotch tried to help me take pictures:
And all the other girls where in the coop, the cross bantam hen and the brown leghorn hen (who has like the boys done a lot of growing) are currently the only ones laying. My oldest girl the Cuckoo Maran was just keeping them company as she is in the middle of molting.
 You can also here that I have a new metal trash can for feed as my other one's lid rusted out.

The little roosters again the one in the middle is the one who is attacking/threatening people
 This is a stray cat that keeps showing up, his friendly and lets us pet him. He is also well fed. The other cats of course don't like him because he's male. I think he probably lives at my neighbors as they have a large number of cats and he probably gets more attention and sometimes food here so he comes to visit.
 And Red making sure I'm absolutely not going to feed him, you can see the toe he broke as a 4wk old and his kind of creepy long spurs.


Friday, September 20, 2013

The flock and Babies

Finally got some new photos of the flock and pictures of the babies. First off mom (BA/Easter Egger) and babies (5 3/4 Easter Eggers/BA and 1 Cuckoo Marans/Easter Egger):



This rest of the flock has started hanging out together with Red only sometimes scaring off the little ones, but when they divide the big bantam hen tends to join with Red and the CM hen instead of the bantams:
 An idea of the size difference between a standard rooster and a bantam hen:

The bantam group when they go off on their own, unlike the standards they aren't friendly and tend to avoid me:
A nice shot of one of the little Roosters:

More of mom and babies:



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Magera

Magera passed away shortly after my last post, him and the chick are buried together just down from his mother.

Death

The chick with the deformed foot died today and Magera, the oldest of our cats, is dieing. He went missing Friday and returned Sunday crying and a bit of a mess, our guess is that he was hit by a car. He has slowly been going down hill and I don't think he will make it through the night. Honestly my life has been going badly and I just want to cry and cry.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chicks

Sorry I haven't updated, in total 9 chicks hatched but two died within a day of hatching. The one had had trouble hatching, it had got shoved out from under mom and had broken all the shell off but was still trapped in the membrane. I helped it out, but it died that night. It was a little black chick, the other chick was a light chipmunk chick who was dead under mom when I found it. As to the rest of the hatch 3 are black (one is the Cuckoo Maran/Easter Egger), 1 pale chipmunk, and 3 regular chipmunk. The one regular chipmunk has a deformed foot, the toes wouldn't uncurl and it was having trouble walking so it now has a boot made out of cardboard and tape to help the toes, hopefully, flatten out. But it is already walking better with the boot. I'll try to get picks over the next couple days.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2 Hatched, 3 Pipped

So far 1 3/4 EE/ 1/4 BA hatched and the CM/EE have hatched. The CM/EE appears to be a girl (her breeding makes her a sex-link)! 3 of the other green eggs have pipped and are doing well so far. I'll try to give an update tomorrow.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 19 or Almost There!

Today is day 19 of the hatch, mom is doing well but I've stopped removing her off the nest every day because of how touchy the last few days of hatching are. But here is what the eggs have been up to:

Days 13-17 (Candle on Day 15)-
                  -Scales, claws, and feathers complete
                  -Small intestines taken into the body
                  -Albumen (white) nearly gone
                  - Turns to blunt end of the egg
 
Days 18-19 (Candle on day 19 or 20)-
                  -Growth is complete and preparing to hatch
                  - Shell is full except air cell
                  - Stop turning the eggs after 18 days (with the broody I don't have to worry about this)

and here is what they will be up to the next 2 days:

Day 20-
               -Embryo breaks into the air cell, takes first breath, and becomes a chick
               -Yolk sac completely drawn into body cavity (aka why you don't mess with a chick well hatching)
         
Day 21-
              -Chick hatches
              -Egg tooth visible after hatch
                    -Look at egg tooth at the tip of the beak now because it will fall off within 2 days of hatch

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Half Way There!

