21 October 2015

Gold laced Wyandotte chicks

I managed to snap a couple pics of the now week-old chicks yesterday afternoon, and they are even in focus.  Getting the chicks to pose is a whole 'nother ball of wax.
gold laced Wyandotte chicks at one week

healthy, bouncing Wyandotte chicks
Most are getting in nicely-colored wing feathers, and I know I have at least three good-sized, healthy, active cockerels as there was a three-way chest-bumping session going on until I interrupted it.

20 October 2015

Planting note spinach, chives, and marigolds

Just a note about planting seeds here.  The spinach is Burpee "Satin" variety, the chives are garlic chives (also Burpee) and the marigolds (edible flowers for us and the chickens) are "Crackerjack Sunset Giant" variety.  Yesterday I transplanted starts from Home Dept: two fernleaf dill pots, one regular green sweet basil, and another curled parsley.  I have been watering daily in mid-morning when the garden boxes are in the shade.

14 October 2015

Chicks hatching

Hubby and I awoke to the cheep-cheep-cheep of newly hatched chicks this morning, and now that it's light we have even more.  When we first got up, there were three and a half hatched, and now we are up to ten with more working on kicking out of their shells.  I set 24 eggs, with only one being marked as a Meatie and the rest from Tiny and the Flashy Girls.  The Meatie hatched last night, along with one early-bird Wyandotte.

The eggs are hatching over a day early still, so I still have not compensated enough for the incubator's thermometer and thermostat being off.  The first hatch I left it at the factory preset of 100.0*F, but for this one I changed it to 99.0*F ... the independent thermometer/hygrometer said the temp was running around 100-ish.  I'll be waiting until the first of the month to set another batch, so note to self: adjust the thermostat lower yet.

Hubby has been getting little video clips of the chicks while we wait for them to finish hatching.  One chick fell between the egg flat and the side of the incubator, and is stuck on its back ... but Luanne had cautioned me against opening the incubator before the hatch was done, so that little sticker is stuck kicking and cheeping until the rest hatch.  It is not easy leaving the incubator closed when watching it.  Pics after we open the incubator.

13 October 2015

Parsnips and Scarlet Nantes carrot seeds planted

Planting note: parsnips (Ferry-Morse Hollow Crown variety) and carrots (Burpee scarlet nantes variety) planted in the garden boxes where I transplanted the broccoli, red cabbage, bell peppers, parsley, purple and spicy globe basil, and Italian oregano starts the other week.  One of the bell pepper plants has opened a blossom, and the other has a couple ready to open soon.  The two success stories in the one box are Greek oregano and the green onions.  If neither of those two seeds sprout in two weeks, I'll plant some more.  Eventually, something ought to grow other than rope grass and sand spurs.

08 October 2015

Feeding time at Jurassic Park

So, I looked out the window just a short bit ago, and saw this.
Uno the capon and six slips
gaggled up for feeding time
They know what time it is ... feeding time!  They've been out running around since a little after lunch.  It rained about half an hour ago, and was still dripping.  Feeding time is about the only time they are this close to each other without squabbling.

I do have a pic of Uno by himself, that shows he is still chick-pink in the face, comb, and wattles.  I'll edit that one later though.

07 October 2015

Bossy on the nest

Just a few fun chicken pictures - first is Bossy doing what she was brought here to do: sitting a nest.  There is a total of nine eggs under her, seven from Tiny and the Flashy Girls and two from Spikey and the red broilers.
broody Bossy on nine eggs
After snapping this pic, I then tried to get a new picture of the two chicks who hatched the other week and are being reared by Pollux the Ameracauna capon.  As I pressed the shutter button, the little Wyandotte ducked behind a 2x4 of the guinea pen, while the Meatie did an about-face and put his head down.  Chickens ...

So I decided to get another pic of the two black Silkie pullets who are laying, and this time they co-operated!  Here is a surprisingly good photo of the two black pullets and a splash pullet, shot through the wire and also through a spider web.
Silkie pullets: two black, one splash
You can also see all the feathers laying around as the splash Silkies do their juvenile molt in preparation for the pullets to start laying.  This is about as close as I care to get to looking like snow!  LOL

04 October 2015

Guinea keet pic

I took the digicam out with me last evening to try to get some pics of the guinea keets.  They stayed in a tight group, but milled around enough within the small space to give the auto-focus fits.  Out of four pics, this is the one that is focused enough to see.
guinea keets venturing out of the pen
We just started letting them out of the pen after "chicken time" evening feeding, and they put themselves back in the pen as it starts to get dark.  They aren't quite in full-blown ugly stage yet, but they are very close to it as they are starting to lose keet feathers on the head and neck.  Hubby and I will need to watch The Dark Crystal again to get inspiration for some names.

An amusing anecdote: While I was out there last evening, I sneezed and immediately every keet ran into the pen and to the farthest corner from me.  Then, once they were "safe" from the noise, they started up the alarmed-guinea noise.

For the record, the keets are not really louder than the chickens, per se, but the alarmed-guinea noise is very attention-grabbing and just about impossible to ignore, unlike the hen bragging or crow-a-thons the cockerels and rooster do.

01 October 2015

Bossy is broody again

It took her a while to decide which cubbyhole she likes best, but today she made up her little bird brain and chose cubby #3 (from the left) ... maybe because that is where Flaca laid the past couple days, and we didn't collect up eggs last evening.  She was glued to those two eggs and two golf balls after dinner feeding, and although she fluffed up and almost growled at me, she didn't peck me when I fished the two large white eggs out.  She wasn't exactly hostile, but not thrilled either, when I put the seven eggs from Tiny's tractor and two eggs from Spikey's tractor under her.  I may get the golf balls out from under her tomorrow morning when she's eating.

So, one broody Wheatie hen with seven Wyandotte eggs and two Meaties eggs under her, due to hatch the 22nd.  Meanwhile, the twenty-nine eggs in the incubator will be candled Sunday.

The two chicks from the first hatch are doing well.  The heat bulb blew last evening, so we tried putting them in with Pollux again.  He enjoys having little warm bodies to sleep cuddled up with, but ignores them during the day.  They are still small enough to slip under the end pieces of the tractor, but apparently figured out how to get back in after getting out this morning, so we are letting them bounce around until it's dark enough to go to bed, at which point we expect them to snuggle up under Pollux for the night.