Tag Archives: sick baby chick

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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Day 10!

First order of business, there are SO many photos of these chicks. I recommend that you check out Krista’s set of chick photos if you find yourself wanting more or missing them between blog updates. I review the chick set a few times a day to cleanse my soul of the ugliness of the world.

Day 10!! They are growing so fast and turning into such BIRDS right before our eyes. They are eating a lot. I filled their feeder as I normally would when I got home from work, and I had to re-fill it before bed! Two words: Oink. Oink.

Today’s weigh-in:
Pepper 2 and 1/8
Ramona 2 and 1/4
Lenora 2 and 5/8
Cry-Baby 2 and 1/2
Hatchet-Face 1 and 1/8
Everyone gained weight, except Hatchet.

Lenora Frigid. Don’t you think her name should be in cursive? She is such a graceful, lovely bird. It is hard to believe that her breed is the number one breed used for large-scale commercial egg production in the United States. (seriously) Her favorite thing is to stretch and flap her wings, so I really can’t imagine her in a 12″x12″ cage.

Lenora made a strong statement about how she was “completely done” with this photo shoot.

Ramona Rickettes is constantly in motion.

You know what makes a perfect prop for chicken photo shoots? A vintage salt and pepper shaker collection. Thankfully we don’t actually eat salt and pepper out of these. This is titled, “A Stately Bird.”

Cry-Baby Walker still has very little interest in me beyond my role as treat-provider and fresh-water-fetcher, but her lovely peach-colored feathers are captivating.

Also. This.

Pepper Walker posed with a swan salt shaker. She was genuinely puzzled by this. It was like that scene from Drop Dead Gorgeous:
“Who are you?!” Oh Mary, you kill me. She always says that. It’s a little game we play. Every week – same dippy little look on her face. “Who are you – who are you?” Just like that. It’s me – Your Friend, The Ceramic Swan!

Pepper was kind enough to show off her wings today. Lovely, no?

Hatchet-face nearly slept through her photo shoot. Her face is filthy because she got a nice dose of vitamin booster. Maybe the vitamins will be her pick-me-up, and some day we will show her these photos and laugh together, “Remember when you were sick and we were soooo worried?” And she will say, “Ba-Gock!!” Fingers Crossed. Hatchet, everyone’s rooting for you!


Filed under chickens, spring, urban farming

Day 9!

We started weighing the chooks today. I kind of wish we had started weighing them at the beginning like a science fair project, but we are using the relative weights of the birds mostly to measure the progress (or lack there of) of sweet, sickly Hatchet-face who is now in isolation in her own little box, with her own food and water and special vitamin booster regime. We appreciate your kind words and well wishes for her speedy recovery, and an extra THANK YOU!! to everyone who offered/lent food, watering devices, advice, feeders and medicine in the interest of her best possible care. I read all of your messages to her and she was very glad for the encouragement. And we are glad for it too. It is comforting to feel less alone in our sadness and worry for a tiny, 9-day-old chick.

In any case, here is the result of their Day 9 weigh-in:
Pepper 2 ounces
Ramona 2 ounces
Lenora 2 and 3/8 ounces
Cry-Baby 2 and 1/4 ounces
Hatchet-Face 1 and 1/4 ounces
So, you can see our concern for drowsy little Hatchet is warranted.

Without further ado, let’s catch up on the photos.


Here’s Ramona’s Best Shot

Lenora Frigid

Pepper Walker, who has been so cooperative this week

And little Hatchet-face, doing her best Big Bird impersonation

No bonus shots today. The photographer is switching her awake hours for work and had little time or tolerance for hi-jinx during this shoot.

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Day 8!: All is not well in the world of the peepers.

Our precious Hatchet-face is struggling to hang on. I admit I got a little sad about it and skipped a day of chick-blogging. But that’s not fair, is it? Life is a delicate thing. She’s listless and drowsy. She peeps nearly constantly if we are not holding her. She tries to eat and drink, but doesn’t seem to be very successful at either. She’s much smaller than her sisters; she weighs 1.25 ounces, while everyone else is weighing in over 2 oz. She sleeps too much. She’s far too docile and cooperative for a week-old chick. Suffice to say, we’re trying to be practical and realistic about her future, but it’s difficult when she is so sweet and innocent. We have all suffered the loss of a beloved pet, but this is a sore moment. It’s hard to tell what is wrong with chicks. She doesn’t have pasty butt. We treated them all for cocci the first day she seemed listless. She is isolated with special food and medicated water with boosters in it. Her keep-on-keeping-on-ness is our greatest hope right now. If you have any “healthy chick” spells, pls cast them in her direction. If you’re a chicken expert, leave some advice.

Here is Hatchet’s day 8 photo:

Pepper Walker

Crybaby Walker

Lenora Frigid

Ramona Rickettes

Bonus shot: Hatchet, Pepper & Ramona in a classic “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” pose


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