Today is day 11 of the hatch, meaning we are half way there! Mom is doing well, I moved her off the nest today to eat some watermelon and she also ate some of her regular food. But here is what the eggs have been up to:

Days 7-9 (Candle on Day 9) -Abdomen more defined
              - Feathers (down) start to form
              - Mouth appears to open and close
              - Embryo begins to look like a chick

Days 10-12 -Bones and beak begin to harden
              - Skin pores visible
              - Eyelids cover eye
              - Down feathers visible

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 8

The nest had began to smell from the egg that broke so this evening while I had the hen off to eat and drink I changed the bedding. I checked the eggs over as I did so (I've given up on candling, the eggs are too dark and the flashlight too weak) and discovered at some point their had been another green egg that had broken and the remains of the shell had gone over the shell of another egg, which had to be peeled off. The other 17 eggs look okay, but we shall see after having two eggs break on them...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 6

I have a booklet that I got in 6th grade as part of our class hatch. It covers a lot of the chicken reproduction basics and also gives a day by day summery of what the egg is doing during development with drawn pictures of some days. This book and the class hatch where what started me on the road to getting chickens.

As it summarizes (Days 1-6):
Day 1: -Germinal spot grows and cells begin to split into specific types of cells
Day 2: -Blood Vessels show on the yolk
           - Start of yolk sac
Day 3-Candle this day:
         -Question mark-shaped embryo viable (I have a horrible time seeing this)
         -Blood vessels on yolk sac defined
         - Can see heart beating
         - Amnion is complete
         - Brain and head visible

Day 4- Candle this day:
          -Eye(looks like a black spot) becomes visible
          -Organs formed
Day 5:- Reproductive organs form
          - Sex of embryo known
Day 6- Candle this day
         - All parts are present
         - Amnion evident (clear fluid sac for exercise and protection)
         -Chick rocks and rolls for the first time (voluntary movement)

 Today is day 6 for the eggs, but with the eggs the hen is sitting on their color makes them hard to candle. At the moment she is sitting on 16 of her own eggs (green) and 1 of the CM's eggs (brown). It appears that earlier then or on day 4 she broke the other CM egg. She has been off the nest to poop, drink, and eat. But on the night of day 4 when I disturbed her she had a watery poop on the eggs. Which isn't good for them as it can introduce bacteria and kill the embryos. But we will see how the hatch goes and what kind of mother she is, so fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 3

Last Wednesday the BA/EE hen began sitting on her nest of eggs. She has at least 16 of her own eggs and 2 of the cuckoo maran's eggs. I'm really hoping that the CM's eggs hatch and are girls as she is my oldest hen and still laying well.

Today makes today the 3rd of 21 days! the eggs at this point should have veining but not much else viable. At the moment I'm afraid to move the her to candle the eggs or move her to make sure that she poops, drinks, and eats. Last time she set (last year) I reached under her and she abandoned the nest (day one or so) . But she needs to at least poop and drink and there is cases of hens staying on the nest until they die, so I'm going to try getting her off the nest tomorrow. I left water in the area next to her so if she gets up she will have something to drink. But here is to hoping that in 18 days there will be lots of babies!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Just Realized...

..I never posted about Rudolph! Back in June you may remember me posting about a little stray kitten and I started a post about him after that and it never really went anywher. It is a he and his name is Rudolph (don't ask me why it just popped into my head and stuck). I got all the mats off of him and his coat is growing in nicely. He loves Nick and is slowly warming up to the other cats, Butterscotch is getting better with him but still randomly goes after him. But he loves attention now and has gotten use to the strangeness of the house.
You can see on the side where the mats where cut out, his fur is a little bit longer now.

Back from Fairs and Vacation

I've spent the last almost 3 weeks at 2 fairs and then on a family vacation. My sleep schedule is very messed up and I of course couldn't sleep this morning. But I spent the two fairs helping my family do temporary tattoos and face painting, which is interesting but at times you question how the human race has lasted this long. The vacation was fun we did a family trip with my dad's side of the family down by the Chesapeake bay in a rental house. The first day we went to Colonial Williamsburg, then half of us went to Kings Dominion, and on our last day (for us, the rest of the family was staying but we had to leave due to my step-grandmother having eye surgery) we played in the inlet of the bay we where by.

