Tag Archives: baby chicks

SIX WEEKS!

We have managed to live with chickens in our house for six weeks now. I wasn’t always so confident about the chick raising, but we have done it! We have kept them safe from weather, predators, our dogs and cats, disease, over-handling, neglect and everything else that could have ended their little avian lives. They have grown feathers and started flapping their wings.

Being a chicken mom is so rewarding. Let’s not talk about dust or poop. I prefer to focus on the precious moments. I wake up to a chorus of anxious peeping at chicken breakfast time. I am greeted by excited peeping when I get home from work. I hear a round of sweet, sleepy, contented peeps as they cuddle up for bed. I hope we can finish the coop & move them outside within the next week. I’m not sure how much longer we will continue the weekly photos. The ladies are difficult to manage in the photography studio. They hate to be separated from their flock. They are too big for the light box that Krista built to photograph them. That cat keeps destroying the light box by napping in it. There are a lot of factors.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the six-week-old portraits of the chickens in my living room.

Cry Baby Walker has grown into a seriously huge chicklet. I need to get her on a scale. She is Chickenzilla.

Lenora Frigid. I love this bird. She is like the dove of peace, in chicken form. She is terrifyingly good at flying. I need to learn to clip chicken wings.

Ramona Rickettes who is obviously a speckled sussex and not a welsummer. I really wanted a welsummer, but c’est la vie. Ramona is the chillest, sweetest chicken ever, so I am forgiving her for being the wrong breed, even though I am sad to miss out on chocolatey welsummer eggs. Next time around, we are getting chocolate egg layers.

Pepper Walker!! Pepper is a really sweet, chillax’d chicken, much like Ramona. Ramona & Pepper act like BFF’s. You can always find them together, quietly plotting to steal all of the raisins/quinoa/melon/worms/peas from their frantic sisters.

Last, but never least: little Hatchet-face, who is growing feathers and gaining weight but never quite catching up with her sisters. She is looking a little scraggly this week, but our fingers are still crossed for her. I just want a happy, healthy adult hen who lays turquoise eggs. Get to it, Hatchet-face.

Outtakes from this week include close-up shots that show off the wattles and combs we are growing.




Click here for past chicken portraits! Hopefully soon we will have gorgeous shots of our finished coop to share! In the meantime, buck-buck-buck-ba-gock!

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the chickens & their props

It’s hard to tell exactly how big the chickens are in a photo with nothing for comparison, so I decided to have them each pose with props they have posed with before. They mostly cooperated.


Pepper and the swan pepper shaker, 10 days old.


At five weeks, the swan is not so interesting, although she did try to peck at it a couple times.


Cry-Baby, Babe and Paul Bunyan, 2 weeks old.


The gang at 5 weeks. Cry-Baby is our roundest little lady.


A handful of Lenora at 2 weeks old.


She’s not so easy to fit in one hand at 5 weeks.


Hatchet-Face and the apple, at 8 days old.


Still growing, 5 weeks old.


A fluffy little Ramona on our state at 10 days old.


Squatting on top of Washington, 5 weeks old.

Now if I could just finish up the coop so they can move outside! We have been weaning them off the heat lamp and they don’t seem to even need it at night anymore with this decent weather we’ve been having. We offer them new treats all the time, and being chickens they are always skeptical at first. In the last couple days they have tried watermelon and they got to finish off a strawberry a bird had taken a bite out of in the garden. The fun never stops on this little farm.

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four weeks of chicken-y goodness

I’m currently on what I have dubbed “chorecation.” I’m off work for two weeks, and I hope to use that time to get caught up on some things that desperately need to happen. Like, our house needs a good scrub down, the garage needs a miracle, and most importantly, the chicken coop needs to be painted and generally finished up so these ladies can move outside. They are getting huge, and their poop is getting smelly.

Without further ado, someone would like to show-off the feathers she spent the whole week growing:

All that fretting last week, and she starting sprouting feather pins all over the place the very next day. Also, her green legs got a little darker and more vibrantly green. HOLY DINOSAUR FEET.

Oh, and miss Hatchet-Face now weighs over 5 ounces. When we were first worried about her, she was barely over an ounce and lost weight for a bit. We are no longer taking extra measures to keep her growing, so hurray!

