Tag Archives: chicks

Keet care share

The keets have been around more; they even got walked nearly to the house.  I hear their cheeping like tiny bells (they will grow into klaxons).  They already have dart-and freeze-in-the-grass skills, scratching, dozing, and following skills.  Little beings the size and weight of ping pong balls, walking, eating, pooping, thinking.   They’re so cute I can hardly stand it.  They are already surprisingly independent, with a noticeably larger radius of dispersion than two days ago, and the flock moves faster.  They aren’t obsessively dependent on mom at all, more that it’s important to them to stay with the group.I went out today and found a grey bird  sitting on the chicks in the cool morning.  The white (mother) hen came up nuzzling, like she was checking on her kids under the babysitter.  I thought awww, Galahad’s at it again, sitting on the keets.  Then I realized Galahad, who has been shadowing them the last couple days, was sleeping in the sun behind me.  So who the heck is this co-parenting?!

You guys have complicated relationships. 

Guineas are just SO lovely.  They have a different social system than chickens and it seems very evolved.   They accept the keets as tiny new additions that walk with the flock (reminds me of elephants).  The keets will run to any of them, it seems, and any of them might run and get a left-behind cheeping chick.  The males are super involved in keet care.

They’re so special and interesting that I just put up with the bloody noise.  Even that, though, often means something.  Not always, but often, there’s something they’re trying to say.  Like, visitors are on their way, put some clothes on!  They’ll come to the house together and yell at me, looking at me, then five minutes later someone walks up.  Don’t say we didn’t tell you.The white hen spent some adult time lounging away from the keets today, who were all with someone else.  Then all the birds were doing walkabout together with the keets flowing among their feet.  I felt very “approved of” that they let me stand so close to their pile of chicks.  When I walked right through the group was the first time I got a hint of mom flaring, reminding me of how crazy, insane cobra mom the last guinea mother I had was.  This one is zenned right out.

The other white hen was also around today!  Wolfing down food.  So maybe she’s nearing the end of her sit as well.

I’m looking forward to when she stops leaving to hunker down with them at night, and brings them to the greenhouse for bedtime.  I’ll need another laundry rack.

 

 

An extra puffy tail

The little (lone) Silkie chick has just had one extra puffy tail sprout out today, along with a tiny head crest and tiny feet feathers on those little black legs.  Looks especially good with evening back-lighting.  It’s funny what a transformative difference a day makes – chicks grow so fast.  Feathers just pop out here and there, and they go through some pretty funny stages.

This poor little chick is now only one third the size of its nestmates, which are bigger than some of the other chicks get before their Moms move on.  Mom is very patient.You know you’re too big to get sat on when…

This is the body attached to this head.  Hey, my neck is warm.  It’s stretched right out, and still trying to get some baby chick cuddles, meanwhile it’s almost as bulky as Mom.  Like a dog who thinks it’s still a puppy.  I can totally fit on your lap, I’ve done it 100x…hmmm.  Not working like it used to. 

This is the box princess and clan.  She now goes in the coop (well, I’ve moved the box inside the coop, and they still use it- and that’s its own story),  but they still settle down together pre-bedtime outside the coop.

I thought now that the little  keets had been introduced into society, they would belong and stick around, and that they would start sleeping with the others (in the greenhouse).  No.  Mom makes herself really scarce, staying on the weedy sidelines during the day and disappearing at night, so I get to worry.  Galahad comes whisking into the greenhouse late and in a hurry now.  I know he knows where they’re spending the night, but I can’t find them.

box princess

There are three sets of chick/s running around at the moment, that I see have yet to be introduced, my bad…

The other White Chocolate hen, sister to the loaner, has three chicks; the shirt chick was adopted; and this little Silkie hen has three- two Cheeklings and a Silkie chick (got rescued into the greenhouse on rain day).

  This particular hen’s quirk (they all have at least one), is that she does not, ever, want to go to bed in the coop.  Instead, she hunkers down in the grass, in the exact same place, every night.

Normally I train them to go in a box, say, in their chickery days, and then I transfer the box after dark to a lock box.

Not this one.  I have to bring the box to her.  She hunkers down; I set the box near her.Well my word, a box!  Look at that, kids!  How ideal for our purposes!They move right in.  Then I pick up the box and shuttle it into the coop.

The evening box ritual.  Every night.  Well I never!  A box, how nice.Today, because it was raining and the new chips were probably exciting, she settled down under the pine tree – daring!

Floods

Today was a torrential downpour in the morning.  When it rains I run around like a mad person trying to catch or use it all.  I filled several barrels today.  I’m expecting a long stretch of rainlessness this summer, and that every rain we get may be the last for a long time, although it keeps coming and coming.

