Tag Archives: Silkies

Three new chicks

Foxy has managed to hatch 3 of 4 chicks.  She somehow broke all her first eggs, and I gave her a second batch, so she has been setting longer than usual.

She’s used her confinement productively to start regrowing her moulted feathers.One. Two. Three! They’re full size eggs and chicks, looks like two Ameracauna crosses and a Chanticleer.Seems like the danger zone.

Foxy is notably the least good-looking of all the Silkie hens, always grubby and making no effort at all.  Just a slovenly chicken.  It’s funny how different they are.  Most times setting hens will try to shit away from their eggs, so they aren’t sitting in it for days on it.  Makes sense, right?  At least they direct it all in one pile not right under them, and at best they get up and go outside the box to relieve themselves.  Not this one.  Nope.

But she was determinedly broody, so I let her work, even though I had to muck her out in a way I usually don’t.

Next door, Daisy is a determined digger.  She must have legs of steel.  She goes all day, preferring the greenhouse  where she can dig deep holes to the outdoor grass.  She kicks dirt and straw against the fence with a thump, thump.  Then she fills in the last hole digging a new one next to it, all the while clucking enthusiastically, like what could be better that this!  The chicks are always spattered with dirt.  I assume they’ll inherit quite the work ethic.  At least two weeks old now,  these Silkie babies are not substantially larger than the day-olds next door, although they are clearly more developed, with the tail “spray”, wing tip feathers, and longer legs.

Itty bitty feather slippers

The little Silkie chicks are ridiculously cute.  There’s five of them; these two and Daisy has three, including the late silver arrival (who’s doing very well).  It’s nice to have Silkie chicks under Silkie moms;  I got used to seeing them with the fast-growing, out-sized “regular” babies.  The moms are so doting, and fierce!The five are all still tiny fuzzballs, even ten days old, and you can see their feathered feet.  I can already tell that this little brown one comes from the “extravagantly feathered feet” stock.  Daisy’s been outside, but we had a big rain day (another one!) and they went back under cover.  Just like yesterday, a thunderstorm rolled over suddenly and torrentially.  SO loud in the greenhouse. I got wings!This silver one is so special.

A lot of pictures, for a day I didn’t take any pictures

All the things I didn’t take pictures of today:

Moving the piggies into some lush new jungle land.  I paid for it in bug bites, but they’re piggy pleased.

Chris and Cream Puff canoodling.  They really are always together.

Two new chicks, little Silkie chicks.

Two new broodies, and wooo Nelly, one of them is vicious!  This one was broody without eggs.  I wasn’t sure she was broody because she was sitting, but not on eggs, and she didn’t know what to do with herself because she didn’t have eggs, so she was moving around.  But I experimentally put her in a covered wagon with eggs, and she is definitely broody, and taking no chances at losing her big chance, now she has eggs!  She attacks!  She’s a biter, not a pecker, and it really pinches.

Cleaning out the box of death (probably best not pictured) and revamping it.  Now there are no holes in the lid – that was a design flaw. Flies in ≥  grubs out.

Preventing a mass red wiggler escape.   I had to extract some castings, because WOW I have a thriving population of worms, and I think they may have been feeling crowded.  Amazing! I’m going to sell some next.  Who needs a worm compost starter worm pack? But sifting through castings and wet shredded paper compost doesn’t jive well with using a camera.

The little barred rock/Silkie (“Barred Rock with a hairdo”) getting trapped inside the greenhouse adjunct garden.

The four little chicks who got stranded under the wrong pine tree when they followed a couple teenagers too far from their Mom.  They needed assistance to find their way back.  Them:  There she is!  Mom!  Here we are!  Mom:  Ah crap.  I was enjoying that break.

Sounds like a big day, and it was, bigger than my usual lately, but not what I’m still optimistically calling my “normal”, even as that normal retreats into the past.  I’m still “battling” Lyme disease (First world lucky, I pop a pill twice daily – that’s not even a skirmish), and the Lyme, or the prolonged use of Lyme meds, is currently manifesting like a mild flu with narcolepsy, and I am at half productivity, at best.  Any day I don’t slip further behind is a BIG win.


I did get some pictures just before bedtime.  These little rascals all crowded up in the chicken door-within-a-door.  They like to pose in the doorway every evening, just not usually all at once.  There are a couple leghorn blends!  Awesome!  Sometimes they look a bit leggy, with the super erect tails.I put rings around the peppers.  What I should have done is put tomato cages around them before they grew up, but now it’s too late, and I had sticker shock at buying 35 tomato cages in one go (now I wish I had). Otherwise, the weight of the developing peppers makes the branches fall outward and snap off, because the stems aren’t terribly strong without a breeze in the GH.  In lieu of tomato cages, I put a circlet of baling wire around each plant, strung up to the tomato suspension guylines.  Better than nothing.Galahad is like Excuse me, you haven’t noticed, she’s not supposed to be in here! Apples and Sprout, being their adorable selves.  Sprout spends more time with her siblings now, but remains very loyal to stepmommy.Chris atop the honeymoon coop.  Needs reroofing. Oh, and today there was a walnut in this coop.  What the heck?  A stand-in egg?  Did a chipmunk move it in?  The walnuts are starting to drop.What the heck is Cleopatra doing way up in the walnut tree at bedtime?!

 

Cuteness is a full time job around here.