I don’t know if the ladies are less used to their portrait sessions now that they are only weekly, or if they are just more curious and aware of their surroundings, but it is getting much more difficult to get them to stay-put. Pepper is usually the most cooperative, but this week most of her shots looked like this:

I did get at least one where she stood in place.

To my surprise Cry-Baby was the only who just stood there and let me snap away while she made funny chicken faces.

This is especially bizarre because girl has really earned her name. She is very vocal when you go to pick her up. She also is like a little alarm going off when she has a treat she is trying to keep away from the others. Not so smart, Cry-Baby. Not so smart.

Lenora is the most curious.

She is the first to fly out of the brooder if the lid is off, and has started to try to take off to explore if you don’t keep her corralled.

This also means of course she kept taking off from the light box.

And last but not least, our colorful little Ramona Rickettes:


(demonstrating a funny new chicken squat pose?)

Jess says her feathers look like bloomers:

One month later, we are still loving this chicken thing so much it is hard not to pick out the chickens for “next time.” Unless there is some disaster, we don’t plan to add to our flock for at least two years. But gosh, aren’t these Lavender Orpingtons gorgeous?

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shake a tail feather

The babies are now three weeks old, and have just begun to cross over into the awkward teenager phase. Maybe I’m biased, but I think they still have a lot of cute left. And these feathers are quite stunning. Pepper is getting her little bits of white and Lenora is turning completely white instead of baby chick yellow. So much change!

Let’s compare 3 days old to 3 weeks old, shall we?

Pepper Walker:

Lenora Frigid:

Cry-Baby Walker:

Ramona Rickettes:

and Hatchet-Face:

Oh, little Hatchet-Face. She is still half the size of the others. On the one hand, this is good because she is continuing to grow. As the others feather out, though, we can see how behind she is once more. After isolating and force feeding her for a bit, we put her back with the others and started just offering her a couple extra high-calorie snacks a day. She had started to eagerly eat worms and egg yolk everyday. She can be a little scrapper and even sometimes wins the tug o’ war over worms or uses her size and speed to her advantage to sneak under and yank something from another beak.

Yesterday we started to worry again, because she won’t eat treats by herself anymore. She only seems interested in it if her sisters are going crazy for it, and of course that means she doesn’t get much. That would be fine if it seemed like she were eating a lot on her own, but everytime we feel for food in her gullet there doesn’t seem to be much. So we continue to watch and wait, and hope she starts to sprout some new feathers. Come on Hatchy!

Another minor chick discovery. I’m now convinced that Ramona, “our Welsummer,” is not actually a Welsummer. Ramona and our friend’s little chick were the two that we had the hardest time telling apart when they arrived in the mail. The coloring was slightly different, but the markings were the same except Ramona had more distinct eyeliner. We did some googling and settled on the eyeliner meaning she was the Welsummer and she came home with us.

As she has grown I had started to suspect she was the Speckled Sussex our friends had ordered. A visit to see them this week made me pretty certain I was right, as they look a lot different now. Nobody cares enough about their breeds to do a switcheroo. I, for one, am very attached to our little Ramona. And I just have to promise the wife we can get another chicken some day that will lay chocolate colored eggs.

My absolute favorite thing about week three?

Their adorable little tail feathers. They now stick them up in the air when they are running around fighting over a snack. Chicken TV never gets old.

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two weeks old

Two weeks ago our chicks were newly hatched, shoved in a box and mailed across the country to Olympia. And here they are, two weeks later. Most of them have doubled in size.


Lenora Frigid demonstrates what a handful they have become.


Ramona Rickettes celebrates by pooping in the light box. They are all very skilled at this trick.


For Hatchet-Face’s trick she demonstrates a couple chick poses: the head tuck…


and the classic baby chick butt


Pepper Walker is such a pretty bird


She stayed still enough for a nice head shot for her portfolio


And Cry-Baby Walker would like to show off the latest trick they’ve all been perfecting

Then we took them on their first trip to the backyard.