All the birds rushed under cover when

it came thundering down, except the little Silkie mama with three chicks.  She never goes under any more cover than the pine tree, and I know when it rains I have to go find her.

She has two cheeklings and a cuckoo chick of her own.  I set her on two of Cheeks’ eggs, once only one hatched from the first batch (they need little friends).  She added an egg of her own, and they all hatched.  So there’s one little black-legged Silkie chick, half the size of her siblings, always lagging behind, seeming tired, but getting along.

I find her out in the downpour just after it starts and she’s already soaked.  I pick her up, trying to scoop all the chicks at once but I fail to catch the littlest.  I plop the soggy captives inside the greenhouse and then I get a merry chase from the tiny Silkie chick, who alternately flees cheeping, and hides in the weeds.  I pop him in too.

When I come back to the greenhouse to shift water (from outside stock tank to inside), she’s sitting right where I left her, inside the door, in a drip, in a fast forming puddle.  But she’s keeping those chicks warm!  I had to move her again (this time I picked them all up at once, little legs dangling out), relocating her to high ground and a pile of straw.  She seemed appreciative, but she stayed there a LONG time.

It was thunderous in the GH.

The rain was coming down so hard and fast that it was filling the tank faster than I could bucket it out. 

The moment it subsided though, the hens were out and about.

It’s a wet feet day, so they’re up on the sawhorses under the deck.

I’m back

I survived my mini-collapse, and have been digging my routines back out for the past few days.  I hope it was worth it.   I’m all sugar free now (again), so I hope that transition was worth a week’s lost productivity.

All is well.  Cheeks persists, and is gunning for permanent house chicken status, like a pet parrot;  the ten untimely chicks are all well and growing their feathers; all the birds are fine but getting cranky about the GH confinement, and my hives are all still alive.

The Story of Sidewinder and Sidekick retold on Steem today.

 

I’m back!

I was sneaky; I was posting chicken pictures while I was away. But I’m back home and everyone is fine, including the 10 little unseasonal chicks. They’re bigger than they were.

Ursa has four.

Also, I’ve started producing new content at my new location: https://steempeak.com/@selka. You might recognize some of the initial stories:)

So far the platform is so easy to use that it’s like finally getting a drink when you’re thirsty. I’m so ready to say goodbye to WordPress. When I make the switch, the web link happyharvest.ca will just point over there, instead of here, so that little will be affected. I’ll have to confirm that email subscribers aren’t affected either.

For a bit I’ll post on both, until it’s time to switch. I’ll be keeping you posted (harhar).

I will keep this site alive always, so that all of the stuff stays here, but I’m going to stop paying for it, so ads will come back on, etc.

Chicken in a sink!

We’re goin’ to China, kids

It’s the chicks’ debut. Everyone comes to look.

Ursa’s first day in the chickery: she celebrated her first day out of the broody box as the hens always do, with a vigorous dirt bath.

This is how you dig a hole!

I placed her in the former location of the peat bag (the over flow spot), for premium dirt bathing.

The kids start to come around, Hey, I’m kinda cold, can I get under you?

Nope!

Stand back, kids, mama’s getting her bath on!

She’s like a round fur tornado, spraying everything down with dirt. Evidently, it feels incredible.

How about now?!
Maybe…..
No, not done yet!

Chickyback ride!

There are now an astonishing TEN unseasonal chicks. Ursa has four, and the other hen has six. Only the two of them stuck out broodiness to the end; all the others gave up (thankfully!)

I’m coming up there!

Ursa has graduated to spending days in a chickery, so the other mama is in the bigger corner coop suite, for a few days, as her chicks are more freshly hatched. A couple are brand new out of the egg.

I think this is Chocolate, but I’ll have to check photos to be sure:)

Only the white ones show up in the low light coop. There are four others under her- brown, black and grey.

Chicks are adorable; it’s hard not to get attached, as they have a hard time not falling over backwards taking a drink, and pile up in the food dish and then wonder what to do.

It’s possible, but to be realistic – it’s unlikely for them all to survive, born in the winter like this.

You never know.

unseasonal chicks

Who has chicks in winter?  Ursa Minor does.

Ursa’s got four little chicks (living).  Two were already dead.  The future is not bright for chicks hatched at the beginning of winter.  But I’ll do my best to help her.

One piece of cardboard and she’s got a student apartment now.  That’ll be enough space for a few days, as they’ll spend most of their time under her.

I moved her back from the kitchen so the chicks would tumble out so I could get some pictures.

Turns out the chicks were super into some more food.

The other four crazy broody hens (down from six crazies – turns out it IS contagious) are busy playing egg burgle bingo, trying to steal eggs from each other.  We’ll see if any of them also successfully hatch.