The rooster is making himself comfortable in the food tray.  I’m just gonna lay down right here. The three pine trees I pruned up are seeing the use I imagined.   Ursa and her chicks are under this one, and the teens have decamped from Pine Tree One (leaving that one to the grownups) to their own clubhouse tree, where they are cuddling (too much!).  All the trees now have established dust baths, too.  There’s a new addition!   One teeny tiny little silver chick.  I dreamed another chick hatched last night, and I remembered dreaming it, and then it turned out to be true!

Daisy was up off her three unhatched eggs yesterday, after giving them two extra days.  She shoved them out of her box and ignored them.  When she went to bed, though, I tucked the eggs back under her for the night, just in case.

Good thing!  This little baby is adorable!  The first silver chick ever.  Maybe one of Annie Smith Peck’s.Am I doing it right?

This little tiny chick is half the size of its siblings just two days older, and it is having a rough go.  It can’t stand up on its legs, isn’t very good at moving around, can barely stay right side up, and keeps getting run over by the siblings. It just wants to spend its first day alive tucked under Mom, but Mom already has active toddlers to take care of, and she’s hard to keep up with.

She’s doing her best.   Scratch scratch, eat, eat, sit on the baby.  It made it through its first day, so I think it will make it.  Going to be the slow learner for weeks, though, before those two days cease to matter.

More warm days

Almost bedtime. Philippe PetitPuffcheeks demonstrating the hot weather “airplane stance” to perfection.  Ailerons out for cooling breezes.It’s possible I have an olive-sided flycatcher visiting (need positive ID).  It’s a species at risk in NS, and it seemed to be shopping for snacks off the side of our house, possibly wasps.  It was making repeat visits and swooping at the corner of the house.

Remember that “wild” rabbit?  It did not quite allow me to get a picture, but it was taking a dirt bath, writhing around like a chicken, in the sand pile outside our door last evening.  Very undignified.

More chicks!

Ursa Minor’s looking smug (it’s funny how they always look smug or proud when they get their chicks, but it is an achievement that cost endurance and attention).  Four chicks!  How exciting, she got all of hers.There’s one!There’s another one.  These two new moms got transferred out of their broody kennels into boxes and chickeries today, so I could clean the kennels for the next tenants.Daisy finally got her suite upgrade.This one (tentatively “Wolverina” is still so fierce!  She only has two chicks hatched, which isn’t good, but she’s sticking to her eggs.  They were both model sitters, so the problem must be with the eggs.  It’s sad when they don’t get all their chicks. Side by side chickeries.There’s a kennel vacancy (not for long I don’t think).  That’s Sprout and Apples enjoying greenhouse privileges.

Meet the broodies

I’ve got three little broody Silkie hens, installed in the covered wagons in the greenhouse.  Amazingly, they are all from the new set of chickens.  Which is great, that means that they have learned how to chicken enough to go broody.  Impressive.

All of them are sitting on full sized eggs that I gave them.  Four each – I’m hoping for 100% germination, and the hens are petite.  In the past I’ve always given a Silkie 5-6 big eggs, but they never all seem to hatch.

These girls are all excellent sitters.  They sit very still, and they don’t let their eggs leak out.  This little lady is patient enough to have endured the orphans spending a few nights with her in her kennel.This one is vicious.  She’s so small, but she’s not afraid to peck.  She´ll just hammer away at my hand like a woodpecker when I reach in for anything, like to change her hay.  Food refills are tolerated. She’s always moving her eggs around or turning circles on them, arranging her nest to her satisfaction, but she doesn’t let any of them get away. The first two went broody at the same time, and are due very soon.  This one went broody most recently, and is occupying a cardboard box in a chickery, waiting for a vacancy in a broody kennel suite.  She hangs out all day with her beak over her water dish, so I know she’s staying hydrated in the heat.

Circus chickens

What’s happening here?  I know it might be hard to tell.  That would be the notoriously mom-surfing chick, the yellow one, sitting on her mom.  Not only that, mom is perching on the swing.  With other chickens.  The swing is swingy.  I rarely see them use it at all.Obviously, she is far too large for mom-sitting at the best of times, but like one of those huge dogs that still thinks it’s a lap sized puppy, she doesn’t realize she’s outgrown it.  And while perching on a swing might not be the best of times.  Mom put up with it for awhile, too, but dumped her off when she’d had enough.  Next, it will be chicken pyramids.


Almost bedtime.  The mama hens got a box today, so that I can move them around soon.  They got very excited.  Did you know your mom was hatched in a box?  They like boxes. 

Spring chicks

The chicks are all alive, even the little half size yellow chick, but there’s been no late hatchings.  That’s a pretty poor hatch rate – 12 live chicks out of 23 eggs under two hens.  The 13th was unlucky.   But that is a dozen bright new little lives, which is wonderful.  Maybe not all the eggs were fertile, or the late frosts we got made it too cold for them.Chick going under mama hen

I’m coming in there

The other chicks are still in the chickery.  Usually they start to break out, which lets me know it’s time for them to be at large, but so far, they are all staying inside, although they could fly right out.Silkie hen with chicks outdoorsThe little black “runt” of this clutch is catching up with the others.

And the oldest chicks, well: They decided to dust bathe at the bottom of the ramp, in the smallest dust bowl ever.

I’m not getting up

These two blip in and out of Silkieland at will, as do some of the other Silkies, since they can slip under the fence if they want.

For these chicks, the coop is the safe house, so they sprint up the ramp if there’s any strange noises or shadows or surprises.  It’s funny.

2018 chicks so far: 18