We weren’t sure what they would do, so we made sure the three of us were there as chick wranglers. Of course they mostly hung out in a tight-knit little baby chick gang. Unless one of them found an awesome snack, and then they went berserk and chased each other all over the place and played tug o’ war over a worm. Who knew worms could stretch that far? Surprisingly, little Hatchet-Face was the most determined at searching out snacks outside. She devoured a beetle right before our eyes. An aerial shot of the ladies shows her size compared to her sisters:

We’ve been tracking their weight since we started to worry about Hatchy, and the handy Google doc chart shows a hopeful upward trend in her growth:

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project, interrupted

Sorry for the abrupt end to the daily chicken photos. The other day, while I was uploading the daily shots of the little ladies my computer abruptly crashed. I had day 12 photos of:


Pepper


Cry-Baby


and Ramona


I really love this shot of Ramona’s wing.

I really HATE having a project interrupted. The daily momentum keeps me going, which is why a lot of our projects are daily ones ($5/person/day and 31 recipes in 31 days). And sure, I could have kept on photographing until I had my computer situation worked out, but I was pretty upset and could only focus on trying to save the year’s worth of photos I had never backed up (which included half of our spring break trip photos and all the videos I hadn’t uploaded anywhere at all).

Long story short, my hard drive and photos and a lot of of other documents are gone. Trying to focus on the positive:

– I replaced the hard drive myself and fixed my laptop for only $80
– I’m trying out Ubuntu and freeing myself of Windows for awhile
– Jess and I both got new Android phones (matching G2X’s) and are crazy about them
– I think the chicks’ development has slowed enough that it is time to do photos 2-3 times a week anyway

And most importantly, little Hatchet-Face is still alive. You needed a Hatchy update, right?

Yesterday while we visited our next door neighbors and their new, full grown hens, I had pretty much given up on Hatchet-Face. She has been a lot more lively looking, but just didn’t seem to be feeding herself much. We can’t force feed her forever, so I was starting to think we were just prolonging the inevitable.

And then we went home and I went to force feed her some cooked egg yolk. And then something amazing happened. She started to scarf it down on her own. She has shown so little interest in food lately, that was incredible. And then she was in the brooder, fighting with her sisters over a worm, chasing them and running away from them with gusto. She has gained some weight, but not as much as the rest of them. I’m hoping at this point that she is a bantam (miniature), and she had some kind of bug but will recover.

Pepper and little Hatchet-Face.

Stay tuned for their TWO WEEK OLD photos and their first field trip to the great outdoors!

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Day 11!!

Today we had a very dramatic moment during the photo shoot. Elsa, our numskull cat, climbed into the chick brooder while we were taking photos. Fortunately, Elsa is inadequate at everything she tries to do and she caused no damage to the chickees. She has been a little too interested in them since the first day they arrived (see below), and I have caught her actually sitting on the wire mesh lid of the brooder staring at the chicks. If that were me, I would have already planned out how I was going to eat each delectable chick morsel. But Elsa, the world’s most gloriously incompetent cat, only got a free trip to the backyard.

Jimmy Rabies is a bit more of a go-getter, but he spends most of his time hunting things outdoors so the domestic chicks are, frankly, not very interesting to him. He almost yawns when he watches them. (see below)

Daily Weigh-In:
Pepper 2 and 1/4
Ramona 2 and 3/8
Lenora 2 and 3/4
Cry-Baby 2 and 5/8
Hatchet-Face 1 and 1/4
Everyone gained 1/8 oz !!! Even Hatchet-Face! I guess that is a good rate of growth for baby chicks (I have no idea. I was not a 4H kid or anything.)

Hatchet-face is hanging tough. She’s still in isolation, but she seems a little more lively. You can tell she’s under the weather, and she’s looking a little rough with the vitamins all over her face. Here’s her Day 11 Best Shot:

Pepper Walker!

I have no idea if this is normal for chickens, but ours like to recline in Krista’s palm. Pepper likes it most of all. She looks like a little penguin in a beach chair when she does this, and she will sit there pretty much forever.

Today Lenora learned to fly to the top of the watering jar. She’s the most advanced flyer so far. She probably always will be. We plan to clip her wings when they become free-rangers. She doesn’t know that yet. No need to crush her dreams this early.

Ramona is having trouble staying still for her daily photos, so she perched on my hand. Yesterday I tried to get her to perch on my finger like this but she couldn’t do it. Her coordination and balance just weren’t there. Today, she did it! I was so surprised and amazed at her new skill. I think she was pleased, too.

And last but never, ever least, Cry-baby Walker. She was just grooming her feathers, but I imagine this pose as a formal bow. If she was doing yoga, this would be her uttanasana.

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