Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
We've been letting the little chicks visit in the big pen, and I think there is some slight improvement, but the big chicks are still pecking a bit on the little ones. Friday night /Saturday is the big move. I don't like maintaining two areas, and the little ones need access to the nesting boxes. Kevin made a makeshift nesting box for the little ones, but they should be in the coop with the others.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
At first, I thought it was a white egg, because it definitely wasn't brown, but upon closer inspection, it looks more gray-green. It's about the size of Birdie's eggs, which is surprising considering how much bigger Birdie is than the new girls. I'll be glad when we can have all the chicks together. It will make everything much easier for them and me.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
We brought them home in a cat carrier and let them sleep in it in the coop. This morning I let them out and sat with them for a while. Pecking orders are very real things, and Bee is the peckiest. She is the most aggressive with the new chicks, but the little white one, Myrtle, stood her ground pretty well. The other two, Rosemary (gold) and Ethyl (black), are a bit more cowed. Kevin put in a couple more higher perches and they like being up high. Other than being a bit far from the food and water, I like them being up high. My three can get used to the new girls, but not be so intimidated.
I'll be checking on them frequently throughout the day.
Rosemary and Ethel
Addendum: I put the new chicks in the old pen, and it is next to the coop. The new chicks were fine, but the old chicks weren't sharing the food and water very well. Now they can see each other, but they each have their own foods and waters. I'll probably let them be seperated for a while to get used to each other.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
First, another one of the hens is laying eggs. Yah, right? Well, we'll see. Here's my hesitation. Every night the hens go to sleep in exactly the same place, and every morning I clean the droppings. This morning besides the droppings there was also what looked like the inside of an egg. One of the chickens layed a shell-less egg. According Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, the go-to manual on chickens, there are a few possible reasons for this. One is that it's a first egg, which, of course, this one is. Another, is that the hen was nervous or scared or for some reason had to lay it quickly before the shell could form (shells form at the last minute apparently), and third, the chicken has a vitamin deficiency. Now, if it is Honey laying the egg, it could be the third reason. Honey has a crossed beak and is as tall as the other two, but because she has a harder time eating, she is thinner than the other two. Let's hope tomorrow I have at least two good eggs. It's going to be hard to correct the vitamin deficiency in Honey, if that's what it is.
Also, there is a possibility that Bee is laying as well. There was an egg in the pen, but it had fallen and gotten cracked. It wasn't where Birdie usually lays, so I'm not sure if it was hers or not. Although I didn't see an egg from her today, so it could have been hers. We'll see.
The other possibly interesting thing is that we trimmed Honey's beak today. Well, Kevin did. Thankfully, he does all the hard things. I held Honey and he cut away at it with a dog nail clipper. We had to be careful not to go too far, just as we would for a dog's nails actually, but he trimmed a good 1/4 to 1/2 inch off, so hopefully she'll be able to eat better now.
Here's a before picture. She reminds me of Gonzo with how curved her beak is.
Here are a couple of after pictures. The top pic shows how much we trimmed off, but the bottom one shows just how crossed it is.