Tuesday, May 24, 2011

more baby pics

We did finally get an exact count of the chicks and then as soon as we were finished I saw that the inside of the box lid had a packing slip.  It confirmed that we have one extra male Rhode Island Red chick.  After spending the day with them, we began to be able to tell them apart by their markings and coloration.  Each has its own personality, too, which I'm sure will become more and more apparent as they grow.  Yesterday evening we brought one bird of each variety upstairs for a photo shoot and playtime in the sunshine. 


Here's our "exotic" freebie in the shipping box which we used as a chick carrier.




We don't know if it will be male or female; all the other birds were sexed before being shipped to us (of our seven Rhode Island Reds we know two are male, but it will be a surprise as to which two they are).  The little "exotic" is going to be a funny looking bird with a big puff on the top of its head.  It has a spunky personality and although smaller than the other birds seems to be able to hold its own.  It was also the first to really catch on to how to drink, so I like to think it's pretty smart (for a chicken).

Our quintessentially cute, fluffy yellow chicks are the Buff Orpingtons.  These chicks are pretty docile and calm as well as being adorable.




This little sweetie, one of the Rhode Island Red chicks




was peeping so loudly when we brought it out to play.

The coloring of the Araucana/Americana cross birds reminds me of that of a chipmunk.




Each of these birds has really unique markings, making it easy to tell them apart.  They also have some funny tufts of feathers that make it look like they have bushy eyebrows and mutton chops.

I think this one




Is a Black Australorp.  The Barred Rock chicks look very similar, but the beaks of the Australorps are a darker color than the Barred Rocks.  It will be a while before we'll know for sure.

Here's a video of a chick that I think is a Barred Rock.  Look at her beak and see how light it is compared to the other one.  Both breeds have adorable fluffy white bottoms.





It might sound crazy, or maybe just improbable, but today it seems as if the chicks' wing feathers and some tail feathers have already grown a bit since their arrival.  Both my mom and I are trying to handle them as much as possible so that they'll be used to us and tame.  We're also trying to observe, observe, observe.  This morning we found one of the birds to have a stress-related health issue.  She/he (it was one of the Rhode Island Reds) was pasting (its bottom was crusted with droppings).  It's a serious problem if left untreated.  We rinsed it with warm water and cleaned it up.  My guess is that it was brought on from the journey here (other causes are being too hot, too cold, dehydrated or ingesting bedding).  Now the little chick looks fine and is acting fine as well, which is quite a relief.  We did find a couple more afflicted birds and took care of them, too.  Although both my mom and I have read a lot about it, we are total novices when it comes to keeping chickens.  Lots to learn, but so far so good. 

I'll try not to make every post about the chicks.  We do have other farmy stuff going on that I want to share like more pics of our orchard and of our big veggie bed and of all the blooming flowers.

7 comments:

  1. How fun, they are just gorgeous! Enjoy xoxox

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  2. They are wonderful Anne. Although I keep a few hens I have never brought them up from chicks. I bet they think you are mummy hen now!!! I think they all look adorable but I think the exotic one is my favourite. He/she looks like a little alien at the moment!

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  3. Love reading about your farming stuff :) I can totally see the little mutton chops, so adorable! You should totally paint that Araucana/Americana one, looks like a very interesting subject.

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  4. Oh they're adorable and all have a variety of interesting colours (plumages?). Sounds like they are very lucky to have been homed with two such attentive surrogate mums.

    Kat Xx

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  5. Thanks so much!

    Kerry, I think I might try painting a chick or two, though I think I'd probably start with one of the simpler ones.

    Simone, funny that you think she looks like an alien! I've been thinking she looks like a tiny dinosaur.

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  6. I'm a new chicken mama too...for the first time ever. We got three Buff Orpingtons in March. It's been so fun watching them grow from tiny little babies to big girls. They are so sweet and friendly. I had a play with their names...Rose T. Chicken, Barbie Q. Chicken and Frye D. Chicken (Say the names fast to get the joke). They are my pets and I would never eat them...they are for egg laying. The names were just for fun. I had major anxieties when we had to move them outside to their coop for the first time. But they are doing well and loving life.

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  7. I'm late commenting, but your chicks and ducks are too cute for words, Anne!! I'm sure you and your mom must be in love with them!!

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