Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chickens Survive Hurricane Sandy

Here's a sweet read of how chickens were rescued during the storm.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Ugly Duckling/Parrot

Oh my goodness, look at this little guy.  He's a baby parrot abandoned by his mama.



He's so ugly he's cute!  If I had room in my coop, I would definitely adopt him.




Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

chick learns how to scratch

Chicken Tikka Masala (CTM) is our Ameraucana chick.  I had read that her breed can be odd, and she does indeed have an odd personality.

We call her Asperger Chicken because she does not seem to know how to be a chicken.  While our other two birds hang out together, CTM is always off in the corner, doing nothing.  We will often find her standing and staring at the wall blankly.  When we first started taking the chicks outside, the other two would run around and peck, while CTM would stand still, frozen, unsure of what to do.

Of course this oddity only endears her to me even more.  She does not like to be picked up, but once she settles onto our hands, she will sit down, very content.  She loves to be petted, and seems to prefer hanging out with humans than with her own flock.

Well, here we have caught on film CTM learning how to dig and scratch for the first time.  Mind  you, the other chicks had been exhibiting this behavior for weeks.   CTM was slow to catch on.  And note that she is trying to dig on a piece of wood.  You have to give her credit for her persistence.  That's Omelet with her (the potential rooster) fluffing her feathers.

video




Chickens Leaping for Fruit

video


Need I say more?




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Drama in the Coop

We have been so busy tending to our flock, I haven't had any time to blog about an update.

Here's what's up.

As expected, Chloe and Mirabelle, our year-old laying hens, have not welcomed their wings to the newbie chicks.  We slowly introduced them while the hens were cooped up and could only observe them, and then let them all run around the yard together.  The hens were either not at all interested, or would try to lunge at or peck at our little ones.

At one point, I turned my back for a full 5 minutes, and when I looked again poor little Drumstick had lost a bunch of tail feathers.  I think she was just curious and had walked right up to Chloe, who let her know who was boss.

Not cool.  We did lots of research on how to integrate our flock.  This is where it starts to get ridiculous.  We have to let the big girls know that we were the boss, and to back off from our chicks.

I found this link really helpful:
http://jackshenhouse.com/VSChickIntroducingNewBirdsToFlock.htm

We  now have our 3 chicks outside in the coop during the day, but gated off from the hens who are also inside the coop.  So everyone can see one another, but there is no contact.  At first, the hens were really agitated and would try to bully them.  Now that a few days have passed, the novelty has worn off, and everyone is calmly eyeing one another.  At one point, Omelet and Mirabelle were even taking dust baths together, separated by the fencing of course.

We take the chicks inside for the night, and carry them out again every morning.  They are still too little to stay out for the night, and they are not ready to all be cooped up overnight together.  Yes, this is turning into a part-time job...no complaints though:)  I have to admit, tending to the flock is constantly entertaining.






Monday, March 5, 2012

speckled egg

We got this lovely speckled egg from Chicken Mirabelle, our gold-laced Wyandotte.

Debating if I want a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, or a fried egg?


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ameraucana chick, two months old

Camouflage chick.  Chicken Tikka Masala poses on a haystack.



I love her feather tufts!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Is this buff orpington chick a rooster??

Here's Omelet, at two months old.




And here's Omelet in comparison to our two other chicks.




I'm pretty sure Omelet is a rooster in disguise.  We are just waiting for the first crow, and off he/she will go to a lovely ranch in Half Moon Bay, to live out the days jumping on all the lady hens he wants.

Omelet is still the smallest chick, but started exhibiting really aggressive behavior, constantly challenging the two older and bigger hens.  And even jumping on the back of them.  Her comb and wattle seemed to suddenly appear overnight, almost fully grown in and very red.  Omelet was also growing in a different fashion than the other chicks.  She kept her fluffiness for much longer before the real feathers started growing in.  Her legs and feet are shorter and fatter, and her whole body is stout and heavier.

I found this handy chart, which confirmed my suspicions even more:

http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/sexingchicks.html

So at this point, we are just holding out, waiting for the first crow.