At the first fair(which was close to home) I had friends win me a new goldfish. My mom had to take it home with her and get it settled in without me. She/he is a mix of white and orange and is doing well with my other goldfish. One of my friends who won it asked me if she could name it I said sure and after my mom said it had to be a reindeer name (to go with the reindeer theme started by Rudolph) it's name is Vixen.  

So it was fun, but stressful for me being away from the animals. My mom was caring for them but she isn't very good with the chickens. Something got the smallest brown leghorn pullet the first week I was gone and the second week I was gone something got the smallest brown leghorn rooster. Everyone else is fine and the cross breed bantam hen even started laying (creamy colored eggs, I'll get a picture soon). But when I got home and was checking everyone out I couldn't find the BA/EE hen, but mom told me she had seen her that morning. So I went looking for her with a sneaking suspicion I knew what she was up to and I was right. I went in the old coop to find her on a nest of eggs she had been hiding. She has 13 eggs and isn't brooding yet but probably will at any moment. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to let her sit on them but if I do I'm going to have to rig something to keep her safe in the old coop.

I also went to check on my garden yesterday which has been badly neglected but has had lots of growth. I got part way in looking at the new green tomatoes and trying to get back farther to look at the vines to see if anything was growing. When suddenly I felt something sting my left ankle which I quickly shook off, but at the same time something wrapped its around my right pinky and begin stinging me and would not let go. After some very hard shaking, screaming, and a few words that will not be repeated here I got it off and got out of the garden. My friend who was with me at the time said it appeared to be hornets and that they where coming out of the wooden thing I was by (my halfway done abandoned attempt at a composter). We went inside and put ice on the stings. And when the ice melted, I applied some baking soda paste. My finger swelled up to the point it couldn't move, then got better last night and is worse this morning, swelling again and painful. My leg on the other hand (ha ha) is just a little bit red and sore if touched. I'm going to have to spray the hornets to kill them but I think I'm going to wait until the swelling is gone from my finger first.

But as far as the garden goes it looks good (if a mess). I need to harvest potatoes. The volunteer multihead sunflowers are blooming. The vining plants (pumpkins, squash, gourds) are in blooming and I think I saw a small start of a fruit on one but I really didn't get to check due to the hornets. But I did see a fair number of green tomatoes.

I do try to keep this updated but live gets busy and sometimes I don't feel like putting effort into stuff. But I do want to say feel free to comment and talk to me I don't always answer right away but I will always try to answer any questions and comments.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Enjoying the grass

The little guys now have access to the run and are loving it. The first day (they've had access for about 3 days) they spent 15-20 min. stuffing their faces before they realized it wasn't going to be taken away from them. Now they are calm and enjoying the sun and the grass and I snapped a few pictures today:


And the Red decided to come and watch what I was doing while the big girl layed in shade:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Chickens

So we picked up the new chickens and the guinea pig. The guinea pig is a girl and her name was Savannah but I think that is going to change. As for the chickens  it turns out 4 our roosters. The owner had no idea about basicly any thing about them and they had been her daughters until she lost interest. Their run had been worn down to mud and the coop was a mess and the appear to have been pecking at each other. Also from what I saw they had been feed strait scratch which is basically candy for birds.  I think the 6 younger birds are bantam brown leghorns but I need to do some checking on the breed and they got them from TSC in February. The older hen was hatched a year ago as part of a school hatch. She is also a bantam but I'm not positive what she is she has some feathers on her feet (not many but some might be gone from living in mud) and extra toes and she layed whitish/cream eggs for them. I think I've seen a picture of a hen that looks like her but I'm not sure where. I think she may have cochin in her but I'm not sure, so I'm going to have to do some research. But before everyone got in the nice clean coup the got the mud washed off their feet so their legs are much cleaner then in the original picture. So here are some pictures of the new birds:
This is the older hen.

Her Feet

Her again

3 of the 4 boys

The two little girls

The two little girls and one of the roosters

Two roosters with someone in between

Everyone 

The older hen again