Any chicken experts with advice?  I'm all ears.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chicks








The girls are growing!  They are mostly feathered now.

Little Omelet is still fluffy and tiny.

We've introduced them to the older hens in the yard, with plenty of space.  Chloe has asserted her authority with one quick peck to the beak.   The chicks need to grow a bit older before they are fully transferred outside to the coop.   We are considering letting them run around the coop for a bit tomorrow, and then bringing them back inside for the night, under their heat lamp.

Stay tuned for a full report of the Chicken Integration Project...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

chicks learning to fly

We had some warm sunny weather a couple of weeks ago, so we brought the chicks outside for a few minutes.

video

Here they are.  Chirping away,  flapping their wings and not getting too far.

Monday, January 16, 2012

a baby great-horned owlet

This past week, every night once it gets dark, we've been rewarded with hearing high-pitched screeches that last for hours.  We live across the street from a park, so we were pretty sure it was a bird or a bat hunting. But what kind of bird, and why now?

I hit the internets.  I found this helpful forum:
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/wildlife/msg0220414912356.html

Then I listened to some lovely bird sounds on this website (from hawks to owls to kestrels to falcons):
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Horned_Owl/sounds/ac

I zeroed in on the great horned owl, mainly because I think owls are the coolest (ok, aside from chickens) and would be beyond-thrilled if there was an owl living nearby.  I haven't heard any hoo-hooing of an owl, but the screeching of a juvenile great horned owl at the end of the link above was sounding familiar.

I found this website and clicked on "owlet calling for food":
http://www.owlpages.com/sounds.php

and that's it!

I read about great horned owls here, and found this cute pic:

http://www.birdwatchersgeneralstore.com/owl.htm

I'm so very excited to have this little family across the street from me.  Apparently the little guy sits around and calls for food all night, until he is old enough to fly and hunt on his own.  He'll probably settle across the street for good.  Can't wait to drag the husband out there with binoculars to get a looksy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SF Zoo Monkey still in the news

Aha.

The "I found a monkey in Stern Grove, and he jumped right in my backpack!" story is now sounding unlikely.

I love it that this little guy is still making headlines.  Glad he is safe.

chicks foraging in the wild

We let the girls out in the yard for a quick few minutes.

They pecked at some grass and stuck close together.  Then, back inside under their heat lamp to get toasty again.



Our older chickens were in their coop while this all transpired.  They seemed intrigued....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Plymouth Barred Rock Chick

I'm Drumstick.



It's not easy to get a photo of me because I am a chick-on-the-go.

I'm the oldest chick of the bunch.  I have at least a week (maybe more?) out of the eggshell on the other gals.

Maybe I'm not the fuzzycutepuffballs that the other two are.  But just you wait till my real feathers come in.  I'll be a looker.

Lucky me, I can already fly!  And by flying I mean hopping really high and flapping my wings at a rate of 90 beats per minute.

If I'm lucky, I'll make it all the way up to the roost.  Then I can chill and look down on the other two chicks.  They can't get up there yet.

But don't startle me, or else I'll lose my balance and topple backwards into the pine shavings.

I'm curious and friendly, and the leader of the bunch.  Well, at least until we go to live in with those two enormous birds in the yard.

Naptime....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ameraucana Chick

They call me Chicken Tikka Masala.



I'm the bad-ass of the bunch, which I am demonstrating here by perching on an orange hippo.

Where the hell did this hippo come from, anyway?

I have a ton of energy.  I like to zip around my home and hassle my chickmates.*

I look like a chipmunk.  But I have wings.  Chipmunks do not.

*(Note:  owners are a little worried this little chick could be a rooster??)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Update---Monkey found and back at the zoo!

Whew, what a relief



I have to add that Stern Grove is *very* close to my house.  If only I had found him...

Buff Orpington Chick

Yo.


I know.   I'm ridiculously cute.

And yes, I am just as fluffy and fuzzy as I look.

I'm only a few days old here.

I have itty-bitty wings that I try to flap, but they're not working as of yet.

I keep falling asleep while standing up.  It's hard to balance while asleep, so I usually topple over, onto one of the other chicks.

Time to go nap.  Later, bitches.